Don't go to Tasmania (wink*wink nudge!)

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December 23rd 2007
Published: January 16th 2008
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Australia's best kept secret is the tiny island of Tasmania! As a matter of fact, it's so laid back, naturally beautiful, and full of cheese loving beer drinkers, that I felt right at home! 😊 All of the locals begged me to tell no one of its splendor, because the best part is that no one even lives there! 300,000 on the entire island, so there are many miles (kilometers) of amazing upspoiled wilderness - not to mention that it took me an entire day to even find a town with a carwash! (i would ask at the gas stations and they looked at me like i was NUTS!)

Even my arrival in Hobart was magical - it was the first time I'd been picked up at the airport since NYC, which, after calculations, was 31 landings at airports where I had no one familiar to greet me and basically no idea where to go or even how to get there - what a treat! Greg was there right on time to pick me up in baggage claim, and even though we hadn't seen each other in almost a year, it was immediately good times talking and laughing it up! He took me to an amazing lookout over the city (my panoramas aren't loading on this computer, hopefully they will later bc that's pretty much the only kind of pics I took in NZ! but i digress....again a few weeks behind on the blogging) and i got a perfect perspective of this awesome harbor city! It's only about the size of green bay, but has a very deep and varied mountain/cove landscape thing going on, so it's super picture perfect and welcoming! Greg took me to the visitor center and guess which activity i decided to do - DIVING! We spent the day bumming around in town, and i visited a very cool local artist gallery that was inspiring! The next day he lent me his car and sent me off driving from the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road....brave man. I saw some worry on his face when I went to pull out of the driveway and instead of shifting I turned on the windshield wipers.... ha ha! But have to say, it was great to actually use my brain again and learn something new! And after a couple hours, it was no sweat - i was more afraid that i might blow out his speakers then crash the car!

I drove up the east coast and stopped at Freycinet National Park where I saw my first (live) wallaby-they look just like a small kangaroo (there were lots of road kill along the way...I was beginning to wonder if my only kangaroo spotting in Tas would be on the side of the road!!!) I did an absolutely amazing hike straight uphill to an overlook to Wineglass Bay! I spent a few hours in the park, then headed up to the town I was to dive from, Bischeno. I use the word town pretty loosely - I thought I had seen small towns in Wisco? NO WAY! Like I said, no carwashes. 😊 Not only that, rare for even a gas station, maybe a small convienence store with limited itmes, and maybe one or two cafes....but always super nice people and totally amazing coastal views! And my favorite feature, I checked into the hotel and she offered me a pint of milk! SURE! the next day I woke up to miserable weather!!!! Cold, raining, and the sea looked mighty angry, so I skipped the diving (boo hoo, but what can I say, i'm a wimp!) and went to the aquarium instead. HA! The aquarium was a shed smaller than the garage at my 'rents house in peshtigo, and had about 5 fishtanks of local species - oh well - at least they had seahorses, which i was dying to see, and I ended up talking to the owner guy about jellyfish, diving, and the possibility of intelligent life in our oceans for over an hour! I had a great drive back to Hobart - and had to get back in time for a sunset dinner cruise! Super fun! We went out with Greg's awesome friends Bern and Carol and they had a holiday party with a bunch of people and too much food! Here was where I was first introduced to King Island o man....Wisco's got some cheddar competition! I'm excited to tell you that the other people on the boat were just as excited to talk about cheese as I was! 😊 The other bonding link was that everyone was absolutely insistent on having your beer in a beer cosy! (they call them coolers, but the sentiment is still there!) I had a marvelous time and all Greg's friends were super friendly and welcoming - it was soo cool to be in a "homey" environment again!

The next day Greg took me and Harrison to a park with all of the local Tas animals, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and of course, Tasmanian Devils! Sweet! It was a very cool open-roaming environment and we spent hours just tramping around with the roos and feeding them crazy little pellet things! It was awesome! Afterwards we went to a cool small town and a very fun lolly shop (they call anything sugar or candy - lollys) and ate ourselves sugar silly! That night we went to the yacht club's holiday party - finally in the holiday spirit! From there we went on Vicki and Simon's boat into town where all the action was - parked the boat at the dock downtown and just hung out down there having a super fantastic time meeting people! 😉 (yep, I made 2 new virtual friends on facebook...)

The rest of my time in this fabulous place was spent holiday shopping (for my UK christmas party) and kicking back at greg's house cooking, grilling, and watching movies - like real life! It was sooo awesome to be at a friend's house just lounging and eating cheese and being happy! I'm totally refreshed and ready to rocket off to enjoy the other side of the world!

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