Wednesday Feb 19, 2014
“yeah been an adventurish awhile since I could log-in. Remember the posts “Vanning” and Vanning Again”? Well this should probably be called “Vanning AgainAgain”.
We landed in Hobart on time on Valentines Day and found that our motel had changed its name but not its location. But the wifi and the continemtal breakfast were no longer free. OK, they srill had the shuttle that took us to pick up our Britz van. It was very similar to Jackpot in NZ. Slightly different configuration but OK.
Hobart is a provinchal capital and downtown had its Saturday market.
Hobart Street Market
There must have been a couple hundred vendors of vegs, crafts, food, buskers, and thousands of folks walking and viewing. The world-wide attraction in Hobart is now the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). The old is some egyptian stuff but the new is out of this world; conceptual, and digital, and installations of surreal things. Nothing would be considered wall art. In the courtyard there was a nude life form male posing for painters and sketchers.
MONA in the Frontyard
This is not your traditional museum.
In the Holiday park nearby, we had difficulty connecting to the AC electricity. Local folks stopped in to help and talk but we got no electricity except the 12V battery. So no charging the computer. Dinner saw a thunderstorm that went on for almost an hour while we ate and talked to another traveler from NZ.
In the AM we drove 30 minutes back to Britz thinking the van had 240V circuit probs…but it WAS OK. So the Holiday Park never powered our site!! OK we set off for the West. The long windy curvy scenic road is A10 and heads to Queenstown a day away. We hiked in the Mt Field Nat.Park. Here the temperate rainforest is quite dark and moist with tall fern-trees and other stuff. Some of the other stuff crawled up Meg’s pant leg and were feasting on her. It seems that forest leeches will climb given the chance to find a foot to ascend and then up the leg!!. “Yuck” and she had to sweep a dozen away.
Mt Field NP
It was a long tiring day’s drive to a place short of Queenstown. The Holiday Parks are not as well developed as in NZ. ( Internet is NOT on the their amenities list. (I am currently sitting in a public library in Ulverston, three days “later”. ) We found a Holiday Park with power in Rosebery not Cradle Mountain as planned. Since it was mid afternoon, we decided to hike to Montezuma Falls (104m) and one of the tallest in OZ.
Into the isolated car park we drove. It was full on the left so I pulled into a spot near the picnic tables on the right. A family was eating there. They glanced and then were busy with their plates of food; never said “Hello”; Usually people in these kind of places do say Hello. Father, mother, 12 yr old boy and tall older teenager. The teenager walked beside me at the van but never acknowleged me. He crossed the lot to their car with open doors and trunk. Up the track we went. It was a quick hour up to the falls and 20 minutes there and an hour back. As I approached the van in the nearlt empty lot I could see that the passenger window had been smashed in. Glass was everywhere in the front seats and floor.
Meg found that her mini I-pad had been stolen from under clothes behind her seat. Curses and then “do what needs to be done”. Back to town and stop at the police station. “Closed” “Open Thursday 2 – 4 PM” It was Monday. My phone had no connectivity to call their off-hours number.
OK, back to the Holiday Park. They were very helpful at calling police and providing plastic sheet to cover the window. Much horror and apology for the incident. Sargent Spenser showed up soon after we had taped the plastic on the window. Interviews, questions, and descriptions of the people there and the plate numbers of the two cars there when we left. Britz was called and would call back in the morning with “What to do.”
So, an enforced hang out day. We walked past the mine operation and up to town. It looked busy for a very small bush town in the West of Tasmania. But on the many closed businesses , there were displays in the window so as not to appear empty. 1/3 of the 20 stores/buildings were that way. Meg bought a replacement notebook since her trip journal was with the I-pad. The library with the free internet, attached to the school, was closed until afternoon. Britz had called in the early AM to say that a new van would be brought to us by early afternoon. Hmmn, two rentals but four vans!? no this trip.
Back at the park we ate lunch, repacked our kit, and spent time writing in journals. Sure enough the Britz replacement van appeared in the park at 1:30P. Switch completed for the same kind of van except the new one was petrol not diesel like the other. Also “fit and finish” on the new one was not as good; certainly a more traveled van but fully acceptable.
Last night we were in Burnie at a place that claimed to have wifi…but not working as usual. Meg was pleased that there were fairy penguins coming ashore to see. We had not seen them in NZ but these tiny blue ones were here.
statue of a Fairy Penguin
OK! Now off to the East, via Ulverstone where the library is, and eventually Hobart. We fly to Melbourne on Friday afternoon.
“Travel light and wear a smile.” Jack Holmes