A bit of Tassie

Trip Start Nov 25, 2010
Trip End May 12, 2011

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Tassie Backpackers

Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Monday, March 7, 2011

It would be a lie to say that I was completely excited for
my trip to Tasmania – I think it would be more a mixture of being terrified and
nervous and excited all at once. Although I have been in Australia for over
three months now, this would be the first time I was going it alone and staying
in Hostels. I had a lot of reassurance from Gen that everything would be OK and
that I had to just swallow my fear and go for it – and it worked. There is
nothing scary whatsoever about Hostel life, the people are all in the same boat
as you and there are a lot of people travelling alone who just want to make
friends and enjoy the experience.

My flight over from Melbourne was interesting – I got my
laptop out my bag to go through the security scanner and got accused by the man
in front of taking his laptop, turns out he had the same one but he had already
put his through the scanner so I have no idea why he thought it was his. And
then I got asked to do another explosives test – seriously I am not a thief or
a terrorist! I flew with Tiger Airways which is a budget airline and it was
probably comfier than the flights I've had with Quantas – I got put in the
emergency exit seat with extra leg room and although the flight lasted just
over an hour I was so comfortable I fell asleep. The guy next to me was making
me feel nauseous though and he was sat there picking the spots on his face and
then picking his nose – seriously who does that?

Anyway I arrived at the Hostel – which is fairly quiet in
the centre of Hobart but it is clean and people are friendly – got shown to my
room and quickly made friends with a German girl called Corinna. There were
also 2 Swiss girls, a French girl, another German girl and a Chinese girl in
the dorm and everyone was lovely to talk to. I decided to go and have a walk
around Hobart and discovered it’s a beautiful small place. When I got back to
the hostel, Corinna asked if I wanted to do a Tasmanian Devils tour the next
day so we booked onto the tour and then spent the rest of the afternoon
talking, making plans and meeting other people in the hostel – I am terrible
with names though so don’t ask me who I met! The first night in the dorm room
was not particularly brilliant – the room has windows that back onto the road
and so there was traffic and people talking and laughing outside. Someone in
the room was snoring although I am unsure who it was, one girl kept walking in
and out to get things from her backpack and the door kept squeaking, she left
the light on which was right above my head and the springs in my mattress
creaked every time I moved – however once I did get to sleep I slept well and
woke up ready to explore Hobart some more and see the Tasmanian devils.

We had breakfast and then we wandered down to the pier to
catch the coach for our tour. It was only a small tour, 10 people on a minibus
but it was really good. We had a guided tour around Hobart before heading to
the Boronong Wildlife Park where we got to hand feed kangaroos as well as a
guide to show us the baby wombats, Tasmanian devils and Koalas. The Tasmanian
devils were so cute until she got out a piece of meat to feed them and they
went wild, making high pitched grunting sounds and fighting over the meat until
eventually one of them managed to drag it away from the others. The Koala she
brought out was cute but seemed to be a bit stupid – at one point it even fell
off the tree she had placed it on. There was also a little kookaburra that had
been attacked by a dog and couldn’t fly anymore so would have to stay in the
wildlife park all its like, it was so cute. The weather was absolutely shocking
throughout the day, it felt more like England than Australia. There were
downpours of rain and the temperature was so cold. I don’t think it reached
much above 10 degrees all day but it was still nice to get out of the hostel
and explore a bit. After the Wildlife Park we headed to a town called Richmond
where we had coffee and cake and then went to see the oldest bridge in
Australia, built by convicts as most of the buildings were. By the time we got
back to the Hostel I was so cold that I had to get into bed and pull the doona
(yes I am speaking Aussie) over me to get warm. We decided to go for dinner at
the Chinese next door, the food was nice and the price was cheap but we ended
up waiting almost 40 minutes to get our food which wasn’t impressive. When we
got back there were a lot of people sat up drinking and listening to music so I
stayed up with them until I was so cold I couldn’t feel my hands and decided it
was probably best to go to bed.

Wednesday I decided to spend my time doing touristy things
that didn’t involve a lot of money. I walked up to the botanical gardens –
about 15 minutes walk from the hostel and spent an hour wandering around and
enjoying the views. Unfortunately the batteries in my camera decided to die on
me and so I couldn’t take any photos – another trip there is probably on the
cards because it is so beautiful. I then went to the Maritime museum – some may
think that this is boring but I find it really interesting plus it was only $7
and it was a place to keep warm whilst learning about some of the history
surrounding Tasmania. By the time I got back to the hostel it was time for
dinner and so I made myself something to eat and then spent the rest of the
evening watching movies with Corinna who wasn’t feeling too well – I think the
cold had got to her.

Just my luck that I wake up on Thursday feeling like I have
been run over by a tractor and left in the freezing cold all night. I couldn’t
get warm and could hardly move, my throat had also decided that it didn’t want
me to have a voice and so I spent all day attempting to keep myself warm and
get myself better. I went to the chemist and got some cold and flu tablets and
spent the day drinking lots of cups of tea and watching movies. I was really
annoyed that I had got ill but I thought it was best to get myself better than
to attempt to do things and wind up feeling even worse than I already was. By
evening I was feeling much better and hopeful that I would be able to actually
move and do some more sightseeing the next day.

I think the early night did the trick as Friday I managed to
get up and go on a trip to Bruny Island. One of the people I met in the hostel
had hired a car so we drove to Kettering and got the ferry across to the
island. We spent the day touring the island and discovered that there isn’t
really much to do except admire the scenery and go walking – still it was
better than sitting in the hostel all day. I have discovered a new level of tolerance
that I didn’t realise I had – one of the lads that came with us would only talk
about how much money he had, and how much of the world he had seen, and how
many job offers he had etc. – and not once did I tell him to shut the hell up.
I feel quite proud of myself for that – Mum and Dad you have taught me well!!!

On Saturday the Salamanca Markets were on and so I walked
down early in the morning. Before I even got there the drama began. There was a
woman walking in front of me with her shopping bag full of lettuce when
suddenly she dropped the bag and fell sideways into the road. I had no idea
what to do; I just stood there staring at her asking myself if this was really
happening. There were tons of people surrounding her and someone on the phone
to the Ambulance already but then she suddenly stood up and went mental
shouting at everybody before running away – was a very bizarre experience to
say the least. Anyway I moved onto the markets and they were huge – they are
the biggest open air markets in the southern hemisphere and there was so much
there. I could have bought so many things but the downside of travelling is the
fact that I have very little luggage space to put anything. At night we went to
the bottle-o and bought lots of goon (Australian word for cheap wine) and we
spent the night in the hostel drinking. It was lots of fun despite the Canadian mocking my accent.

The next day everyone was hung-over and so the day went
really slowly – we went for a walk around Hobart and down to the pier before
heading back to the hostel. And yet again we spent another night drinking – I know
I am only 21 but 2 nights drinking and I really cannot function properly anymore,
I am definitely getting old. Monday I decided to go up to Mount Wellington and
so a guy called Jeff and I caught the bus up to the summit and it was amazing –
beautiful scenery but really cold, there was even snow on the ground. And now
my trip here has ended and I am off to Alice Springs tomorrow – excited for a
bit of warm weather again and hoping I meet some more amazing people.

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