Roaddogs go to prison.

Trip Start Jul 23, 2008
Trip End Jul 06, 2009

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Where I stayed
Classic Cottage

Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So it's only days now til i leave Tasmania so lucy and i had one last hooray on the road before the rds part.  We drove down south, 4 hours, to the Tasman Pennisula where the famous Port Arthur prison is.  The scenery driving down was again spectacular as is in most areas of tassie.  We stayed at a very quaint cottage nearby, that was right beside the water and amongst trees...i love being in nature.  The cottage was self-contained and very cosy, with everything made from wood it seemed and a lovely fireplace and electric blankets.  We made dinner, we drank, we were merry until lucy couldn't keep her eyes open any longer at 10pm...yes the roaddogs are getting older.  I woke up quite early to take a stroll and take some pictures.

Port Arthur just a very short drive away at this point.  It wasn't a very nice day, the sun was trying to peek through and did at some points for some sunshine but for the most part, it was cloudy and rainy...maybe it was to set the mood on this historic site with a harsh past.  The site itself is beautiful, the landscape and area is very picturesque with rolling green hills and pastures, some beautiful gardens, lovely old buildings with character..and of course it being right on the water amidst the pennisula made a lovely location.  But not for what was experienced here from the 1830s to 1870s.  It was Port Arhtur prison or Dieman's Land where re-offending prisoners were relocated all the way from Britain mostly, to be contained.  This prison was first to use certain tactics of torture and confinement, physically and psychologically and some suffered dearly for it.  It went from a small timber-producing prison with under 100 prisoners to a prison community with thousands of prisoners, as well guards, and civilians holding the many jobs now needed to run the prison.  So of course with that came wives and children.  Of course the prisoners always outnumbered the others by far but it was still a small self-sufficient village and port for decades. 

I found the experience a bit ironic as i truly fell in love with the location and setting and couldn't help to be happy with being in such a beautiful place yet the history of the place tugged at my heart the other way, and i felt pure devastation and sorrow for the daily happenings at that time in history....for what people experienced, even if they were convicts, some were charged on what seem to be minor counts such as pickpocketing, stealing fruit, being drunk in public which seems outrageous this day of age.  But i suppose the history is the past and that made it the monumental place it is today.  All one can do is to embrace it for what has happened, learn from it but also cherish it for what it offers today, beauty, history and education.  We live to learn afterall. 
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