Friday, May 02, 2008

Day 4: Hobart

Weather in Tasmania has been rather temperamental lately. The days always started off sunny and warm; then, without any warning signs, became rainy and chilly in the arvo.

Day 4 was no exception.

After checking out of our room, Bee and I drove to Richmond for breakfast. I had the best macaroni and cheese at a restaurant there many years back, and I just had to go back for more.

"What's the restaurant called, bee?" Bee asked.

" idea. But they had crisp white tablecloth and fresh flowers on each tables." I said, excitedly.

Yeah sure, honey, that helps a lot!

Well, luck wasn't on our side today. We couldn't find the restaurant (c'mon, you can't be that surprised) and decided to settle for this homey cafe with a small garden.

My earl grey tea

Scones with whipped cream and jam

Bee's scallop pie

After breakfast, we loitered around the town for a bit and took some pictures before we headed back to Hobart. We had to check into our new motel before lunch.

The oldest bridge still in use in Australia, Richmond Bridge

Taken from St John's Roman Catholic Church on hilltop

Bee was being silly again

Autumn's coming to Richmond

Random shot

The new motel was much closer to the city, and much better looking. However, the Victorian interior felt a little eerie to me, thanks to my wild imagination.

Bee and I went to Sandy Bay for our sandwich supplies and a light lunch. In spite of the addition of several new shops, the suburb hasn't changed much at all since my uni days. I felt right at home when I stepped into the Woolies that I did 5 years of my grocery shopping in.

After a little discussion, we decided to forgo Port Arthur and its infamous ghost tour (again), and head south of Hobart to visit Tahune Airwalk. You see, at the time we didn't know that there is a treetop walk in nearly every state, so we passed up visiting the one and only Port Arthur for it. -_-

It started raining really heavily on our way to Geeveston, and the rain only stopped when we reached the visitor center at about 4pm. Due to time constraint, we were unable to try out the eagle gliding or jet boat ride. We barely made it for last entry to the airwalk!

From the ticket desk at Forest and Heritage Center, it's another 30 minutes drive through the forest reserve to get to the airwalk. When we finally got there, the sun was about to set.

It wasn't the best day to be walking mid-air amongst trees, I have to say. The ground was wet and slippery, the wind was cold, and it was getting late. But since we had bought the tickets and came all this way, there was no reason why we shouldn't at least go in to have a look.

Needless to say, we were the last 2 people on the airwalk again.

The metal walkway is suspended above the trees at a height varies from 25-45 meters. Bee and I both have minor fear of heights, but the amazing view of the forest canopy and fresh clean air provided some much-needed distractions.

At the end of the airwalk, there is the cantilever, which is like a diving board protruding out and suspended at nearly 50 meters above the river. From here, visitors could clearly see the confluence of the Huon and Picton Rivers.

The sound of the rushing water in the river and leaves ruffling with every gust of wind was oh-so-relaxing, if the cantilever wasn't swinging at the same time! And trust me, clearly knowing that there’s no risk of falling because the whole structure has been designed to withstand cyclone-strength winds, doesn't really help.

The cantilever

Distant mountains and junction of two rivers

On our way out, we decided to take the Mckay track to see the two swinging bridges spanning the Huon and Picton Rivers. The walking trail took us about 30 minutes to reach the first bridge. I was silently panicking the whole way because, well, dark and wet forests make me nervous.

There were a lot of movements in the swinging bridges as we crossed and the river was flowing right beneath our feet. Luckily we were the only two people on the bridge and even then, I was screaming at Bee the whole time, "Don't swing it! DON'T SWING!"

It was getting darker by the minute as we tried to find our way back to the car park. In my heart, I was secretly going through the possibilities of us getting lost and spending a night in the forest. Or some wild animals jumping out from the bush to attack us, or worse yet, a psycho killer. Told ya forests give me the creeps!

Another drive in the dark back to Hobart, but the roads were much better lit this time. We were both shivering from our wet clothes and our stomachs were growling, so we went straight to Mures for dinner.

Mures at night

Seafood at Mures was as good as we remembered it to be. I had my usual fisherman basket, and Bee opted for their lobsters. We would've had another dozen of fresh oysters if we could still fit anything else into our stomachs.

We felt slightly recharged after a satisfying meal, so Bee took me for a drive to see the uni and my old apartment. It brought back fond memories, both bitter and sweet, of those uni days when everything was much simpler back then.

Our drive took us to Churchill Avenue, then down to Wrest Point Casino, which has had some work done since I was there last. We decided to go in to have a look.

As we were walking up the stairs, I said to Bee, "It feels so weird to be back here. Everything looks more or less the same, and I feel like the same person I was, yet I feel so different."

"That's because you're all grown up now, silly girl." He smiled and said. "You're still the same you, but at the same time you're at a different stage of your life now. It's all part of growing up."

I tried my luck with the pokies machine that night and lost 50 bucks in a blink of eye.

Grown up or not, some things never change, I guess?