Tasmania--a wild and wooly land
22 November 2011
November 13, 2011----Again, we must apologize for the lack of photos, believe me, we have some great pics. But, as our laptop has died we are forced to use OPC--other people's computers, and we cannot down load photos. When we get our laptop repaired we will post some awesome photos and even a video clip of baby Tassie devils and a baby wombat.-----------Tasmania, formerly known as Van Dieman's Land, lies south and east of Australia. It was 'found' by Abel Tasman who had been sent by the Dutch East India Company's govenor, Anton Van Dieman, to find a route to India which would bypass the Spanish held Phillipines. Of course, there were aborigines living in Tasmania long before Abel Tasman sailed by-- but they are mostly forgotten now. Captain James Cook charted the islands and Captain Bligh of Bounty fame also explored Tasmania-- he is credited with planting the first apple tree in Tasmania which now has many apple orchards. By far the greatest notariety Tasmania is known for is it's use as a penal colony for Great Britain. In the early 1800's someone in Great Britain had a great idea--"lets send our convicts to Australia!". This accomplished two things--first, they emptied their overflowing jails, and--second, they could populate their farthest colony. While it was a stigma in the past to have a convict ancestor, today it is cool and those with convict predecessors come to Port Arthur to research their history. The English in Australia with convicts in their past are called POMES--'Prisoners of Mother England'. Of course, that is better than what they call us Americans visiting Oz. We are called 'Septics'-- because we were called Yanks which rhymes with 'Tanks' which could be "Septic Tanks'--go figure. Besides the shaded past, Tasmania has a wide variety of flora and fauna -- with really cool animals found nowhere else in the world. The countryside is beautiful from coastal areas to midland plains, to snow covered mountains. It is a wild and beautiful plce and we did a 'circumnavigation' by car -- come along with us. Aussie word for the day -- Dunny: toilet.