28 November 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Wednesday 29 November 2017
After a wonderful eight days in the south we've been back in Darwin for a week and a half enjoying the swelter by biking every day regrettably early to avoid heat prostration. Jan has had seven of twenty nukings and so far none the worse for wear. Previous symptoms, particularly fatigue and even neuropathy, are improving nicely and her hair and a few toenails are in process of returning to their previous resplendence.
Tasmania is considered the Appalachia of Australia. This is not a reference to the beauty of the countryside, but to a putative subpar socio-economic status and that game the whole family can play. Neither were obvious to us and Tassie has become just about our favorite place in Oz. A wonderful break from the heat and humidity of Darwin, weather was delightful with clear skies and highs around 20C. The one day of eight with rain posed little inconvenience and we visited most of the touristy places. Among them were Mount Wellington for great views of Hobart (that guy really made out getting stuff named after him by whoopin' up on Napoleon), Port Arthur penal colony (it was the French's fault that criminals got sent there), Bicheno to watch fairy penguins marching back from a day fishing in the Southern Ocean (they're pretty nimble for such wee, pudgy, short-legged rascals) and lots more. The place is suggestive of New Zealand with less sheep or western British Columbia with more.
In Tasmania one can find excellent coffee, seafood and adult beverages at a plethora of cafes, restaurants and pubs that often have restrooms. Around the world cute names sometimes embellish toilet doors to differentiate which one is appropriate. For example, buoys and gulls, hombres and mujeres, chacos and chicas, kane and wahine, gentlemen and ladies (as if), not to mention the unobvious (e.g. "XX" and "XY" for the biologically literate) and occasionally some remarkably naughty symbols. One place in Hobart just had "M" and "F". Disaster was averted when, while passing menstruaters heading for flatulaters, an "XX" walked out of "M".
Three from the "feelin' the love" department: 1) While breakfasting in a cafe one morning a fellow sat down next to us. After awhile he asked if we were Canadian. Jan said she was. He explained that he knew we weren't American because we were too quiet. 2) The day before returning to Darwin we were having dinner with friends of friends at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (we looked around for the Queen, but she must have left). Rosemary said we didn't seem like Americans. I made a comment about that and she took it back. 3) Jan, who is a frustratingly law observant and, one might suggest, occasionally twitchy passenger, made comment as we approached a 40 kph sign going significantly faster. I patiently pointed out that it was OK, I'm American and don't have to observe any silly-assed Australian rules. Oddly, she seemed unimpressed, but then she's Canadian. By the way, "It's OK, I'm American" works equally well after nearly any social or legal faux pas, but you actually have to be one. People often seem able to tell. We're obviously just misunderstood.