My day began with a wonderful breakfast prepared by my host Sommai and some great conversation with her and the couple from Melbourne. From the front deck Sommai has a great view of Hobart (see below). After breakfast I spent some time catching up on yesterday blog (Convicts and Devils) and deciding on how to spend the day. My intention for the day was to travel to Bruny Island (more on that tomorrow) but I decided that it would be better to do that with an earlier start tomorrow.
So with the first decision of the day completed (what not to do) I turned my thoughts to what I would do for the day and quickly decided that I would do some things in and around Hobart and my first destination…the top of Mt. Wellington (another mountain top…surprise! :-). So I packed up and headed out.
Mt. Wellington (Google., Images) is a 4000’+ mountain just outside of Hobart. I’m not sure if there are trails to hike to the top but given the time I had I chose to drive to the top. The steepness, distance and number of very sharp turns reminded me of the drive up Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs (for my CO friends). The drive from Hobart to the top took about 30 minutes. About halfway up I realized that I had not come prepared for this. Since I had been moving from place to place almost everyday I was used to having all of my stuff in the car with me. However, since I was staying in the same place for 3 nights in Hobart I had unloaded everything…including my fleese and rain jacket….and this proved to be a mistake for today. In center city Hobart it was mostly sunny and around 70 degrees. Another very nice day. However, at the top of Mt. Wellington it was rainy, cloudy and around 48! So as i climbed out of my car in my short sleeve t-shirt and shorts I got a few funny looks from the other folks running around in their arctic parkas and rain suits (ha ha). Oh well, what are you gonna do?
So I ran down to the observation platform and snapped off about 10 pictures. Luckily there was an observation building about 100′ from the deck so I went in to try and get the feeling back in my fingers and toes (ha ha). While sheltering from the rain and cold I took the time to read the history of the mountain. It was pretty interesting. Just after I finished reading the information there was a break in the rain so I ran back down to the platform, quickly snapped off some more pictures, ran back to my car and started the decent back into Hobart.
When I got back to Hobart I stopped for a quick lunch and then headed over to the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) (Google, Web Page). MONA is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. Now I have to admit that I prefer modern or traditional art to contemporary art; however, I can appreciate some contemporary art and did not want to miss this opportunity to see this collection. It was an interesting collection in a very interesting building. It’s 4 stories and you actually come in at the top which is ground level. You then proceed down a spiral walkway to the bottom floor and make your way back to the top with different sections dedicated to different collections. I enjoyed my time at MONA and I’m very glad it was on “the list”. 🙂
After that I ran back by my place to change and then headed into Hobart. I spent some time walking around the business district and harbor area and made my way to an area called Salamanca (Google) where I had a very nice seafood dinner of salmon, scallops, prawns and a fish called blue-eye. I had never had blue-eye but it was delicious!. Salamanca is an area kind of like Manayunk (for my Philly friends) with nice restaurants, shops and pubs but it is famous for the market held each Saturday. S After dinner I checked out 3 of the pubs that each had acoustic music and decided on one called Jack Greene’s. The guy playing there was good and played a good mix of music. I sat for about an hour and then decided it was time to call it a night and drove back to the place I’ve been staying.
I don’t think I’ve told you about the place I am staying in Hobart have I? It’s a very nice private home on 40 acres of wooded land in the mountains just outside of Hobart called the Currawong Guesthouse (Web Page). Currawong is the name of the species of birds found through Australia (it was actually the type of bird that I posted on Day 18) My host is a wonderful Taiwanese woman named Sommai. She and her husband purchased the property and built the house 14 years ago with a plan to one day create a 5 Star “Eco-resort”. Unfortunately her husband died of cancer 2 years ago; however, she decided to honor him by keeping the dream alive and is actively working to secure the investment money to break ground by next Jan. She told me all about her plans and showed me the architectural drawings, financial proposal she created and a couple of articles that have been written about her and the land.
The drawings look amazing 🙂 and I am so excited to follow her progress. She was a fantastic host and I am fully confident that she will be successful. She invited us (me and the other couple) to come back and stay with her as special guests (those who stay with her now) when the resort is complete. I look forward to staying with her again someday.
So back to the drive home….to get to Currawong you drive about a mile on a gravel road back into the mountains. During my 1 mile drive back to the house this evening I counted 14 wallabies, and I’m sure there were many more that I did not see. Although it’s clear that they have a population issue (like deer in PA) I still find this very cool. 🙂 I ended the evening as the day began looking out at Hobart from the front deck….