well, the past week and a half has probably been the most insane of my life. i have never expect the most insanely diverse amount of emotions as i have experienced in this time. i don't know if i will be able to talk about everything in one post but i will begin from the beginning of tasmania (mid-semester break).
so we headed out to tasmania for an early morning flight on the 15th and we were all pumped. although we were all pretty exhausted, it was a nice short plane ride to hobart with the IES crew. when we arrived at the airport in hobart, tasmania which is insanely small for being an international airport (1 terminal), we patiently awaited for our luggage on the one carousel meanwhile there we started to notice a little crowd forming around this guy. come to find out, he was an australian celebrity from one of the big aussie tv shows, "home and away". so we took some pictures at a distance but didn't formally introduce ourselves because lets be realistic, we had NO idea who he was. however, he was a very attractive guy.
so we head out of the airport and hop on our little mini coach bus on the way to the big city of hobart. the best way that i can explain the whole state island of tasmania is as a very hippy,organic, bogan sort of a place (bogan being the aussie word for a kinda hobo, mainly an american redneck). it was a pretty sweet place though all in all. so we head out on our coach bus with our first bus driver, matt, who will definitel come up some more later. he was very informed so he taught us alot about hobart and tasmania and you could definitely pick up the fact that he was from born and bred in tasmania. we headed to salamanca markets which is this big open air arts and craftsy sort of market which took place down by the river and pier and is only open on saturdays. for my gdub/DC friends, it is very much like eastern market but maybe not quite as big. it was a beautiful day so it was great getting to just walk around for a couple of hours and getting the feel of hobart. we then then found ourself with a little bit more time then needed to cover the market so we went and found this cute little park in hobart with a nice water fountain and chilled out 'til our 2.5hr bus ride to coles bay.
we spent a lot of time on the mini coach bus which became our main rest period. so we arrived at coles bay for the night which was a pretty cool location. it was the epitomy of a small town, i mean one store, one restaurant, one cafe type of small town but it was by a gorgeous bay and we were only there for the night. we were able to take in an amazing sunset (pictures will be up in a couple of weekends) then had a very nice dinner. dinner was good except that our waitress was absolutely awful. she was a mean old lady who seemed bitter at the world but thats beside the point. dinner was very good and then on our way out we hung out ran into some people who asked us if we were from perth (the 4th largest city in australia) and although we were excited that some australians thought we were aussies, we said no but then met three cool aussies from sydney. it was two girls and a guy and they were in their mid twenties celebrating their birthdays in tasmania. they gave us some cool headers about some of the things on our trip and we ended up going down to a bonfire on the beach with them. it wasn't sketch, trust me. but it was sketch because you just walk down to the beach and there was this bonfire burning with no one there. very strange. but i guess what the locals do is they start the bonfire and when the only pub closes everyone goes down to the beach. they also call it a "wee-fire" which is fun. it was really cool and the stars were once agan absolutely unbelievable. we left before all the townies came down which was fine with us because we were pretty exhausted from the day anyways.
the next day we set off on our mountain climb and descend to wineglass bay. boy, what a hike. but it was definitely worth it. wineglass bay is definitely named for the shape but the water was once again absolutely gorgeous and the beach was amazing too. we just hung out at the beach for an hour or so and had a nice picnic lunch. sweet day. but i won't lie the hike was pretty insane. not only were your going up FOREVER but then you descended down FOREVER to do it again on the way back. it however is great to see nature that has been uninterupted and unharmed by roads and modernization. some of god's natural beauty needs to stay the way that it is. oh, and it was also another beautiful day.
we then hopped back on the bus for another 2 hours to head to port arthur. i think this is where i'm going to stop for now but will be back sometime to finish it up. g'day!