Monday, October 1, 2007

ghosts, devils and prisoners

i thought that maybe that would frighten you but i figured not so much. anyways. i left off at port arthur. i am going to give you all a quick history lesson about port arthur and australia. i'm sure that most of you know that australia and new zealand were both initially founded and established as a place to send all of the irish (australia) and english (new zealand) convicts. now, when those prisoners in australia did not learn their lesson they sent them to port arthur (tasmania). now, most of these convicts were robbers and they had more harsh sentences then the convicts who were murderers. crazy, i know. but yes, so we went to the historic port arthur after our day at wineglass bay to check into our HOTEL. being in an actual hotel was great because although most of the hostels and backpackers resorts in australia are not dodgy and relatively clean and nice...nothing is nicer than an actual hotel. so we got our was me, anna and siobhan and then kristen and alycia had their own room too. and guess what, we had joined rooms and didn't even know it! it was awesome. so we went and had a very nice dinner and the restaurant at the hotel before setting off on our ghost tour adventure of port arthur (yes, the prison) at night. it was pretty sweet. although no one in our group saw or were disturbed by any ghosts, we had a very good tour guide (todd, who has seen ghosts) and were pretty freaked out by the end of the night. we then went back to the hotel and played taboo with the whole IES crew which was at times way too competitive but all in all, a very fun time.

the next morning we went on our day tour of port arthur to learn more about the prison and see all of the buildings in the day time and were actually happy that we went on the ghost tour before we knew the actual map out of the place. i have a lot of pretty sweet pictures of the barracks and other places that we saw which were pretty sweet. we then hopped on this sweet catamaran and head off to an isle of the dead tour. the view of port arthur from the boat was sensational as was the ocean. our boat tour lady let us know that we were only 800 nautical miles from antartica ( i think) which was pretty awesome. however, we definitely weren't able to see it. the isle of the dead what you probably think it is. it was a small island off of the shore where they burried all of the convicts and members of staff...etc who died while at port arthur. i'm not one for cemeterys but we had the...i guess funniest tour guide (but he really wasn't funny), he was just out of a PBS special....

we left port arthur and then headed to the tasmanian devil conservatory. yess, i saw tassy devils. as yes, they do exist. and no, they do not look like taz nor do they spin. they are actually one of the most ugly creatures you will ever see...they look like giant rat/cats. GROSS. unfortunately, we learned that the tasmanian devil is on the basis of exstinction but the conservatory that we were at help breed more tassy devils which was pretty cool. the problem is that a lot of the devils that are in the wild or even at the conservatory (we didnt see them though) have this face cancer that is killing them. they spread it to each other very readily and scientists and doctors have yet to find out how to treat it or exactly how it is caused. they can only spread the cancer to each other though...not even other animals. strange and sad. however, we took many pictures and also videos of them during feeding time which was definitely the highlight of them. the conservatory also had other various animals including kangaroos (i was a little bored of them) but they also had this awesome parrot. he/she kept talking to us and that might have been the highlight of that adventure. his only three words were "hello" and "shut up". haha.

we then hopped back in the bus for our 2 hour drive back to hobart (capital cityy) and on the way stopped and got some delicious oysters. another random thing about tasmania is that they are known for their seafood. apparently, there are some lobsters that measure up to 3 feet long. yes. 3 feet. INSANE.

i think that is where i am going to stop for now seeing that i have a major paper due that i have yet to begin. i will probably be back later to continue and hopefully finish the journey of tasmania. g'day!

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