December 9, at 5:
Then to Tasmania, which is a smaller island. We drove our little rental car up past a large line of vacationer automobiles, parked, and waited.
After a half hour of pastries and coffee, I saw movement on the water.
This was no less so. It was basically a huge square two-story boat with a ramp that let you drive up or down. We were on the down side, and after getting everyone on, we crossed the straight to Bruny, about a twenty-minute voyage.
Our plan was to go for a quick nature walk and then find something to eat. We cruised along Adventure Bay, taking a quick break to see a monument to the immortal Captain James Cook: And from just beyond there in Adventure Bay we started our walk to Fluted Cape.
It was supposed to be an easy hour and a half or so, and it certainly started out that way, on a deserted beach with lapping cold-water waves: As we walked along the trail turned muddy, and we took a right where a sign told us to go, and things got ugly.
We were both grumpy. So…even after ten more minutes, we kept going. I could see the horizon through the trees, which mean, I hoped that we were getting to the top of something or other.
I was so consumed by my thoughts that I almost ran into Julie, who had stopped short. It was an animal, about the size of a beaver, but with a long snout and spines all over. It looked at us and immediately pretended to be a rock.
We stood still for a couple of minutes, hoping for it to come out of hiding so that we could see its face again.
Eventually, it looked up, saw us, and dove into the rocks again. We moved on, wondering what the hell it was. We were in slightly better moods at this point — seeing Actual Weird Tasmanian Wildlife definitely had something to do with that.
And then ahead we could see blue sky, the humidity broke, and we walked out onto a cliff a thousand feet over the sea, with views of Port Arthur to the east, and nothing but Antartica in front of us: The trail made its way down the cliffside from there, with stunning overlooks every few minutes, looking down to Penguin Island yes, another island off the coast of Bruny and water so blue it hurts to think about it.
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We ran into an Australian hiking couple and described our mystery animal. The use it to eat ants. We hit the bottom at a rocky beach, with small waves and not a person in sight. And then, back at Adventure Bay…ducklings! The hike had taken nearly three hours, and we were both worn out and exhilarated.
It was a short drive from the trailhead to South Bruny Island Premium Wines, where we feasted on burgers mine was made with wallaby and lamb And then we decided that it would be good for me to pretend to be a penguin And then…we went home, driving back north to the Ferry and then to Hobart.
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