Tasmania – An island off an Island (part 2)

So where were we? Yeah, Okay.. somewhere in the gorgeous climes of Tasmania. Except the reality is that I am back now in the city, and if ever there was a thing such as the travel hangover, I have it. I keep looking for those winding roads somewhere in the streets of Manly,or, the fresh shucked oysters which tasted of the sea, or, that beautiful marriage in nature when you have the beach nestled between the mountains. Ah! the simple joys of life.

After having lived in the beachy suburb of Manly in Sydney for the last couple of years, it takes that little but extra for a beach to impress me. The azure blue waters and stretch of beach cafes just won’t cut it no more. And Tassie had the game figured out to the ‘t’. When you reach Bruny Island, via a ferry in which you take your car onboard and sit in, you guessed it, your car! For me this was as exciting as reaching Bruny itself. Rows of neatly lined cars waiting to get on one by one.

Bruny is an island, off an island, off an island. See what I did there! Clever, huh! Anyway, so the only way to reach it is by the ferry or maybe a helicopter if you fancy the air route. For all the talk of Bruny being a small island, it still is 100km long end to end. There are a few accommodation options available and mostly are self contained units. So its always a good idea to stock up in Hobart before you drive in.  We stayed in the beautiful property  43degrees Eco Spa Resort which I cannot recommend highly enough. These were very modern but eco friendly, beachside spa apartments that are just perfect for two people. Its walking distance from the only grocery store in Adventure Bay and possibly the whole of Bruny, and you have kangaroos and wallabies that come right outside your deck. And the best part of the stay was the fresh breakfast, every morning our host would leave a basket of freshly baked, and still warm from the oven, ciabatta and  croissants with spreads outside our door. Armed with freshly ground filter coffee, warm bread with butter melting, staring out of the window, no newspapers, no internet, I would start my day. It was blissful.

So blissful intact that we ditched doing all the amazing walking and hiking trails that we thought we would and just lazed around, and ate oysters fresh from from the sea at GetShucked, tasted cheese and spiced cherries at Bruny Island Cheese, and drank some very good Tasmanian wine. We did go on the ferry cruise which was lots of fun, but a real long one. One word of advice: always take anti nausea pills when taking any of the high sea cruises, better to be safe than throwing up I say. Me, I was smart took two of them before we went on and it was a good ride, really bumpy, because you go one of those jet boat kind of thingies. All said it is a must do, we ended up seeing a blue whale, a colony of seals, some very interesting sea caves, mutton birds and a lot of other very beautiful sights. It did get freezing cold on the boat and after an hour I couldn’t feel my nose. Bruny is a stunning island and I hope to go there again someday. For the oysters and the bread!

The trip ended in the capital city of Hobart. Hobart is an interesting town which has become an artsy and cultural hub and is very European in look and feel. And also, it has some of the best food that I tasted in a long time. Since, all the connect with nature part of the trip was through, we decided to live it up in the city. We stayed at the Customs House Hotel which is a heritage listed property with some very interesting history, situated at the waterfront and walking distance from everywhere else. Since we were here, we had to visit the infamous MONA museum and get shocked apparently.

The ferry to MONA is an experience with crazy words of wisdom, painted cows and pigs as seats, and graffiti all over, with the main colour of the ship and everything else black! Honestly, the museum was interesting, fun and interactive, but it didn’t at any point shock me or offend me. The reviews I had read had prepared me for the kind of irreverence I didn’t find. I have seen more shocking installations at MCA and NSW museum of Art in Sydney. All in all it was different as most of the art was interactive allowing you to touch, peek, even jump on  some of the installations. A couple of them were surreal with one room that had giant screens with constant digital something running and made you feel like you were literally in the Matrix. The place has all elements of cool with an iPhone as a guide, and you could login and have a summary of all the art you visited mailed to you. I never opened mine again to look at is another story, but its a cool feature nonetheless. And as all things mandatory we ended the day with wine tasting at the MONA and then some more.

Hobart is also famous for its Salamanca Saturday markets. Its a local community fair, with lots of stalls selling everything from shoes to organic produce, to honey and beef jerky. Its nice and good to do while you are in Hobart but I wouldn’t make a special trip for it, as I am not a Village market shopper, and tend to get lost at the choice available. The only thingI enjoy about these markets is the food (how original!). At Salamanca I had some hot apple juice with lemon which was delicious and perfect for that chilly rainy weather.

So with the rain pouring down we bid Tassie a heartbroken goodbye, with promises to meet again, and made our way back home. Or did I just leave home..


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