Friday, 27 March 2009

There's blue gold in those hills - Glenorchy

So this is Tassy! People tell you a place is like this or so and so but it's never what you expect and Tasmania is like no-where I've been before despite it's resemblance to New Zealand and Australia. This place - as they say in the guide books is like no other.

Glenorchy is about 7km out of Hobart, near a lake, under a mountain. It's got a mall which is very similar to a lot of malls (you see it's the commerce-made bits that are always less original) and a bunch of friendly locals.

This is a note from the first person who dropped by (sorry I can't remember her name) but she very kindly invited me to her house warming as well. Unfortunately I couldn't make it due to a prior engagement with the Governor of Tasmania overlooking the river.

This is Kerryn, he's a geologist who - I have to be honest here - has completely changed my idea of what a geologist is. He's a big kayak fan which is both a palindrome and a good reason to live in Tasmania. His house is rented and apparently a big run-down shambles but has great carpets and wallpaper. Now that's gotta be as good a reason for living somewhere as any.

This is Maria - she insisted on getting me something to eat, I insisted back and we had a kind of insist-off between us.

Clearly I have name memory issues because I cannot remember these people's names either but they are from Cygnet and had some revealing info on the demographic of that town. I feel like I've been well equiped with insider knowledge for the future.

This is Nigel with his daughter - a very articulate and thoughtful guy. The red thing in the foreground is my melodica.

Tomorrow I'm going to Salamanca Square and as usual I have absolutely no idea what to expect.

There's a great read in the Lonely Planet about Tasmania (I read it on the plane over from Auckland) that speaks about the dream of owning a quarter acre block and the fact that Tasmanians even more than their mainland cousins know what it is to have your own patch of grass you can call your own. What is that? Independance? Stubbon-ness? Or maybe just knowing a good thing when you're onto it. Anyway, if today was anything to go by I reckon I will learn a fair bit about how people actually tick around these parts.

Here are some images from Nigel and Audrey who sent them in to me.