Monday, March 3, 2008

Under Down Under Tour - Day 2

Well, here we are at day 2 of my fantabulous Tasmania tour. As promised, I said I would give you a picture of the blowhole from the morning:

It was actually a bit more spectacular last night, as I think the tide was a bit higher and the water was REALLY shooting up... dangerously so (for anyone who might wander a bit too close to the edge). We tried to find penguins again this morning, so we could get a few pics in the daylight, but they had already gone off to catch their morning fish. Oh well!

Today was a pretty easy day, no 5 hour hikes... we headed off first for a beach called 'The Bay of Fires'. Don't let the name confuse you, there were no fires (currently) on the beach. It was actually called that because when it was first seen, the ship men saw the lights from a bunch of Aborigine campfires all along the beach... and the name just stuck.

We had a couple of hours to explore the beach, or to just sit around enjoying the sound of the sea. I decided to check out a rock formation a ways down the beach... and look for some neat Tasmanian shells on the way down. I walked along the waters edge, sandals off and feet in the water (the water was a very comfortable temperature once you got used to it). When I finally got up to the rocks (it was a lot further than it looked initially!) I was not disappointed. Even the rocks themselves were beautiful! And when I climbed up on top of them, the view was terrific.

I also found that this was the perfect place for seashell hunting... there were tons of neat looking (unbroken!) shells hidden in between the rocks. I suppose that when the tide comes in, it covers the rocks, and that leaves new shells behind that haven't had time to be trampled by people.

Anyhow, I didn't really have much time to look for shells or climb rocks, because like I said earlier, it took more time than I expected to walk all the way over... and I didn't want to have to rush back. So after collecting a few shells, I made my way back to where our bus was stationed.

Unfortunately, I didn't see any more starfish on this beach, but I DID see a bunch of jellyfish (harmless ones) washed up on the shore. It's kind of funny actually... when I saw the first one, I wasn't sure what it was... I thought it was a rock at first... so I poked it. And it was squishy. Yuck.

So, we all piled back into the bus and headed to the temperate rain forest and waterfall at St. Columba Falls. Yay, rain forests! My favorite! I don't remember exactly how long the walk was... only about an hour I believe... but it was a lovely walk. The rain forest was beautiful... not quite as beautiful as I think the tropical rain forests are (like the ones I had seen in Costa Rica), but temperate rain forests have their own special kind of beauty.

The waterfall was lovely too... I don't think you can see it very well in this photo, but it is there behind me.

Jeez, in pictures, my scar from the 'ceiling fan' incident is really noticeable, isn't it?

ANYHOW... at the waterfall, there was a sign telling us to cup our ears with our hands, and face the waterfall, as we'd be able to hear the water much louder. So there were at least 4 of us, standing in front of the waterfall, with our hands cupping the back of our ears. I wish I had a picture of that, it must have looked hilarious... but it actually was really neat. The running water was a lot louder, and sounded that much more magnificent... next time I'm at Niagara Falls I'll have to try it. Hopefully it doesn't blow out my eardrums with the loudness!

We made our way back to the picnic tables near the bus so we could eat lunch (I think we were all starving by then) and I saw a really nifty red and black spider. I was told that it wasn't poisonous, but I choose to believe it was the rare and deadly Red-And-Black Death Spider. I barely escaped that walk with my life, guys. I'd post the picture, but out of respect for those of you who are afraid of pictures of spiders, I'll wait until I have the chance to upload all my pictures to flickr.

On the way back to the hostel we were staying at in Launceston, we made a quick stop to see Priscilla, The Amazing Beer Drinking Pig!

The sign over her pen:

And here is the princess herself, begging for her beer!

Don't worry though guys, she actually drank special "pig" beer, which is mostly water. Otherwise Poor Princess Priscilla the Pig would be Perpetually Pissed. (Hah, in Australia, 'pissed' means drunk. It gets pretty confusing to me, because they also will use it to say they are angry like we Americans do... so when someone is talking and says the word 'pissed', you have to try to figure out whether they are angry or have had too much to drink...)

Now, here is some video of the piggy drinking... I uploaded it to youtube AND I tried uploading it to blogger itself to see which one works better... you can click on either one (hopefully they both work).

Or just copy/paste this link to see it in youtube...

Anyhow, it was at Priscilla's farm that we decided to get ourselves a group shot... since 3 of our people were going to be leaving the group after this... (the three day-ers) :(

Awww.... isn't that just adorable?

After the group pic, we got back to the bus for the rest of the trip to the hostel. There was one neat area where I guess someone had too much time on their hands...

I would like to meet the person who thought to themselves, 'Gee, those rocks up there kind of look like a fish! Maybe I should climb up that mountain and risk my life to paint it so everyone else thinks it looks like a fish too!'

The rest of the night was pretty calm... we had Chinese food (did you know that in Australia, you have to pay for the rice SEPARATELY?!?!) and then we went to bed to prepare ourselves for the hard day at Cradle Mountain tomorrow.

The end! (of day 2)

5 comments: said...

OMG, i LOVE the beer drinkin pig video. ok, you really need to start taking more video!!! its fun to watch and "hear" the real australia.
you should take a video for each Touristy thing you do, k??

beautiful pictures. weird how there are penguins. what kind of penguins? do they look like the "typical" penguin?

PMH said...

Hey, did you get me any seashells? Remember that rock you brought me from Stonehendge? Well, now you have to find me a special one from Tasmania and the mainland Australia, etc.

Love your pictures and Prisilla.

Karen said...

Lisa, I have been taking some video (mostly of scenic things like waves and waterfalls, just to remember them) but it takes a LONG time to upload the stuff, and seeing that I am paying for internet... also, I can't take too much video, because I am only using my camera and it takes up a ton of memory space to take video. You'll see one more video (short one) for the next day, but after that it will just depend on if I have one that is short enough and worth it :) If you look at my youtube account, you'll see lightning from Byron Bay and you'll hear me and the people in the background talking... And the penguins do look like penguins, only smaller and more brown instead of black and white (like the Antarctic ones). Mom, I'll give you some seashells, as long as they don't break on the way home!

Nicola said...

Bring me that pig! her and welly will marry this winter. Thanks

stacy122982 said...

I did NOT like Priscilla. She was ugly and gross. Sorry to offend and pig lovers.