Wow is all I could say as I watched from the airplane cubby hole as the sun rose and reflected on the water below. The hills and the trees and the landscape from this small window had me mesmerised yet again.
I was twitching in my seat waiting for the plane doors to open so I could explore more of this beautiful place. Let me out, let me out is all I could think when the safe to remove seatbelt signs pinged off.
I shimmied my way along the Tarmac into the airport and eagerly awaited my luggage before hopping on the transfer bus to my hostel.
I was staying in the YHA in Hobart and on my arrival was greeted by a lovely and talkative American. He told me of the places to go and gave me a map and off I was. It was too early to check into my room so I made my way to the harbour to get some breakfast and wait for the ferry across to MONA.
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is the largest privately funded art museum in Australia. On arrival you are handed headsets which enable you to interact with the pieces and listen to commentary or interviews with the artists.
Some of the pieces shocked me, some were disturbing, some fascinating and intriguing. I absolutely loved it.
With pieces such as “Cunts…..and other conversations” by Greg Tayler and friends, it’s no wonder that the museum is hated by some and loved by others.
I really liked Gregory Barsamian’s ‘Artifact’ – a colossal bronze human head which has small apertures which you look in to reveal rapidly spinning objects under strobe light.Inside ‘Artifact’ little birds fly out of womb-like bladders, swoop up and land on books which then close shut on them, apples fall into hands and bald heads move up and down.
To me the piece resembled the complexity of our own brain decipheringmessages. We read and absorb information, we take in what a bird sees on flight, we have all these visions that are born and then sometimes they die. It was a great piece that had me thinking and kept me mesmerised. Another piece I became drawn to was Daniel Crooks ‘On Perspective and Motion’ – a video of bystanders, pedestrians and traffic appearing and disappearing and moving at different speeds.
It really made me think of life and how sometimes everything can be a bit alien, it’s like you are looking in on the world around you. Where everyone is busy heading to their destination, rushing but you seem to standstill. It was really thought provoking.
My ferry was booked for 12:30 so unfortunately the 2 1/2 hours to explore was not long enough and I bid farewell to the controversial museum.
Later that day I opted to go to Mt Wellington where I walked the tracks through the cool forested gullies.
I was pushed for time to get to the top so my hike was a rather fast paced affair. The steep steps and rock inclines had me panting away but I was a lady on a mission, a mission to get to the top of Mt Wellington before night fell.
I could feel the air changing as I clambered up, it was cooler, thinner, clearer. Apart from two other hikers coming down, I was the only one going up. Did I not know something that everybody else did? Or was it a bit too late to go trekking up this mountain? It was a bit unearthing but I powered through nonetheless.
I passed rocks splattered with white patches that resembled snow, green trees and plants with luscious red berries – all depicting a scene from a Christmas card. It brought back fond memories of being at home with the family.
I tried to savour the moment stopping for a picture before a deep breath in and onwards I continued. Carefully watching my steps, I moved in a regimental fashion – one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. I knew I was getting higher as my ears were starting to pop but I couldn’t see how far up I was due to the intense layer of fog that had crept in over the course of my walk.
My battery was low but I had to save it for an emergency so every now and then I would turn it on to see the time and how long before it was to get dark.
It was 4:15pm and so I had roughly an hour before dusk. That gave me a maximum of 15 minutes to get to the top before I turned back. I knew I couldn’t be that far from the top and really didn’t want to come back down the same way. It was pretty hard going so the way down would have been quite risky especially in the thick fog.
I prayed that the end would be near and that there was another way down and not before too long I had no more rocks or steps to climb. Yay!
The fog was really intense, making it extremely hard to see what was in front of you.
I heard voices further afield and to my joy, there was a road which meant another way down.
As I got closer to the voices I made out figures and lights in the distance and approached the family to ask them if there was a path for me to walk down alongside the cars.
A pale Irish lady with mid length brown hair, brown eyes and lovely smile replied “you can, but it’s too foggy and it’s probably not very safe”.
Her Mediterranean Australian husband added “plus you are wearing black so no one will see you. We passed a couple of walkers on the way up and could hardly see them. We can give you a lift down if you like?”
“Yes that would be lovely – thank you” I eagerly replied. With that I bundled in with the kids and the Irish grandparents who were over visiting their daughter and grandsons. They had been out for Mother’s Day and had a lovely picnic before the weather started turning.
We chatted non-stop on the 25-minute journey down about my travels and people who run the Mt Wellington half marathon and all other things. They were such a welcoming and lovely family. The boys showed me a picture of what the top looks like on a clear day – it looked beautiful. It’s a shame I didn’t get to see the magnificent views but there was a sense of great accomplishment knowing I walked to the top and experienced some of it.
The family dropped me into town in the end and so I only had a five-minute walk to get to my hostel. I jumped out of the White 4×4 and frantically waved goodbye as if they were close friends I had known for ages.
Back at the hostel I started chin wagging with the lady at reception and then made my way to the kitchen to have my Cordon Bleu meal of pesto pasta.
The kitchen was buzzing and I soon began chatting to some of the other guests. Wine was being handed around and before I knew it I was up the bottle shop buying more. We laughed, we drank and we danced and before I knew it was 3am.
I then stumbled to my room and it was lights out as soon as my head hit he pillow.
The next day was a right off and I spent the majority of my day at the hostel catching up on things (very slowly) and nursing my hangover through fruit and nutritional smoothies.
The day after I felt back to normal although a little tired but it was up early to see Freyinet National Park and Wine Glass Bay.
We went to various lookouts and bays and beaches such as Friendly Beach, Sleepy Bay, Cape Tourville Lookout, Wine Glass Bay lookout, Honey Moon Bay. We also saw Mt Amos and Mt Hazard and eat fresh oysters from the Oyster Farm and hand-made chocolate from Kate Berry’s farm.
I left some of the tour group as I decided to do the extended walk all the way to Wine Glass Bay. It was a lovely walk and the pristine white sand and turquoise waters were a great reward for battling the climb.
I touched the sand and wet my hands in the sea to connect with Mother Nature and then began my journey back up. I had set myself a mission of trying to get back up to catch the other guys before they left for the other lookouts. I wanted to see as much as possible so I wasn’t going to let an uphill slant defeat my viewing options.
Marching on I conquered the walk back to the car park in approximately 1:40 instead of the conservative suggested 2 1/2 to 3 hours return time the map stated.
I caught up with the rest of the group at Honey Moon bay who were surprised to see me so soon. I felt good as I made it and was still able to see everything else.
Close to our departure I sat and closed my eyes on the orange boulders and really wanted that moment of peace to last forever.