HOBART DAY 1
Today I have the luxury of sitting around in my underwear in a nice warm hotel room surround with loads of tasty snacks. I arrived in Hobart Friday after a 2.5 hour southeastern drive from Lake St. Clair. Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania with about 100,000 people. It is located on the south east side of the country along the Derwent River and Tasman Sea. One of the very popular Saturday activities is the Salamanca Market which is a vegetable, fruit and craft market of about 350 venders, though I have my doubts if that many venders are here in the winter. One big treat this weekend is the Antarctic Midwinter Festival celebrating solstice and the long links between Tasmania and Antarctica. There are leading scientists at the festival and a science exhibition. There is also a film festival and husky picnic where I read last year over 7,000 people attended the picnic.
As soon as I arrived I drank about 2 liters of water it tasted so good. The water at LSC (lake st. clair) is full of tannins and brown though it doesn’t taste bad, it looks kind of gross. I went for a walk around the city had a Japanese lunch, browsed the mountain design store and went comfort shopping. I found a giant coffee mug and a huge very soft white Egyptian cotton towel and bath mat. It is going to make my LSC showers so much more enjoyable. It is also going to be really nice not to have to get up during the night to put wood on the fire or breath in a smoky mix of air from the fireplace.
The hotel I am staying at is called the Harringtons102 It is a tourist hotel, priced very well and right down town. I have a little kitchen in my room with a hot water boiler, a bunch of instant coffees and teas, a small refrigerator, and a space heater. Oh thank goodness for the heat. There is a nice big bed, clock radio, and TV. This may not sound like anything special but after three weeks of living in the wilderness, no radio, no media it is a big treat. There is a nice bright bathroom with great towels. The room includes breakfast in the dining room. When I checked in they asked me if I wanted milk for my room and while I don’t drink milk and I wasn’t sure why I would want it, I said “sure”. The receptionist poured me a nice little silver pitcher of milk that I soon realized was for my after tea provided room. It was so nice.
HOBART DAY 2
Oh my god I am so happy to wake up in this nice warm bed, take a shower in a warm bathroom and go to breakfast. I ate as if I was starving, a pear, an apple, orange juice, blackberry juice, cereal, toast, and coffee. I was at the Salamanca Market right when it opened at 8:30. There were a huge amount a venders and lots of sheep products including beautiful wool sweaters. There is not a large amount of produce but most of what was there is organic. I bought 2 kilos of apples plus spinach, mustard greens, sugar beets and carrots. After taking the stuff back to my hotel I got my running clothes on and headed the cycle path. There is an excellent walk/bike way that connects neighboring cities and runs along the Derwent River. I ran a little over 10 miles of it and only saw 4 other people on foot and about 20 cyclists. I think most of the cyclists rode earlier in the morning, as there are a lot here. It was a gorgeous run and I stopped to buy more apples at the market on my way home. Saturday I pretty much wandered around looking at the shops, but Sunday I spent the morning at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery which is a nice little museum with exhibitions on Aboriginal life, plants, animals, art, and Antarctica. The Aboriginal exhibition, Ningenneh Tunapry, and the Antarctic Exhibition, Islands to Ice, were the most interesting to me. There was also a photo exhibition of Ricky Maynard, Portraits of a Distant Land, which was outstanding. Ricky an indigenous photographer created a visual diary of Tasmania’s physical and social landscape of the indigenous people. I then went to Art Mob a gallery showing Aboriginal fine art. Currently there was a linocut print exhibition by Alick Tipoti, which is exceptionally good. The gallery is stacked floor to ceiling with paintings which a huge variety of work and quality. I found many to simply appear as dull heartless dot paintings and it made me wonder if non artists are given supplies to make panting hoping to capitalize in the tourist market on tails of the truly great artists like Dorothy Napangardi. Don’t get me wrong Euan Hills the gallery director has some great work there, but you may have to sort through the 100’s of piled up canvases. The next stop was an exhibition that was part of the Antarctic Festival. There were a number of small but exceptionally strong photographs documenting Antarctica, it made me want to go there, if it wasn’t so cold. I then went for my Sunday run a simple 5 miles to the south side of the town to see what I could find there, much to my surprise I ended up on a monster hill that climbed 200 feet in 200 meters, it was a real killer but with nice views at the top. My Sunday night was dinner and back to the hotel early to enjoy some TV and nice crisp bed sheets. Sunday morning I ran out to buy a few art supplies before Bech picked me up at 11 to go back to LSC. On the way we stopped to check out the Hairy Highland Cows.
While it was nice to get back to my cabin at LSC, it sucked having to build a fire. I so badly did not want to be cold I barely slept last night putting wood on the fire every two hours. Today I did get my cabin really hot with lots of dry quality wood. I completed a new small painting while roasting a pumpkin and I am going to try a and complete my large one within the next two days.
It has been pouring rain all day today.
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