Hobart to Straughn - January 2, 2012

It was a long and difficult drive from Hobart to Straughn.  We left just after ten and apart from stopping for lunch in Queenstown we were on the road till mid afternoon.  The drive had hills, corners, a moonscape appearance and more corners. On the way out of Hobart we stopped at the hardware to buy a new plug for the sink - having survived this whole trip without a sink plug (washing up at camp kitchens).  At the hardware the kids were playing a game and Hannah’s iPhone screen was smashed (this wasn’t an emotionally neutral event - there were requests that we go straight back to Sydney and the Apple Shop).

I arrived at Straughn completely drained.  The campervan and windy hills are hard work.  It takes me coke and chocolate to get though - and when I’ve pushed myself I’m then wacked afterwards.

Queenstown was nothing much a town - a center of mining activity - and a place Cathie’s late dad Wilf, used to work - along with Wittanoon and Mount Isa (being a mining engineer seemed to work in a trifecta of unattractive mining towns).

Straughan was much more attractive and we set up the awning - we were staying two nights (fantastic!).

Cathie and I went down for a coffee at the coffee shop and to check out the cruise timetable etc for the next day.

The Wall

By far the cultural highlight of the day was a stop at ‘The Wall.’  It was well worth stopping for - and a welcome break - about halfway between Hobart and Straughn. A Tasmanian sculptor has chosen to display aspects of his area’s history in 26 wood panel carvings.  Each carving is 3m x 1m of huon pine.

It was absolutely inspiring as a work of art - due to be finished in five years.

There are no photos of this on this blog as taking photographs was forbidden.  There were quite a few unfriendly signs about the taking of photographs - and I get that the artist needs to make money and a way to do that is to restrict the taking of photographs.  However the strength of this message did leave me with a tinge of rejection.

Mobile Phone reception

It really is quite astonishing how bad mobile phone reception is in Tasmania on the Optus network.  I don't think we have had mobile reception anywhere on the west coast of Tasmania (from the outskirts of Hobart all the way through Queenstown, Straughn, Cradle Mountain) finally getting it back as we headed into Sheffield.