Day 3 – Friday 16 March

The world looks wonderful after a good night’s sleep and Friday looked pretty good to us. We were served a lovely breakfast on matched willowware china with individual teapots and four other guests. Everyone agreed that Swansea is beautiful and very green, and we discussed the day’s activity that we had planned – to visit Wineglass Bay in the nearby Freycinet National Park.

The walking track is very steep (it rises over 600 rough bush steps – agony) and that’s just to get to the lookout. Getting to the beach is another lengthy walk down, which is then a long walk back up. After slogging and sweating up to the lookout, I was nearly ready for a cardiac arrest and double knee replacement so we decided to leave it there! The view from the lookout is well worth all the effort and pain, though – it is a perfect crescent of white sand with tall mountains on both ends. The sea is a brilliant clear green-blue giving way to deeper colours further toward the ocean. It was a little clearer once we’d arrived exactly where we were. We had walked up between two of the Hazards, steep rocky mountains on the edge of the Freycinet peninsula. The viewing platform is perched on the edge, next to a narrow saddle between massive granite boulders. We spent some time up there, taking photos and admiring the view as well as recovering from the steep ascent. The trip down was if anything even harder. Although it was not as stressful on the cardiac system, my legs felt like jelly before we made it back to the car. It was definitely an aggressive start to what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday.

After a delicious lunch at Coles Bay, we stopped briefly at the Friendly Beaches, on the eastern side of the Freycinet peninsula. The unpredictable weather was making its presence felt as forbidding grey clouds scudded across the sky. It seems strange but the sky seems so much bigger in Tasmania, and I have never seen such amazing clouds. The water was freezing cold, although that didn’t stop a few kids we passed.

Coles Bay is about 170km from Hobart but the road is a lot better than the road between Launceston and Swansea and we made good time. The east coast is very beautiful and I managed to get some fairly nice photos from the car (although many of them are rather blurred). By a stroke of bad management we reached Hobart in the middle of its rush hour. Fortunately the city isn’t really that big and we found our accommodation quite easily. We were staying in Battery Point, which I surmise is Hobart’s equivalent to the Rocks in Sydney. The Battery Point Apartments are a very old building – early 20th century at the latest, most likely much older as other buildings in the street date from the 1830s. It has polished wood floors, lovely high ceilings with moulded plaster cornices and picture rails, a massive bathroom that is bigger than our house back in Canberra, and a huge bed that sits at least eight feet off the floor. (That may be a slight exaggeration.) After the day’s adventures I wanted nothing more than a hot bath, a good meal and bed. Which I got, in that order. Denis, the darling boy, got us an Indian takeaway which we ate in our large echoing living room, and I fell into bed before ten. It had been an awfully long day.

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