Saturday, August 16, 2014

Reinvigorating the Blog --- Tasmania

Having let my blog lapse, I see two major flaws in with my blogging plan hatched in Summer 2012:   (1) naming it based on my sabbatical, which is long over and now I'm chair and (2) writing too much.  We will all need to get over both.  Since I last posted --- Nova Scotia --- Tom and I have made a few trips to Bend, OR and Laramie, WY, had some good times with family and friends, traveled to Scotland and now I'm spending 6 weeks as a visiting scholar in Tasmania.

So to get us started again, I'm going to start with my adventure to Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. This is  bit of long one.  I can't help it.

 Driving in, the weather was looking perfect and the view from the West/North side of Oyster Bay is pretty awesome.  Headed to those mountains in the distance, but stopping at a few of the vineyards on the way home (the one below was closed, but I stopped at one across the road from this one.

Below, I'm just getting started --- about halfway up Mt. Amos.  Already amazed.

 This may not look like the route up Mt. Amos --- clearly this route includes some "baby" rock climbing and that is the route up --- straight up the rock there.  The standard for this route is 3 hours return.  The visitors center, upon discussion with me, predicted 2 hours return.  I did it in 1:11 and I'm pretty sure I wasn't pushing hard enough and I had to do some route finding up and especially down!  While it was not "nothing, " it was compared to the river bashing off of Mt. Feife in NZ and it seemed considerably easier than Mt. Eliza (but maybe that was because I did it first).  But if you are reading this, thinking about the ascent, make sure you have a dry day like I did!  This is key for this route.  They are not kidding!  I'm pretty sure Mike Steel and Tom Sohayda and others I know could do it in around 45 minutes return. 

Below is a panorama from the top of Mt.
Amos that includes Wineglass Bay/Beach, the "ithsmus" and Hazards Beach.  Later in the day I'm on both beaches and I cross the Isthmus. It was pretty amazing up there. 

Selfie and the hazards signs. I have a weird weakness for these.  I just think they are funny, see the guy slipping.  The best part is that they are NOT KIDDING!  This route should not be done in the wet.  But it was a dry, sunny skies day for me (at least until I was off Mt. Amos).
 The route over the saddle to get from the car park to Wineglass bay.  I saw a family with a boy with a bloody shin --- I say to the mom, "wow that looks like a bummer" and she says, "I think it is broken."  I then stop, throw her big eyes and suggest I help.  She waves me off and says they don't need help.  Really?!  What do you do?  I double checked she said no again and I moved on.  Right thing? (arguable for both of us).
 O.k. biology friends.  WHAT IS THIS?????  My foot is for measure.  It is definitely organic.  Appeared to have gills on the other side (I can send/post other photos).  New to me!
 Above there is a selfie of Wineglass beach from the top of Mt. Amos.  The flat, lumpy looking mountain in the background is Mt. Amos.  So this selfie is of Mt. Amos from Wineglass beach.  Apparently Wineglass Beach is named because they used to catch and gut so many whales in the area that the bay was the color of wine... I went whale spotting, but failed. 
 Biology and Tassie friends.  Round 2 --- What made this?  There were lots of tracks that were obviously  bird.  But this is a Tassie mammal --- I'm sure.  Which one? 

I finally got a photo of a Bennet's Wallaby in the wild.  I see these guys nearly every day here.  Almost like deer at home.  But they are super shy (not like deer at home) and I have been finding it hard to get photos in the wild, but today I did it!  These gums leave a really desolate landscape, loads of room for the wallabies to hang out. 

Left, a water bird.  Anyone know which one?  Right, a view of Wineglass Bay and the hazards from Cape Tourville. 
And the last one on the right is the view to the north of Hazard's beach. 

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