Travelling to Launceston

An almost treeless, gentle-sloping hill that you find so much in country Australia, snapped earlier today roughly half-way between Hobart and Launceston.
An almost treeless, gentle-sloping hill that you find so much in country Australia, snapped earlier today roughly half-way between Hobart and Launceston.

The road trip from Hobart to Launceston wasn’t nearly as long as I thought it would be. I’ve always had an idea the road trip from the south to the north in Tasmania might have been deceptively lengthy. In the end it took us about two and half hours from start to finish. In a small car we stuck to the speed limit, and because it wasn’t too lengthy, we didn’t stop along the way. The only time we stopped was to take some photographs of the landscape, and in particular, of the wonderful public art that you see from time to time.

Our trip was helped along by my role as “chief audio organiser”. In preparation for the trip, I’d downloaded some music and podcasts to my phone. Musically, I introduced Sue to Swedish jazz singer, Jonas Holmberg who I’ve previously blogged about. For a podcast, I chose Richard Fidler’s interview with Geraldine Doogue. Both of us are long-term fans of Geraldine and so I thought an hour with Gerry would be a good way to pass the time. It’s a really great insight into a legendary Australian broadcaster’s life and work. In particular, I was really fascinated at her candour about when she and her second husband left their respective partners to begin a new life together. I was also fascinated by the way in which she spoke about her Catholic beliefs.

Public art on the road between Hobart and Launceston
Public art on the road between Hobart and Launceston

Co-incidentally, we’re staying in what was a Presentation Sisters convent up until 2003. The woman on reception today told us that when it got down to just two sisters, they found they weren’t able to cope any more. The present day hotel accommodation was the result of a renovation in 2005. “I’ll bet the sisters didn’t have the modern bathrooms”, I joked when she told us the story. The accommodation is really nice. The bathrooms are modern. You can open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. And it’s quiet. Really quiet. Both Sue and I enjoyed a really wonderful sleep last night (lots of dreams) before waking reasonably late.

While Sue visited some family, I went off and spent the day at the Cataract Gorge.

Later this afternoon, we wandered around town, looking at the Boag’s Brewery (both concluding their mid 90s advertising campaigns were very sexist), at arts and crafts at The Mill, and thinking of where to have tonight’s evening mill. Last night we went to a pub and tonight we’re heading to a Thai place.

A key criteria for both of us is not so much the meal itself, but to get a sense of the people and place we’re visiting. So far, we’ve concluded Launceston is a little bit like Lismore, a little bit like Wagga, and other similarly-sized country towns we’ve come to know very well in our lives.

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