No possum no cry, and the continuation of Semester 2
After about a month and a half of Animal Physiology and Cell Biology at USYD, and parties with old friends and new Med School students the favourite entertainment of which was going to the Pub and then straight to DingDongDang (asian-style karaoke, best place), mid-semester came. The destination chosen for this time around was Tasmania, small heart-shaped island South of the Australian mainland. Early in the morning Mike, Isaac (two housemates of mine) and I left the house to get a Jetstar flight down to Hobart. Highlight of the flight, a singing man who we promptly videoed and laughed about for the entire trip. Upon landing, we collected our lilac rental car and set off for Salamanca Markets, Hobart. Lovely markets, nice weather, had nice brekkie and really relaxed morning. In the afternoon, we drove the Tasman Peninsula and hiked until the Tassellated pavement, Pirate bay and the Waterfall Bluff (which was actually a bluff, as the waterfall was like 2 metres high and quite lame), enjoying a stunning view. Darkness welcomed us back in Hobart, where even though it was Saturday night, actually nobody was around. Apart from our hostel, which was actually really nice, Hobart was a cemetery where we struggled to find even something open to have some food. Fortunately, an (obviously) Asian place was still open to satisfy our empty stomachs.
In the morning our fourth friend as expected missed his flight, which wasn’t too bad as it gave us the opportunity to visit the MONA, museum of old and modern art just outside Hobart. It is a very interesting gallery, and both the building and the artworks inside were astonishing. Once Filippo joined the crew, bought some ‘dog wine’ we headed to the Mt Field National Park, where we climbed the RussellFalls and walked the Tall Trees trek.
At night, a very long but hilarious drive took us all the way to Bicheno, where a party of mainly Italian people there to pick grapes took a bit of the stress off our shoulders. We had almost run out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, with no reception around us and lots and lots of potentially suicidal possums crossing the road every 5 minutes. The following day the hike in the Frecynet National Park took most of the day, which ended with the death of Isaac’s phone dropped in the sea while we were (in the end, successfully) looking for penguins. On our last day a wombat, an incredible view from CradleMountain and finally a crazy woman charging us $20 for a coffee (and awesome scones) at a tea room near Launceston concluded our Tassie tour. The Tasmanian apples, weird people, suicidal animals and incredible views definitely made this little island a destination that I’m super happy to have visited. The nature is amazing, and it is such a quiet, refreshing place with an interesting story that would have been a real shame to have missed. After having handed the car back, a beer and a quick flight took us all the way back home in Glebe, Sydney.
Days went by, with assignments on cane toads, sea anemone toxins, the physics of eggshell pores, locust metabolism and so on. Something I really enjoyed preparing, even if in a bit of a rushed way (ehm, in like a night?), was my presentation on whale hearing and vocalising. Very interesting topic that got me really into whales, and even more excited that I would have been before when I finally saw my first humpbacks in Sydney harbour. They are so majestic!
In the meanwhile, thanks to my friend Nicola I got a job at a café. It is called Old Street, on Abercrombie St. The owners were lovely, they’d feed me all the time really nice food and coffee and made me love the job. Because of this new job I managed to put some money on the side, and since soon after my summer plans started getting shaped – oh my god if I needed to save some! The Philippines, Hawai’i and Vancouver were put down the list, making sure that my departure from Australia would have been a bit easier and less dramatic.
As time was getting me closer and closer to the day of departure, I had to make sure that I’d have done all the things that I wanted to do before leaving Sydney. The Absinthe bar, the oldest pub in Sydney (the Hero of Waterloo), check out the ChineseGardens, and finally saying good bye to all the amazing people I met in Australia, and who made my exchange an awesome experience. But the closure of my exchange deserves a post on its own.