Friday, December 29, 2006

Get Milk On Way Home from Cave

Today we convoyed with my Mum and Dad down to Hastings Caves. It always amazes me that you can drive for 2 hours south of Hobart, but you can. We stopped at Geeveston on the way down and again on the way back. It is trying hard to shrug off its redneck image. There are really lovely lifesize wooden figures of notable townsfolk, rough-hewn but really expressive. One was an Olympic rower - his limbs were the limbs of trees. An extremely stout doctor has also been immortalised. He was not a tall man - even the kids can reach up and tweak his nose. Its great we have the opportunity now as he hated people to do that when he was alive.

A downside is the town is suffering from an abundance of carved bush poetry. A plague of plaques. One was about smiles, and how great Geeveston was generally at smiling, and ended with a line about the "dimples of encouragement that lend a helping hand". The Wood Centre there is the feel-good face of Forestry Tasmania propaganda. A talking log truck acknowledges that the environmental movement's pressure has been good for the industry. The general setup emphasises the "jobs v conservation" paradigm that I think is out of date.

Michael had fun driving the talking truck anyway.

We had a splash in the thermal pool at Hastings. It's come a long way from the extremely dodgy concrete basin it once was. Marcus took another leap forward - letting Grandma tow him around at speed while he kicked furiously, splashing everyone. The shop now does lattes. Last time we were there the cafe strip lifestyle had just arrived, but without adequate manpower. One poor guide was selling tickets for the pool, postcards and hats, clueing people up on the caves and trying to make the perfect skinny soy latte in between.

The boys were great in the cave. The tour is one hour, and I had misgivings about Michael getting through it, but he was fine. They were both very interested and oohed and aaahed. The cave was fab, but if you've ever been in a cave, well, it was just like that.

I had planned to take some photos of Glendevie on the way back as it is very beautiful and I want to do drawings of it. The road winds sinuously through a tiny village on the side of a steep hill, and every house, shed and barn seems to be tucked into a fold in the earth. I think I'll have to go there on a sketching mission - we just couldn't stop today. Perhaps I should just draw from my impressions of whizzing through. I might find that if I stood still there, it wouldn't have the magic that it has seen from the car.

We had a lovely outing, after going no further than the beach for about a week. I meant to write myself a note, "Get Milk On Way Home from Cave", that I could deliberately lose at Coles where someone would read it. Forgot.

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