Saturday, 28 April 2012

Travellin' Penguin Travel Read- Special Issue

Is someone there?
Quite frequently Travellin' Penguin leaves his comfortable habitat to visit another place. Today he is travelling with a relative around Tasmania. 

When in this mode he must report on a read that is found along the way. The first time this happened was when he went camping at Wyatinah on a motorbike trip. 

Tasmanian Tiger by E Guiler &
Phillippe Godard
Yesterday we drove to Strahan which is in a more remote part of Tasmania on the west coast. It is a small fishing village and many tourists come here to ride on the Gordon River cruise's day trip aboard the Lady Franklin II to Sarah Island.

Sarah Island was where many of the first convicts transported to Tasmania ended up in the 1830's. They had one set of clothes as they worked waist deep in freezing water building the first Huon pine jetty. They then spent the rest of their time in their soggy clothes in miserable conditions amidst gale force winds.

Cave art from tens of thousands of years ago have been found
all around Australia from the Aboriginal people.

Sarah Island  lived up to its name today with everyone huddled in slightly warmer but still chilly temperatures with rain and wind whipping around us. People stood like plastic bags in their makeshift ponchos from the boat, blowing and billowing while listening to a riveting tale told by the female guide who gave such life to the story we all forgot about the weather. It was fun!

On board the boat I perused the library the guide mentioned in her introductory speech.  She told us how to put on our life jacket, where the life boat is hidden and informed us there is a library of books to borrow whilst on board.

I picked up the most well worn book on the bench top of books. It was the story of the Tasmanian Thylacine, better known as the Tassie Tiger that is now extinct...........or is it?  The authors of the book believe it is.

However locals in some of the wilder areas of Tasmania swear it still exists and they have stories to prove it. However a true local would never reveal where they saw it. The Tassie Tiger is too sacred to reveal to the outside world. We all like to believe that perhaps in some remote rainforest where no man has ever stepped lives a family of these most unusual carnivores and that man did not wipe them out in their fear and greed of such a wonderfully magic animal.

It continually amazes me how Australia has records going back more than 60,000 years related to the Aboriginal population living here including all of the magnificent animals and yet white humans wiped out most of it in only 200 years. Really makes one think.

The book's cover is extremely faded from lying in the sun on the boat and the spine has come loose from its pages. Many have come before me to scour through the poetry, narrative and photos within this lovely informative book.  However I passed quickly over the photos of the hunting season on these animals.

 There are many myths and much folklore around these wonderful animals. I have also lived here long enough now that if I ever see a Tassie Tiger on some of the more remote roads I travel on I would never reveal its location either.

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