Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tassie day 4

The next day we woke up in ate breakfast, then went to the Port Arthur prison museum place again (same place as the ghost tours except this time, in day time) and we played "The Lottery of Life." We each chose a card from a special group of playing cards, they all had different pictures on them. We went down stairs and found our card on the wall and it stood for a real prisoner, whom we got to be for a day. We got to read all about them and what happened to them. Mine was a 13 year old boy named Peter Brannon who was turned in for stealing a handkerchief. Boys from 10-17 were put in prisons, and the worst came to Port puer (right across from Port Arthur). People were imprisoned for really dumb things, like being drunk or stealing bread, and they were punished badly. They taught them professions to try and rehabilitate them, they stopped giving them lashes after a few years because they realized that it wasn't helping to rehabilitate them. If you ever get the chance, it's a sad place, but also beautiful, I really advise seeing Port Arthur! There is an island just out from Port Arthur called the Isle of the Dead, everyone from Port Arthur was buried here, the prisoners were on the lower part of the island in unmarked graves, there are over 1,100 people buried there. We got to take a short 22 min boat tour around the bay, it was nice. When we left Port Arthur we stopped at the isthmus (that's why Port Arthur was a prime place to put a prison, and that's why the worst went there, was because it was essentially an island because of the narrow isthmuses and most people in those days couldn't swim). They used to have what they called the dog line, bull mastiffs were chained up across this isthmus just far enough away from each other so that they couldn't touch, and they were starved and tortured and tormented so that if a prisoner were to try and get through, these dogs would tear him apart. They have a statue there now and a little path to the beach, very pretty. Our next stop was the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Reserve. We got to see the devils being fed, it was amazing. They are sooooo cute!!! It is really amazing though, they have the second largest jaw pressure compared to their size, next only to sharks (or crocs, I heard both, am not sure). You could really hear it when they ate too, the bone would crack. We also got to feed kangaroos and wallabys (the wallabys are more shy). There was this cockatoo that would walk up the side of it's cage, right in front of your face and would tap it's beak on the wire, but if you started to walk away it would say "hello" in a very Australian accent. It was so cute, and when we really walked away it followed us, talk about making us feel guilty! We also got to see a lot about the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine). We stopped at Remarkable Cave on our way to Hobart, and let me tell you something, it truly is remarkable! I loved it!!!! I can't wait till you can all actually see pictures of all of this. Then we were dropped at our prospective accommodations in Hobart. Most of us stayed at Central Backpackers, all of us there went out to eat together at a seafood place. It was really good food.

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