Scorching Heat in Hobart
Tasmania Take 2 Tour: Day 22
Friday January 24, 2019
On our way to a local cafe for breakfast this morning, the air was so thick with smoke it blocked out the sun.
It gave everything a very earie glow. It was warming up already as we walked from our our hotel in Battery Point and along the waterfront through Salamanca.
There was a huge new catamaran in port. It looked like a huge cat ferry, such an unusual shape. We looked up the name and found it was a new passanger/car ferry built by a Hobart based boatbuilding company, Incat for the Virtue Ferry company who are based in the Mediterranean. It was delivered yesterday and is due to be sailed to Europe where it will run between Malta and Sicily. Such a good news story for local manufacturing that we on the mainland would not ever hear about. While hanging around the wharf admiring the giant, we bumped into an old friend who now lives in Hobart. Such a lovely surprise to catch up very briefly on so much that has happened. We made plans to maybe meetup if we end up touring down the Tasman Peninsula over the upcoming long weekend. We had plans to revisit Fortescue Bay and run the Old Cape Pillar track. But with the Australia Day long weekend coming up the campsites were fully booked and the latest Parks advisory showed that most of the trails in Tasman Peninsula were closed due to either existing fires or fire risk. So we needed to revise our plans.
We spent most of the rest of the day in Hobart Botanical gardens. Being surrounded by greenery and huge trees was a welcomed relief from the intense heat of the day. There was a time when temp of 25°C was considered a hot day in Hobart. Today it topped 37°C.
We absolutely fell in love with a magnificent cork tree which was well over a hundred years old. The garden staff were so approachable and informative. We got a real sense that they loved what they did, even on such a stinker of a day just before a three day weekend.
By late afternoon we headed back to our hotel for a rest before going out to dinner. Its so nice to be able to walk everywhere in town. The smoke enveloping the city was so thick now that Mt Wellington which crowns the city was not visible at all.
We walked down to Sandy Bay and had dinner at the All Thai restaurant, delicious fresh tasting Thai food.
We walked back to our hotel and the sky was glowing red with the rays of the setting sun reflecting off the smoke. The wind was really picking up – half an hour after the wind started we lost power at the hotel. Found out later that a tree had fallen on a power line causing an outage. It was quite earie to see people come out of their houses in the dark and stand in the street looking up at the apocalyptic coloured sky.
*By the time we left the next morning power had still not been restored.