Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Richmond 1 – 2 January 2007

We enjoyed the day walking around the city then visiting the Art Gallery and Museum for a few hours. While it was only small, it had a number of interesting exhibitions. It showed how badly the convicts were treated – Tasmania was built on the back of the convicts, who were treated like slaves by the free settlers. The Aboriginal exhibition explained how the Aboriginals were systematically robbed of their land and often murdered by roving packs of white hunters. Those that survived were rounded up and placed in isolated camps where they quickly died from neglect and disease! Another example of our often shameful history that is echoed in a book we are both reading – Gould’s Book of Fish.
We booked High Tea at the Chancellor Hotel overlooking the harbour. For some unknown reason the waitress gave us one complimentary tea adding to our long list of freebies in Tassie! We have to reflect on why this happens so much in Tassie. It really never happened anywhere else. Seems they are so friendly that they enjoy giving where it is possible. We could probably write a list of a dozen times where this has happened!
The bleak weather of New Year did not go away so we hitched up about 6 pm, not sure where we were going and headed out of town stopping in a quiet spot in the pretty colonial town of Richmond beside some apricot trees full of FREE fruit!
This town had been bypassed due to changes in the road and rail and lots of stone buildings from the 1830’s still remain (thanks to free convict labour) including the oldest bridge in Australia. The next day was such a contrast – very warm and sunny. And we had a peaceful day wandering around the village and talking to other travellers. Visited the old goal, which was a vivid reminder of how cruel the underdogs were treated – both convicts and Aboriginals. Some of the brutal aspects of goal life were very difficult to accept and it was hard to stay for long in some rooms. Heather lost her hat in the goal and had to retrace her steps and found it in the solitary confinement cell where we shut the door for a second to experience what 7 days of total blackness was like. HORRID!
The town was rather inundated with tourists that day, the most we had seen in any town (like Berry). But by mid-afternoon they had all exited and we enjoyed walking around by ourselves!


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