Short Note: I realized I don't blog as much as I used to or write as well either. Where has the passion gone?! Something I need to learn to get back into I suppose.
On the third day, I wanted to go on a roadtrip in Tasmania. Apparently that's what you're supposed to do when you're just about anywhere in Australia, the country is just too big not to go on a roadtrip!
I heard about Port Arthur and its gory stories, how it used to be a convict settlement, holding up all the British convicts back in the 1800s where they sailed most of the "criminals" from England and put them all in Port Arthur.
And when I say Criminals, these people can range from murderers, traitors, run away soldiers, to 9 year-old small boys that stole a piece of bread and old men that were just simply homeless.
Which also formed British Empire's first boys' prison, kept in Point Puer.
Map of Port Arthur
It's really harsh. Imagine being 9 years old and stealing out of innocence, before they know it, they are to spend and suffer the rest of their lives in a foreign land thousands of miles from home, which most of them would then die of cruel punishment or slavery labour.
Hence, Port Arthur is, was, also known as a ghost town.
Located is the South East of Tasman Peninsula, Port Arther is 60km away from Hobart town and can be reached in two-three hours considering the roads were pretty small and narrow.
Albeit very beautiful scenery on the way. :)
We made the mistake of starting the journey late, but it was out of our control as were trying to rent a car through a friend's friend which couldn't allocate us the car till noon.
Me and Jerine
But first, Lunch!
Had some not-so-bad-but-Malaysia-one-nicer sushi in town with Jerine's friend, Dixon, and his friend, forgot his name.
Co-driver and Driver (Dixon, right)
On the way we passed by a small town - Richmond town. There you'll find a very nice Victorian photo studio.
The guys decided that they want to take a studio photo as souveniers so they stopped the car and walked toward the shop.
You'd think that it's the girls that would want these sort of girly things. But guys are so girly nowadays!!
So we went for the shoot.
Jerine chose a nice muslin looking puffy purple dress.
Which looked a bit too big for her petite frame but made her all the more cuter!!
While I opted for the white.
The photo developing would take half an hour or so, so we went for tea after the shoot.
Can you see my lip? :p
There I am!
Okay I was bored.
We went back and this was what we got.
UGH. I HATE MYSELF FOR DOING THAT.
NO MORE BLACK AND WHITE VICTORIAN FAKE PHOTOSHOOT.
Now in Richmond town, you will come across Australia oldest bridge, built over 1823 - 1825.
Take a drive over this National Heritage Icon to take in the scenic beauty and savour a piece of history that has survived the years.
The bridge is famous for few significant reasons. One was that it was built by convicts. The other was it being one of the earliest large stone arch bridges in Australia.
So with one last kiss, we shall bid Richmond goodbye and move on with our journey.
By the time we hit the sea again, it was dusk.
Crossing the bridge to the other end of the Southern Tasman Peninsula was breathtaking.
Not to mention a bit eerie. Knowing that we were heading to one of the most popular haunted site/port in the country.
By the time we reached Port Arthur itself, it was nightfall.
So I decided if we couldn't tour the port, we could at least go for the night Ghost Tour.
Which I did. Dixon accompanied.
Jerine and Mr Co-driver bailed.
The Bailing-Duo decided to head to the souvenir shop to scout for some booze while waiting for us. We follow suit while waiting for our tour to start.
It occurred to me that Tassie has a good collection of fruit liquors. Here are a few of them I took at random.
I was so tempted to buy all of them. Alas the weight limit of my luggage discouraged me otherwise. :(
Soon, it was time for the tour.
Our tour guide was a chirpy (wrong character for this type of tour?) macho man, who, like all Australians, had quite a bit of humour under his sleeves.
He first walked us to our first building in Port Arthur and briefed us the story of Port Arthur.
A few anecdotes here and there of ghost tour story telling, including the youngest convict ever recorded in Port Arthur, named James Lynch by the age of nine who was sent there for stealing toys.
In fact, if you want to read more about the ghost sighting stories in Port Arthur, you can go to this thread I found in some forum.
We then came to this convict-built church that has lurked so many ghosts before even when stepping on grounds gave me a spine chill.
It didn't help that there was almost a full moon that night, but it definitely created the ambiance. -.-
While other tourist just took the chance to take more photos around.
Walking away from the creepy church, we came to a house that was known by many to have seen imaginable beings and lights lurking inside.
After telling us several full tales of the cottage, the tour guide opened the small wooden gate in front, and let us in. -.- how nice of him.
Standing in the exact same room where the senior officer or generals once lived in was like a walk to the past.
To the ghost's past, that is.
The tour guide managed to give me fright, to which I screamed like a little girl, when he knocked on the door with his hand, for special effect to his story-telling. Bastard.
We also went down to an underground dungeon of a building.
There we saw a stone bed where doctors used to use the carcass of dead convicts to perform their surgical experiments.
It was almost so gory, listening to the stories that convicts used to stand inside the dark room with their oil-lamps over their head to light the room for doctors to perform their procedures.
Imagine seeing your fellow convict or friend being sliced and diced open in front of you.
Now we came to one of those cruelest part of the town - The Seperate Prison.
As if the town itself was not a prison enough, 80 cells built in a shape of a cross to punish those who had defied orders, physically or psychologically.
Which includes whippings and silent treatment.
Now their "Silent System" was the highlight story of this tour.
Prisoners were each put into a separate brick cell like this,
where the prisoners would have their hands bound (or not) and hoods over their head, in total silence. They were not allowed to talk nor whisper, and the guards would wear special shoes and walk on mats so that you would be driven crazy out of complete, and utter silence!
Now if you defied and did make a noise. What you receive is you'll be put into a special room.
This room would be the ultimate punishment and would drive you mentally crazy.
It's total darkness and completely quiet and you will have no contact of the outer world. Prisoners usually would scream and beg for forgiveness when they're being dragged to this room. At one go, you could be inside the special room from 48 hours up till 30 days.
Some say prisoners would lost track of time and date inside the cells and some would even go mad. One day would literally felt like a month inside.
Finally, it was the end of the tour.
We're out of the prison!
Me and funny tour guide
A photo with the local hospital
Heading back to the building of where we started, each of us left a comment on their guestbook.
And was awarded a Ghost Tour Courage Certificate. *proud*
Which I lost 24 hours later. T_T
Speaking of which, at the end of the day the tour gave me a very familiar feeling that I couldn't put into words.
1800s. Victorian age. Ghosts.
Haven't I seen that somewhere.
^#&%*#$@ I thought the photo looked uncannily suspicious!