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I started to summarize our month in Tasmania and couldn’t remember anything but this week’s weather. One day the temperature is in the 90s, the next day the high 60s, changing more than 30° (F.) in twelve hours. Yesterday, I swam in the ocean, today’s forecast is 54° with smoke. Yo-yo temperatures and huge fires have distracted us. We check the internet often to make sure a fire alert hasn’t been issued for our area, only to find that we are miles from the nearest fire despite the smoke.

Forest fires have been been burning the entire month but the smoke has only become a statewide issue in the last few days. We are fortunate that it is just an inconvenience for us. More than 300 people in towns south of Hobart have been evacuated for several days, living in a local gymnasium. We are on our way to Melbourne shortly, where it will still be hot, though perhaps not as smoky.

In Tasmania we focused on nature, walking miles of beaches, admiring the changing landscape and marveling at the features that are similar to other places we’ve been. There are steep rocky hills, towering forests, dry rolling hills, and beaches one Australian we met called “Caribbean without palm trees.”

Though we stuck close to nature in Tasmania, we took in some entertaining and quirky places. Our evening of heavily revised Shakespeare at the Pooley Winery was one highlight,

The Spiky Bridge, outside Swansea, and the Tessellated Pavement, on the Tasman Peninsula are other interesting places we visited. Some of them come from the website Atlas Obscura. It’s a way to look up curiosities near where you happen to be. You can join and add sites you find, too.   https://www.atlasobscura.com/. The Tesselated Pavement is a geological feature, even though it looks like flooring or paving squares.

Fossil Cove held layers of fossil imprints.

Our month here was delightful. No wonder Tasmania is Australia’s favorite vacation spot.

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