Sunday, January 29, 2012

Port Arthur

Port Arthur, Tasmania was where the worst of the worst convicts were sent during the 1800's. We spent a fun half day walking around Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula and getting a bit of a feel for life as a convict. For being the worst penal colony in Australia, Port Arthur certainly did not seem as bad as some of the old prisons in the US like Alcatraz. For one thing, it was on an incredibly beautiful bay. Also, each of the convicts worked ten hours a day, six days a week, and on Sundays they all went to church - not a terrible schedule for a convict. But it does sound like some of the punishments were really harsh.

We took a pretty interesting walking tour of the grounds, but it wasn't long into the tour that we started noticing something a little odd . . .

Do you see that little boy poking at the tour guide in the picture below? Just a minute or two into the tour this little boy scurried to the front to stand next to the tour guide and he started (touching) petting him. Then he started poking as evidenced above. The tour guide was obviously a bit thrown off, but when he asked who the boy's parents were, no one came forward. This went on for at least ten minutes. Finally a woman approached the little boy to pull him away - finally a parent! But the little boy just shrugged her off and kept petting and poking. This went on for at least another five minutes before the little boy finally was pulled away. All of a sudden the tour guide said "where did my lapdog go?" There was quite a bit of snickering, and Christie and I just about died laughing - we had been trying to stifle our laughter the entire time.

A funny scene in Port Arthur in Tasmania
Port Arthur
Port Arthur
Sara and Christie behind bars in Port Arthur

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