The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

Travel: More reasons to hate Californians, and everything is NOT bigger in Texas

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

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IMG_8562, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
AUSTRALIA (DAY THREE) — Well, my luggage mysteriously appeared in our hotel room last night, and the sudden appearance (which occurred without any apparent human intervention) gave the lady sparkler quite a start when she got up to use the ‘loo.’

Still no word on her bag though, other than the knowledge that it never made it through LAX. Interestingly, when we were talking to one of the Qantas baggage service people about what happened, she rolled her eyes and said, ‘LAX happened.’ Not that we needed another reason to dislike Californians, but apparently their baggage handling skills are world renowned for all the wrong reasons.

We spend the day driving 200 kilometers south through what is widely considered as the most beautiful portions of Tasmania. We knew we were in trouble when I had taken over a hundred pictures *before* we even entered the first of three national parks for the day. (The final tally included two full memory cards for over 350 images.)

Today was less about rainforests, and more about landscapes. We passed though mountain ranges, savannah grasslands, scrubland/hill country, reeded marshlands, both rocky and sandy beaches, before finishing up in rolling prairie-land. All this in little more than one hundred miles driven.

Which brings us to our first conclusion of the trip: everything is decidedly *not* bigger in Texas.

The roads here never end. We could spend four weeks on an island the size of West Virginia, and never see the same thing twice. The trees here would take half a dozen adults to surround holding hands. The animals are bigger (they even have longhorns). The land is more diverse. The mountains are higher. The beer is larger. So are the hats. Even the hubris is bigger (they have routed an entire river through pipes for use in hydro-electric plants.)

And we haven’t even reached the mainland.

Near the end of today, we were wincing as we drove around corners because the impossibly beautiful just kept getting more beautiful … it was actually more than a bit overwhelming. Words honestly can’t describe this place. The photos we posted do a pretty good job of showing the beauty, but really can’t give a hint to the scale … so, while you are looking think ‘vast’ and then triple it.

UPDATE: the lady sparkler’s luggage was waiting for us at the hotel in Hobart, which is great as we fly back to the mainland tomorrow morning. t.l.s. has never been so excited about the possibility of shaving her legs.