Tag Archives: Honeymoon

The Honeymooners 4.0: Ghost Protocol

Who wants a delayed entry in a suitably terrible franchise? Okay,  you asked for it…

Our mission: Uncover the truth about the spooky ghosts that inhabit the Port Arthur historic site.

After the MONA we were more cultured than a tub of yakult and in line with the rest of our trip we fanged it to Port Arthur. A quiet seaside town named after the famous anthropomorphic aardvark.

Ghosts, like aardvarks are nocturnal so we had to bide our time until nightfall. A nap followed by a scenic walk along the beach would suffice. I could go on about how great it was, but I’ve used all of Microsoft words synonyms in the last 3 posts. Beautiful, lovely and exquisite are old hat. In my own words it was nice, really nice. Here is a picture of how freaking nice it is.

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Darkness descended, +1 and I made our way to the ghost commune where we met fellow ghost hunters who regaled us with a story about floating orbs from their investigation at Geelong prison. I expressed my astonishment at such a tale by breathing a heavy sigh, rolling my eyes and slowly walking backwards.  Floating orbs unsettled me since I hadn’t even dealt with regular ones, I knew we would need some top notch guides and the latest technology if we were going to find any ghosts, let alone survive the night.

We surveyed the other paranormal investigators and found it difficult to decipher who, in a group of wannabe ghost was clinically insane, especially when you start questioning your own sanity and whether this plane of existence is real and what, if anything, does it mean? Besides Mr & Mrs Orb there were 2 other noticeable nutjobs. They were banging on about having never seen a ghost but always sensing them and were quickly dubbed “The Middle Agers” due to: a) Their age and b) their ignorance towards common knowledge and simple facts.

Then whoosh! Cold air filled the room and whispers of ghosts come from the Middle Agers. A simple look at the entrance would have quashed their nonsense as our guides enter the lobby.  Two women, one young and one old(er) met us with a warm smile and an even warmer fluffy beanie before leading us to our headquarters for the night… The Asylum.

The immaculately restored mental institution was roomy, well-lit and warm and provided the perfect base for our induction into the world of the paranormal. Before us lay an arsenal of gadgets and devices specifically designed and built to detect the undead. Either that or they were just a bunch of regular cameras and recorders that just so happened to do that very task. With our attention, the fearless guides began their spiel with a history of the site which can be seen here: http://www.portarthur.org.au/

The older of the two had encountered many ghosts during her time at the site. So many in fact, she had to remind herself (and us) that not every sound/light/touch was a ghost. In contrast, the younger one had discredited many of the previous events by thinking about them and asking questions. We chose the younger guide, as did everyone else under 30 so that our group consisted of 3 couples and the seventh wheel guide.  After a warm cup of joe we geared up. The older group marched off to the Commandant’s house as we sauntered to the prison.

Roomy, well-lit and warm were not words you could use to describe this place. It was the opposite, left as it had been since it closed down and Bevan the groundskeeper stopped doing maintenance. We crept through the different wings of the prison before congregating in the hall to ask if there were any spirits present. There were not. Maybe they were scared of our future clothes and gadgets or were they just sleeping? As per every horror movie ever we split up in an attempt to make contact in various unexplored sections.

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The church? Nothing.

C wing? No ghosts.

Perhaps there would be some in the solitary confinement chamber? What a great idea, let’s voluntarily put ourselves in a stone chamber and close the creaking ye olde wooden door to make sure we could “HOLY SHIT WHAT WAS THAT? SERIOUSLY SOMETHING MOVED! Is that a lizard, or ghost lizard? No, a regular lizard”. Luckily I had listened during the induction and reminded myself that not everything is a ghost. Unfortunately for our group, it seemed that nothing was a ghost. We left the prison with empty handed, but I guess that’s why they call it ghost hunting and not ghost catching (laugh track).

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We trudged over to the Commandant’s house as the other group finished up. The guides traded stories and as expected the other group had encountered glut of paranormal activity while we were stuck with only ourselves and the occasional herp. However, our luck looked set to change as it was our turn to investigate the house. Alas, the only activity was an electromagnetic signal from the alarm system and the noise of a torch being dropped. Regardless of outcome the creepiness level was on par with the prison due to the original furnishings, eerie paintings and all.

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Hope remained as the two remaining locations looked promising, the Surgeon’s house which included a basement where medical research and autopsies were undertaken and the Accountant’s house where it is rumoured that the accountant himself divided by zero and opened a portal to the netherworld. Our batteries were running low and there was a strange mist around the grounds. We hurried to the surgeon’s basement and huddled around the stone surgical table, asking and then provoking any spirits that may be around.

C’mon you jerk, SHOW YOURSELVES! It was a sure fire way to die in any horror movie, but this ain’t no movie. Even old man Jenkins from Scooby-Doo could frighten the townsfolk while the real deal ghosts were doing sweet fuck all. While we were in the basement the mist outside has dispersed. We took our time making our way to the accountant’s house as it had the least scary name and we were losing interest. Once again nothing happened, this lead our group to develop an unspoken agreement: Scare each other before the night ended. Dropped equipment, strange noises and inappropriate touching rounded out our evening with lots of screams and giggles.

It was the perfect way to end our adventure and although we found absolutely no evidence of ghosts we certainly enjoyed the strangest of nights. If we could survive this then our marriage was off to a fine start. If only we hadn’t died in a plane crash on the way to Tasmania.. wooooooooooo spooky.

Also it was all a dream.

The Honeymooners: Part II – Cradle 2 the Mountain

Oh hello friends, please take a seat and prepare for the not as good sequel to honeymoon memoir – Cradle 2 the Mountain, starring me as both Jet Li and DMX.

Cradle 2 Mountain

As my +1 and I were fanging it through the beautiful countryside I was instilled with a sense of hunger. I had eaten all the road trip oysters (which proved difficult driving at 110km/hr through a semi-alpine highway). There were still no ‘best foods’ since we had left Freycinet and its natural splendour behind. Spying a lonely inn we decided to pull in and suppress at least one of my primal urges. I often have trouble remembering things, and sometimes have to make shit up. But I’ll forever remember that pub as having the best Borscht ( beetroot soup originating from the Ukraine) in all of Tasmania. So if you are ever in the middle of Tasmania, be sure to stop in at the…what was it called? I forget, dammit.

After taking our fill of Borscht we quickly exited due to fear of ghosts. Luckily we wouldn’t actually be haunted until the end of our adventure. The remainder of the drive was pleasant as we sped through an amazing variety of landscapes – lowlands, midlands, highlands and inbetweenlands. The 30-foot tall gates & electric fence that marked the entrance to the lodge seemed out of place, but the friendly park ranger informed us that Jurassic Park was filmed there and it was there to stop the dinosaurs getting out. It made sense but I had my doubts about the legitimacy of her claims.

The cabin itself was very suitable to my needs as it had a toilet AND a minibar. After reading all the spa treatments that I wouldn’t get we set off on an afternoon walk. I was hoping to see the wombats as I heard they were all around and I’m a massive fan of their music, but all I saw were trees and waterfalls.

Not a wombat

The entire stroll was a complete failure as no wombats were seen and I wasn’t going to chase waterfalls. It was time to drown my sorrows; this was the lowest point in the 4 days of my married life and 10245 days of my regular life. After drinking (insert amount of alcohol that would make me seem cool) 3 whole beers, I went for a second walk to clear my mind. Wouldn’t you know it! A wombat was lining up for a spa treatment, or maybe he was just eating grass. I told him he was beautiful and we became best friends and fist bumped goodbye.

With my mood substantially elevated, +1 and I prepared for an elegant evening by drinking champagne and talking politics. The debate raged and by the end of the bottle we came to the conclusion that at least 60% of politicians are actually anthropomorphic reptilians wearing disguises made from human skin. In the case of the Greens party, an organic substitute is used, probably hemp. Dinner maintained the high standards that Tasmania had set in the food & drinks department. I pretended I knew something about the wine list and dropped various meats onto my shirt and pants. To round out the evening we went to the lodge bar, sipped a whisky and mercilessly beat a small child in a game of pool. High 5’s were used to celebrate the defeat of a kid that had noticed my meat stains. We decided to call it a night, which it was.

The following day was a little chilly, the thermometer read – 273.15°C so we spent the day playing chess and an outdated version of trivial pursuit whilst consuming enormous amounts of red wine.

Our final day at the lodge arrived and we decided to visit Dove Lake. What I saw was a natural fucking masterpiece, rolling clouds gave way to glimpses of Cradle Mountain in the distance. There was however, a distinct lack of doves and in my opinion Delfin’s lake-centric housing estates were still the benchmark of the lake industry. We walked to a rock and lost several digits to frostbite. As I was snapping icicles off my person I realised that we hadn’t fanged it anywhere in 2 days. Using what was left of my toes I ran to the rental car and turned the heating on. Defrosting gave me a moment to reflect on my time at Cradle Mountain; I had seen a wombat, made a mess at dinner, beat a kid and correctly guessed Martina Navratilova in every sports question in trivial pursuit. As we pulled out of the car park I looked back at the mountain and a smile spread across my face. My +1 looked at me and said “must go faster”, that’s when I saw the T-Rex chasing us…

Dove Lake