“I visited the place which has the world’s freshest air,” shared Rohini, AGM, Product and Market Development, Trail Blazer Tours India. I was meeting her to introduce Kosha and I was intrigued. I wanted to know more. And she agreed to talk to me about her travels.
Rohini’s connection with travel started early. Her school took them for a trip across Nepal and India, from Patna to Allahabad to Varanasi. She caught the travel bug on this road trip and it has stayed with her since!
So which is this place which has the world’s highest percentage of oxygen, I ask her. With global warming being oft heard, glaciers melting and temperatures rising, does such a place even exist I wonder. She got blessed, she shares.
Rohini helps travellers create beautiful memories on their trips. As part of this process, she put in efforts to become an Aussie specialist, a person who is trained to help you plan your vacation. This entitled her to be the lucky winner and enjoy a meal with Ricky Ponting in December 2016. The lunch got memorable as he gave her a trip to Tasmania for 9D/8N.
Many might claim this to be the happiest day of their life. Not Rohini. A travel enthusiast at heart, she reminisced a day when she was working at the airport. A passenger’s bag had to be offloaded from the aircraft and Rohini was sent to collect the bag. In the middle of the night, crossing the tarmac, with aeroplanes landing and taking off, being in a place where many others dream off, being in the midst of so many travel dreams taking off, was the ultimate high for Rohini.
Another trip to the airport, with a flight to Melbourne and a connecting flight to Hobart brought her to Tasmania. Tasmania is a small island and is part of Australia.
The trip started with a visit to the Ricky Ponting Stadium which houses history and memorabilia from the world of Cricket. After some rest, the evening beckoned. Rohini strongly recommends The Glass House restaurant in Hobart for their sea food. It is bright in Tasmania till after 8p.m. and Rohini was delighted with the sighting of the rainbow while enjoying dinner.
Tasmania is located close to the South Pole, in one corner of the world. Therefore, it was used as a place to keep convicts. The abundance of nature and images I saw online belied the true reason for which the island was used. The capital Hobart houses the Port Arthur Historic Fort which was home to prisoners. Rohini shares that the space is extreme with inhuman conditions created for the prisoners. Some of the punishments were too harsh for the crime committed.
Not weak hearted for sure, Rohini has bungee jumped in South Africa, loves the Rocky Mountains in Canada, is looking forward to skydive in New Zealand among many more exciting experiences.
The Salamanca Market which takes place on Saturdays is really popular. In fact, Rohini planned her trip so that she could explore the weekend spread. From hand crafted artefacts to locally produced honey with so many flavours , the market is a treasure trove for the culture enthusiast. The winner at the market was an authentic Christmas cake. Rohini shares that this piece of goodness was packed in a red box and was too good to describe in words. It melt in the mouth, was mild to taste, without an overpowering liqueur flavour and it can stay fresh for up to 2 months. It lasted her all through Christmas and New Year!
Rohini enjoys nature. The next day she visited the Botanical Gardens. From an Antarctic plant house to a Japanese garden, the space is a paradise for an anthomaniac.
To go or not to go … sometimes we have to choose between places in our travels. MONA or the Museum of Old and New Art started by David Walsh is one such place. The founder was a gambler and instead of bringing back money, he bought art. His collection is on display over 7 floors and some of the art displayed is explicit. The place is not suitable for families visiting with children, shares Rohini.
The adventure enthusiast in me was getting impatient to get to reach the mountains. I guess Rohini sensed this.
She soon told me about her trip to Wineglass Bay and Cradle mountains. A good 40 to 60min walk uphill takes you to the viewing point, where the bay is actually shaped like a wine glass. The area is preserved consciously, with barriers and walking path created without disturbing the natural elements. One does need a good level of fitness to reach the top, shares Rohini.
The drive to Cradle Mountain was cold. On reaching, the wind outside added to the dip in the temperature. Go well prepared, carry your winter layers if you want to spend more time here, shares Rohini. A sight she recommends for anyone visiting Tasmania.
An interesting travel souvenir is the postcard. A personalised note with pictures and stamps of the country, adds to the gesture. As we were discussing this, Rohini shared her visit to Sheffield village. A day trip from Hobart, the village has paintings and murals decorating the village homes. The locals celebrate a festival every year, where the murals are refreshed and cherished. I am amazed as I see a resemblance between kothis in Shekhawati known for stories painted on the wall.
Tasmania is an island, did you explore the Tasman Ocean or the Southern sea, I ask Rohini. We went on a cruise …… If we continued sailing further down, we would reach Antarctica she shared. The proximity to the South Pole made the water’s freezing cold. It is important to wear a windproof jacket on the cruise and cover your face with a Balaclava. The cold is overpowering and one cannot stay on the boat for very long.
With experiences on land and sea, Tasmania is full of nature’s bounty. With beautiful memories, Rohini took the flight back to Bombay.
As we bite into the last piece of the chocolate chip cookie, I ask her which destination is she travelling to next. Rohini is getting ready to explore the white lands of Alaska!
Till we talk to her the next time, au revoir 🙂