Saturday, 29 January 2011

Signs, Traffic and Things

Driving around Tasmania was a bit confusing; there were more signs telling you when a speed limit ended then telling you what the actual speed limit was. I spent most of my time driving around without knowing what the speed limit was.

Some people told me that the End zones meant to go back to the penultimate speed limit, some suggested to do either 100 or 110kh/hr. And in the south there was a sign that suggested 90km/hr.

And there were difficult winding roads, and I am a good driver and know what I’m talking about, where I was doing 90 and people would overtake me doing over 110. I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as you survive and don’t get a ticket – but I would have appreciated clearer signs.

I was driving through Barrington for no particular reason… ok, I was looking for a coffee… I was flying past and saw a very weird sign, it was one of those yellow diamond signs that tell you to look out for particular animals crossing the road. But this wasn’t warning me about kangaroos or echidnas. Flying past it looked like a dragon. ‘Hmmm… That’s odd,’ I thought ‘I’m pretty sure that there are no dragons in Tasmania.’

There was only one thing to do. I dropped a U-ey, parked the car and hopped out of the car for a closer inspection.

Which made me wonder how often do platypi cross roads? And why do platypi cross roads? Are they in the wrong joke or something?

To answer these questions I travelled to Platypus House at Beauty Point and they were quite surprised to hear of the road sign. But they couldn’t help with any existential road crossing monotreme questions. And I left thinking it was probably just a local who wanted a good laugh.

There are a number of interesting place names in Tasmania. Like Nook as pictured above, but I like this sign that has two interesting places.

I can image how the conversation went:

A: Does this place look familiar to you?
B: What do you mean?
A: It looks a bit like Kent.
B: Kent? Are you sure? Perhaps West Kent?
A: Yes, West Kent.
B: Well... West Kent-ish.

You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Kentish was named after a person. Perhaps his nose looked like one of the mountains in Kent…

And the other name is so awesome that I think that nothing else can be said.

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