One afternoon in Tasmania

Oldest bridge in Australia, built in 1823

Cold and cloudy, it was a typical April day in Richmond. Richmond is a small historic town in the state of Tasmania, the southernmost state of Australia with just a sea body separating it from the South Pole. Colonial architecture, sandstone buildings, classical houses and huge lawns, walking through Richmond you could clearly feel how historic this small town was. Over 200 years ago it was station of one of the first European settlements in Australia.

It was a working day, there weren’t a lot of tourists; as I walked through the wide streets of Richmond I could feel the nostalgic vibe this town exhibited. I walked to a church, which is said to be the oldest church in Australia and then a nearby graveyard that had somehow fresh bouquets on every grave. For a small ancient town this was very strange. Why were they put there and who put them remains a mystery.

Walking out from the church I met an elderly Dutch couple. Both of them were very friendly. We talked about my backpacking experience around Australia as we walked across a bridge that is said to be the oldest bridge still in use in the Australian continent.  They told me how they had just retired and now they were on world tour. The lady talked about her work experiences in  life and how she regretted working too hard and staying too focused and not enjoying the small things in life.

I walked with that elderly couple till the road divided, there we had to take different paths. One thing with such meetings is that you’re almost certain that you’ll never meet again. Talking to them I could feel a connection that we had. It’s strange how sometimes spending little time with complete strangers in remote corners of the world can find you answers to so many questions, questions that even you never realized existed. And that’s why it was one of the strangest good byes of my life. We walked together for just 7 mins but those 7mins were enough to see deep into each other. As we departed the old lady looked at me and said ‘life is for living’.

That’s the last time I saw her. Life is for living! It’s just a combination of 4 words that I would never have cared about. But sometimes in life simplest of the words can create lifelong lessons that are deeper than the words when words are integrated in a setting. As time has passed, I have come to appreciate these recollections. For a traveler there’s nothing more precious than to come across a place that you will never find again, and so it is with that deserted town which I and that old couple chanced upon one afternoon in Tasmania.

**For more short pieces visit Travel stories


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