Saturday, 13 April 2013

Walking in Charles Darwin's footsteps

Today I walked to and through the Waverley Flora Park at the top of the hill. As I walked along the Dr Winifred Curtis Walk, I noticed a new sign showing a photograph of Charles Darwin accompanied by diagrammatic footsteps. Of course that path could not have existed when he visited Hobart in February 1836, nevertheless I had a frisson of excitement as I wandered on and off tracks this morning wondering if he had taken in 'my' views - or was I taking in 'his' views through the trees. Were casuarinas blowing in the breeze when he was here as they did today? Did parrots and crows and magpies rush through the trees while he meandered through what was probably an all treed area compared to the partly open and partly treed variations these days. But what do I care about Charles Darwin? Why am I taking a more personal interest? Well it so happens that I had already discovered that he visited Tahiti in November 1835 (only 3 months before coming to Hobart), and since I am going to Tahiti to follow in the footsteps of Gauguin, it now seems like an interesting idea to follow in the footsteps of Darwin as well, when I get there later this year. Rather thrilling that all of this holiday planning encourages me to research various histories that I was probably taught at primary school, but have forgotten. I am including a few links to internet resources that expand on this story.

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