03.01.2011 - 09.01.2011 20 °C
Hi to you all! I'm back in civilization from an awesome hike. Not a drop of rain all time, warmer then we expected, and only awesomeness about the hike and the company!
Last Tuesday (i tisdags) Morgane, Jason, and I took the bus up along the coast to go hiking. In fact we were supposed to go in Jason's car but it broke down just after Christmas so we had no car and not much time to look up buses and bus hours. This meant that when we tried to book our bus for Tuesday we could not get through to the bus company. We decided to hope for the best and filled up our bags with food and heavy water. When we got to the station at eight the following morning it turned out that the bus wasn't going to the place we were that day. There was only one bus a day and as it is school holidays and everyone in Tasmania is out camping, the bus company had - no, not catered with extra bus services - removed services to only a bus a day to a place on the way to where we wanted to go, and twice a week all the way (bus drivers want to go out camping with their families too). Anyhow, we discussed our options and called the car rental firms. Everything was rented out! Everything in the whole of Hobart! Finally we decided to get on the bus (now waiting outside) and figure it out as it happened. In the bus Jason thought of a fantastic island we could go to instead as it was on the bus line. He called the ferry company and got negative, a discouraging reply. We decided to go to the end station and hitch hike to the place we wanted to go to, after all it was only another 40 km. It's not everyone who can pick up three people with gigantic back packs, but within half an hour we were on our way. Our driver turned out to be a really cool guy, how had got an extra day in Tasmania before flying home, and didn't know what to do with it. We, of course, talked him into coming with us.
The first day we only had a 1.5 hour hike once we arrived. It wasn't long but as half the day had already passed and we were carrying camping gear and water for three days (Jason was carrying about 12 liters in I'm not mistaken and Morganne and I were carrying 5 litres each plus all the food) so it was still really hard. So that when we arrived at the Wine Glass Bay we were really sweaty. It was gorgeous! It looked tropical. The white sand, the turquoise water, the mountains in the background, and it got even better. We walked along the whole of the beach and soon left the day hikers behind us. Finally we arrived at a bend in the coastline and a protected and gorgeous spot to put up our tents before we jumped in to our bikinis and went back to the beach. Our part of the beach ended with a wall of cliffs which meant that we were protected from wind and sight. There were two or three boats lying at anchor a bit further out but other than that, we were alone. We tried to swim, but it was late at afternoon and after all, we were not in Hawaii, we were in Tasmania, in an ocean with the South Pole as its closest neighbor. I picked some seashells and then we went up to make dinner at our camping kitchen, having a glass of wine, and barbecue a few marshmallows before we turned in.
Morgane and I were woken up by something sniffing around and apparently trying to do something to my bag that was left outside. We had moved everything opened edible in the tent to dissuade the possums from trying to get into our bags. However, I must have forgotten something because now we were continuously woken up by the noise and finally I caught a possum red handed trying to get into one of my side pockets. It starred at me. I starred back and then I pulled the bag towards me and took it into the tent. After that I lay awake listening for a while before I decided that they had given up and I went to sleep.
The next morning we packed up our things and started to walk. We crossed the peninsula and had lunch at another each, after having stopped to see a tiger snake. This beach was too windy but after setting up some protection against the wind we had a great resting place and spent a very long time just hanging out. Finally we continued and walked along the beach, admiring the island further out and the mountains in front of and behind us. That day we walked to a place called the Honey Moon Bay, but as the camp grounds were full did we take refuge in a secluded bay next to it. This turned out to be a hit! It's hard to imagine a better camping ground. We swam, ate, made tea and looked at the wallabies who jumped around, quite unperturbed by us. Very undisturbed indeed as we would soon realize. We slept well that night but when we woke up I noticed that they had pooed on our tent. In fact they had been all over the place. I was most unhappy about it and even started to reconsider my fondness for these little jumpers and when Jason started telling us about all the delicious ways to cook them Morgane and I didn't protest at all but just ooo-ed and ah-ed.
This day turned out to become our busiest. We left our bags and headed towards a day hike up mount Amos, a granite mountain, only sparsely populated by trees. The day was really warm and we were sweaty before we even reached the start of the hike.
The hike was pretty difficult but really funny. I saw a whip snake (a tiny not dangerous snake), we saw tons of lizards and even an echidna, who didn't let us stop it in its efforts to extract food from a a dead tree stem. As we got higher up the climb got harder and harder and half the time we were using bot hands and feet. Morgane's shoes were not super for hiking so we had to help her here and there. Still no-one complained. The view was magnificent all the way up and we could see all the way down to where we had slept. When we climbed over the last boulders we realised however why this was such a renowned climb: the view over Wine glass bay (the photo in the top) was completely breath taking (though we were already out of breath after 2 hours or more climbing there). Needless to say we stayed up there until we were driven down by hunger, and guess what; I had wallaby for dinner (kangaroo burger in fact but never mind the details). We had walked out of the national park and back to the place where we were going to take the bus the following day and as good hikers we wanted someone else to cook for us. The others had fish and chips and I, a very healthy and home made looking roo burger. Delicious!
Today Morgane went back to Melbourne,from Hobart. When we walked her to the bus stop it was so warm and sunny that I regretted not bringing water to this ten minute mission. An hour later when I dashed to the bus to the city however it was still warm but it was getting windy and I could feel how a rainstorm was on the way. I considered going back to get some more clothes but didn't want to miss the bus as there was only one bus per hour (hmm, what did I say about the Tassie bus system...). I took a walk around the city center and went to the museum. The weather was still great. I was going to meet Jason at seven so when the museum closed at five I went back to the city but found they most stores, bakeries, cafes and even restaurants were now closed. As I strolled there it started raining. Then it really started raining! I found an open cafe, a little bit up the street and ordered a tea to warm up my shivering hands. I wasn't too wet, but cold enough. As I sat there reading my book (the experienced traveler always carries a book, a notebook or a game (suduku for me) for times like this) I there was a loud sound, as though a car backfired or someone shot with a gun. It was thunder!
The observation of the week:
Australia does have good apples and some berries, you just need to go to Tasmania. Ten years ago there were hundreds of Orchards in The Hobart region alone, with all kinds of apples, a little bit like Kivik in Sweden, but today the cheap Chinese production has out competed a lot of the orchards and now all you can buy in mainland Australia is crappy mealy Pink Ladies, Sundowner, and Royal Gala (some of these are great in Europe but here they are bad), as well as the infamous Granny Smith.