Monday July 20th 2009 - Thursday July 23rd 2009
We are finally in a new city, it's nice to have a change of scenery. The rainy weather in Melbourne was getting a bit depressing and it was great to get off the plane and have clear blue skies greeting us. One thing that we quickly learned about Tasmania is that the weather changes very fast here. So while we were greeted with clear skies when we arrived, once we got to our hostel, wandered around town and went to pick up groceries, it was overcast and raining when we left the store. Lesson learned.
It's not as cold as we expected here but Hobart is on the south-eastern coast so I think that makes the temperatures more mild. We're bound to be freezing once we're at Cradle Mountain for the hike.
Our hostel - Hobart Hostel - is nice and clean and there are very few people here at the moment. Tasmania is more popular in the warm months - especially around Christmas time where every place is pretty much sold out of beds. Right now the hostel is empty and we have an 8 bed dorm to ourselves, it's a good change. We've gone to the waterfront, enjoyed some fish and chips from one of the docked boats on Constitution Dock that had seating indoors as it was pouring rain by the time we got there yesterday for lunch. The museum was also very interesting (and free!), with lots of fossils, taxidermied animals (including my beloved platypus, very sad to see) and weird expressive art that made us laugh. We're not artsy fartsy, okay?
Hobart has a nice feel to it and it's easy to walk around in. The library has free internet and our hostel advised us that it was faster than the internet they had, so Tyler was excited about it, until we got to the library and saw how slow they were running and couldn't handle multiple windows open at the same time. Let's just say that Tasmania is not very advanced.... but it's manageable, just disappointing to someone who loves fast, efficient computers as much as Tyler.
We discovered that Tasmania has limited buses in the winter season so we had some difficulty planning the walk since buses only leave Mondays and Wednesdays from Launceston to Cradle Mountain and we were unable to catch the Tuesday bus to Launceston and make the Wednesday bus for Cradle. Very sad. So we have to start the walk on Monday, which is fine but not what we originally planned. The walk will be 8 days due to the sidetrips that we have planned and we have all our food, equipment and everything all sorted. We should be back in Hobart by the next Tuesday (I think it's August 4th). Luckily we're meeting up with Tyler's dad in Sydney on August 10th, so if we don't show up then I'm sure he'll notify authorities to look for us in the mountains... ;) Just kidding, we know what we're doing, we'll be fine, I assure you.
We're off to Launceston today to spend a few days before starting the hike on Monday. Wish us luck. :)