Back to Hobart and on to our 4 day east coast road trip!

Thursday July 30th 2009 - Friday August 7th 2009

One thing to note about the Overland Track: when we decided to turn around, we were worried about the possibility of hypothermia. It was a good decision. It wasn't until after we were safely back in civilization that the experience was labelled a "failure". And it wasn't until the obligatory brooding period had passed, that the experience was labelled a "lesson" (a label that dilutes much of the associated bitterness). Thus, the incident is referred to as the "Overland Lesson" instead of the "Overland Failure".. Symantics!

After the Overland Lesson, it seemed prudent to put space between us and everything that resembled the Track. Initially this involved a tight chain of bus transfers aimed at Hobart. A discussion with the bus driver persuaded us to stay at the-nearby-dorm. Staying at the-nearby-dorm was dumped due to a lack of vacancy, and replaced with the-unheated-and-leaky-hut. The-unheated-and-leaky-hut was then scrapped (for obvious reasons), and swapped for the-fully-furnished-cabin. Despite obviously ending in the best possible accomodation, the situation was tense. Nothing was going smoothly. Expectations were exploding everywhere!

I like to be prepared. Preparation requires plans. Even if they're only loosely thought out. Just thinking about what's likely and what's unlikely makes you prepared for most eventualities. I find comfort in having a general idea of what's going to happen. When something unexpected happens, then I become.. "agitated". I think this means I'm getting old. Anyways, my rant is over! We eventually went back to Hobart and began thinking about what to do with ourselves -- enter Jimmy.

Jimmy is a dude that is sort of like Santa Claus. He laughs a lot. He gives out presents. He has a scottish accent. He knows where the pubs are. He knows where the distillery is. He knows where the brewery is.. So yeah, he's friendly and well-informed -- like Santa (he also has a beard!). He also knows all about whatTasmania has to offer. That's why we decided it was time for a road trip!

We spent 4 days on the road, driving ~200km a day on all types of roads: paved, gravel, dirt, mud.. Beyond the driving, there was cooking with the camping stove, sleeping in a tent, sleeping in a car, sleeping on beaches, sleeping in forests, feeding the animals (even though it was forbidden, the kangaroo knew how to beg so I had to give him some pecans - I know I wasn't the first), chasing away the animals, bonding with nature, getting creeped out by nature, walking, viewing, making do with with sketchy toilets, making do with no toilets, etc. Oh, and we may have seen some glow worms. Glow worms (for those interested) look similar to the little stars you see when you stand up too fast or get hit on the head.

The photos of the east coast drive should be uploaded soon on Facebook and that's the best place to see some of the great sights we have of the trip.

Attempt at the Overland Track - Tasmania

Monday July 27th 2009 - Wednesday July 29th 2009

Our main motivation to go to Tasmania was a hike known as the 'Overland Track', one of the best and most beautiful hikes in Australia. And we missed snow from back home so we thought it would be perfect to try the hike in the winter time (and it's also free at that time since not many people want to do it). In theory it was the perfect plan.

It was tricky organising the walk since the bus system in the winter is terrible and it only left for Cradle Mountain on Mondays and Wednesdays - and we originally planned to start it on the Thursday. So that's why we went to Launceston to kill some time beforehand.

Finally, Monday rolled around and we got there, started the walk and then discovered that we were not equipped for the weather. It was terrible! We nearly got hypothermia walking to the first cabin, we had to stay in an emergency shelter along the way and we put out sleeping bags one inside the other and then crammed both of us inside it. Good thing we're both not super large people, it was a tight squeeze and that's how we slept for the night. We had a family of 3 possums trying to steal our food and crumbs during the night and discovered that the best way to scare them was to hiss at them. Not sure why exactly that worked, but throwing stuff and shouting at them did not affect them at all, only hissing.

So after realizing that we were not equipped for the weather up on the Cradle Mountain (we could handle the snow and the rain but not the wind thrown into the mix) we headed back the next day. It was a rough two days and extremely disappointing since that was one of the main draws to Tasmania for us and we didn't have time to try it again this trip. We mostly just felt stupid. :P But lesson learned, and we will do the Overland Track eventually and Tyler is dead set on doing it in winter again, just to prove that we can do it. I think that we also had some bad timing as a storm started just as we got up the mountain and we had a 2 hour trek in uncovered territory and that is what got us soaked and chilled to the bone. They had boarded up a path but it has broken down over the years and there were giant sink holes along the boardwalk so our feet got drenched, even in waterproof boots since it was so deep.

Funny adventure though.

We have some funny pictures and videos from our 2 day hike though. The wind was super rough and it was basically knocking us over. We had to hop over a river on the way back as well and my jumping skills need lots of practice - one foot made it though. But our feet were completely drenched before that anyway. All of our stuff was drenched as well and the only hostel in the area had all the hostel beds full due to a school tour group in the area so we had to stay in a deluxe cabin in order to have heating and get all our clothes dry for the bus ride back to Hobart the next day. Frustrating all around, but worth the money in the end because we would have been more miserable if we were cold and wet the next day as well. We mostly just felt like fools. But one day we'll show the Overland Track who's boss. Mark my words....