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....