Friday, December 14, 2012

Check that One Off the List...Tasmania

This week, Diana and I spent time in Tasmania. We rented a car from the airport and drove our way (on the left side of the road, no accidents) through the small island over the course of a few days. Wait, I should probably back up this story and mention that Diana and I wore our fascinators (reminder: big fancy hats) from the Melbourne Cup through the airport, security, and on the plane because we couldn't pack them. People LOVED it and were eager to strike up a conversation with us. In fact, the Jehovah's Witness clan tried to recruit us. I (not so) politely gave them back their materials.

So, Tasmania is a state of Australia, but mainland Australians tend to think of this island as the "awkward cousin." To be able to relate it to something Americans may know...think...West Virginia. I remember in high school, my brother had a green t-shirt with lettering that read, "West Virginia, Incest is the Best!" That t-shirt depicts (harshly) what Tasmania represents. I know, not very nice of me to say. However, I have evidence to prove (and will explain later in this post).

Our first afternoon in Tasmania, Diana and I completed the Tahune Air Walk. Along the way, we met a couple new friends, including Jason from Australia and Zumba Dru from Malta. Dru was traveling with two colleagues and Jason was traveling by himself, so of course Diana and I encouraged him to join us. Besides, when I was in Byron Bay by myself, I was lucky enough to meet a Canadian couple on my walk up to the lighthouse and it made the experience heaps better.

Huge fan of new friends :)
It was just after 5 when we finished the Tahune Air Walk and the other trails, so Diana and I got back on the road, drove through Hobart, and up the east coast of the state toward Wineglass Bay. After hours of driving, we decided to pull over in a coastal town and crash for the night. We wanted to make sure we were up bright and early to experience Wineglass Bay and the Bay of Fires.

The next morning, with a thrown-out back, we hiked Wineglass Bay and saw some of the most amazing views I've witnessed in quite awhile.

The hike up to overlook Wineglass Bay and then down to the beach takes about 3 hours and is SO worth it, especially when you finally get down to the beach. Mind you, it would be a whole lot easier to "hike" if I hadn't worn TOMS to do so. Two falls later, I was swearing and literally said to Diana, "I'll meet you at the car." I was having a moment. I slipped on the walk down to the beach (see photo below) as well as on the way down to the car. Both times, the first thing I checked was my camera to make sure I hadn't cracked the lens. Only after realizing the lens was still intact did I look at my body. Battlewounds included a scraped up elbow, a bruised palm, and a sore back. You better believe the first thing I did when I left Wineglass Bay was throw out my pair of TOMS (they had seen their fair share of vacations in 2012...).

Enjoying the gorgeous day
After the hike around Wineglass Bay, the rest of the day was pretty miserable due to the fact that my body ached from falling multiple times as well as sitting in a car for so long. We had lined up a place to stay near Launceston that night and as it turns out, the lady we were going to stay with no longer had room for us. Maybe I should mention that she lived in a VW bus parked on a vacant lot and had WWOOFers sleeping in the tent she intended for us to stay in (don't even ask...). She then offered her friend's place for us to stay at...and this is where it gets weird. This guy was not right. I'm not quite sure if he was just backwoods or not entirely all there, but my gut instantly screamed, "WARNING WARNING!!" And as some of you know, my intuition is dead on. The only time it ever steers me wrong is when I don't listen to I pumped the brakes on this idea and Diana and I opted for a motel that looked like the one from Psycho. Fortunately, there was no creepy shower scene or knives flailing about. Instead, we slept a solid 9 hours, woke up, and made our way back to Hobart to catch our flight. 

On the way back, we stopped at a couple wineries near Hobart to try the local wines. We got to the city earlier than expected, so we popped into a cafe, read, and drank tea. Best part about the cafe we went to? It was right next door to The Wilderness Society (TWS) Shop. Yes, TWS, our former employers, has a shop! Absolutely hilarious. In case any of you haven't read about our experience with TWS, find out more about it here.

Overall, I'm glad I made it to Tassie. However, I'm glad we only spent a few days there. We saw, we conquered, we left. For those of you that don't know, I almost signed a 6 month contract to conduct railway tours in western Tasmania. Thank GOODNESS I said no...

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