I’m back from the wilds of Tasmania! And clearly WE MADE IT. But oh my goodness was it a long, hard slog.
We met in Hobart, and spent a night comparing pack sizes, being a bit giggly with both excitement and nerves. Three women over 50, and one about to turn- hence this walk, which she organized brilliantly.
We Ubered to Port Arthur, from where we had to catch a 2pm ferry to the track drop off point; and so began the first of several ‘incidents’.
You see, there’s me in that first selfie, quite happily thinking I’m going on a max. 15 minute boat ride on flat calm water, all happy happy with my dear friends. Till we find out it’s actually about an hour long, we go right out to the edge of the cape to spot wildlife, and it’s so rough and wet that they automatically provide all passengers with full length head-to-toe red capes.
Anyway, we survived; we did see a sea eagle’s nest (over 30 years old), and spot some albatrosses; we got absolutely wave sprayed, but by sheer mind power alone didn’t get too seasick- no photos sorry as I was glued to the hand railing for safety and emotional support.
It was the longest hour of my life, and damn good to head towards land and the drop off point; that phrase “the sea was boiling with wave swell, smashing onto rocky cliffs” fitted perfectly. And I wasn’t alone in the suffering.
So we disembarked at the isolated cove (approx 15 other walkers were on the boat with us), and waved a nervous goodbye to our connection with civilisation, then set off- only a 4.5km hike to the first accommodation, to ease us into it.
We walked maybe 50 whole metres, then P’s shoelace came undone.
J helped do it up, then couldn’t stand Oh look, I’ll just put the photos here:
Suffice to say, us two onlookers were almost hysterical with laughter, and all the other walkers passed us by. Which we were quite happy with, as we wanted to set our own slow pace, and get used to the 15kg backpacks, especially as the track very quickly headed up hill…
We dutifully cleaned our boots to prevent the transmission of diseases into a pristine National Park, then settled into a steady rhythm…
… of stopping every 15 minutes so that one of us could pee- women over 50 with heavy backpacks strapped round their middles hey- who knew!?
We took nearly two hours to reach the first night’s architecturally-designed and built ‘huts’; more on that tomorrow. And along the way, we began to see the first of many, many stunning vistas…