Feb 2. Another gourmet p.b&j sandwich and back on the bus by 7:30 am.for our first hike of the day which was a leisurely walk in the park around the gorge in Launceston. Graham decided that this morning’s songs include hymns only as it’s Sunday. I took a photo of a peacock and chicks and my lens broke. The zoom adjustment just quit. Lovely. I guess now I’ll find out if the “all inclusive” insurance I purchased on it will actually cover it.
Heading towards the East coast the scenery changed again with more farmland and lots of sheep, a few goats, cows and horses and plenty of freshly harvested hay crops. Large pelicans dotted the shoreline and plenty of gulls.
Our main stop for the day was the Bay of Fires, an absolutely gorgeous white sand beach with sparkling clean turquoise water. Sue and I ate our left over pizza and then set off on a walk which may have finally cleaned our feet. The water was cool but very refreshing and not very salty as I was able to open my eyes under water. None of us wanted to leave.
More driving on the coast line, a stop for groceries, next at a berry farm where they make their own ice cream, a few picture stops to enjoy more of Tasmania’s amazing beaches and we checked into our hostel at Bicheno. Some of us had purchased food together and the boys barbecued while others prepared the rest. The boys weren’t keen on greens but some of us insisted. I haven’t eaten so much meat in a long time but it sure was great.
Someone’s alarm went off at 6 and we were on the bus again by 7, ready to go. My arms are sore. The knees aren’t happy but my legs are fine. Who gets sore arms after hiking? I guess only when the hike involves pulling yourself up hills with trees and chains.
This morning’s hike was an hour straight uphill in Freycinet National park to see Wineglass bay. On the way were lots of different trees, massive boulders, pretty flowers, melaluca (tea tree) bushes and the occasional view of the ocean. Wineglass bay itself is very impressive. Some of us wimped out and stayed to enjoy the viewhile the rest went down, down, down to the beach. They were rewarded with a show from dolphins so next time maybe we won’t be so lazy.
After hiking back down, taking some photos of a random wallaby in the parking lot we headed off to Ross. It’s a quaint little village with a famous bakery so we had to have a vanilla slice and take photos of a bridge built by convicts, I finally got to mail the grand kid’s post cards. At $2.60 per stamp I won’t be doing that a lot 🙂
Our next stop was an animal sanctuary. They rescue wild animals and are breeding Tasmanian devils to reintroduce healthy devils so the mouth cancer afflicting them doesn’t cause extinction. We got to pet a baby wombat, have a photo op with a koala bear and feed the kangaroos in the rain. We’re not complaining about the weather. It’s been gorgeous up till now!
The tour ended back in Hobart where we barely had a chance to say good bye to Holly who had been such an awesome guide. Sue and I piled all our clothes in a washer and a nice young woman gav e us some soap. We threw everything in the dryer and raced to meet the others for our last dinner together. They were a fun bunch of people 🙂 We spent the rest of the evening catching up on internet stuff on the free wifi at the restaurant.
I learned a lot about the history of Tasmania this week as well as visiting some of the highlights. It’s a beautiful place and a hiker’s paradise. A week here doesn’t do it justice. I could easily stay much longer.