“how puzzling all these changes are! i’m never sure what i’m going to be, from one minute to another.”
after a week of rainy work in the blueberry patch, learning about the logistics of bio-dynamics, a beach and bush walk island adventure and a morning kayak on the ocean, we were keen to leave our farm stay a little early to see what aussie hip-hop was all about and we weren’t disappointed. pre-drinks took place in plastic wine glasses in the classy digs of room 12 at our hostel…and the night only went uphill from there. more drinks, dancing and becoming mates with the less famous aussie version of macklemore and his dj, entertainment was not in short supply on our saturday night out in hobart. feeling a bit worse for the wear sunday morning, with the sun shining, we couldn’t bring ourselves to waste the day so we set off for MONA…an incredibly awesome art museum that is a cool ferry ride away from the city…to get, as our new musician friends and fellow museum patrons put it, “cultured and sh*t!”
upon recovery from our big party weekend, we eliminated some kilos from our packs, took only the necessities and set off on the hitchhike adventure of our lives…we bussed out of hobart and asked the bus driver to drop us off outside of brighton…she caught on quickly to our ploy. luckily for us, our choice of hitching days were gloriously sunny and actually hot ones. what we didn’t anticipate was how long it would take us to actually arrive in our final northern tassie destination. i suggest you avoid having to spend a night in launceston unless you really have to…which was our situation. a geologist was our first ride…barefoot driver, rocks on the dash, i introduced him to some seattle hip hop music, and we found a jane austen novel in the back seat when he stopped to get petrol, as well as a masquerade mask which we couldn’t help fishing for more information about…it was an experience. second ride was a lovely older couple who had children that had hitched back in the states…i was sold on this whole, cardboard sign lift program. one sketchy hostel booking and two showers later, we were ready to greet sleep with open arms and hitch the next day away to get up to cradle mountain. six rides, lots of songs, a beer break, a few chapters read aloud in bill bryson’s ‘down under’, new inside jokes, a lot more gut wrenching laughter, two dusty backpacks and an echidna sighting later, we had arrived to set up camp…just before it started to rain. silver lining before the clouds opened up, a mama wallaby and her joey were as starving as we were and allowed for more camp site entertainment as we fed them out of the palm of our hands.
photo credit: Kary Brennan
i’d be lying if i said i loved camping at cradle mountain. wallaby feeding, grumpy wombat sighting = epic. me with no sleeping pad and a borrowed sleeping bag on a rainy night = fail. i found mother nature’s hard, cold surface to be foe and not friend. quite literally, the worst night of no sleep, i’ve ever endured…ever. trumping the overnight train debacle of october 2013. kary was carting her man’s pack so she could fit her tent and other important gear with her. luckily, the boyfriend left his emergency blanket in his pack which kary generously wrapped me up in to keep me warm. heaps warm did it keep and heaps loud it was…another wasted sleeping pill and comically (to the universe, i assume) unrested night in the books for me. but waste not, want not was our motto, we conquered mission almost impossible to make it up to this mountain, we were sure as hell going to hike it. cameras in hand, bundled in our pacific northwest finest, we were off.
kary has travelled all over the world…naturally, i was bursting with the “kid on christmas morning” level of excitement to have international adventures with her in a place neither of us had ever been before. both of us a bit surprised by my ability to just go with the flow, welcome each day as it came, make friends with wildlife and car owner life forms alike, we found out we are amazing travel buddies…and our week of hitch life, had really only just started…or so we (and our lightweight wallets) had hoped…