Today, I did not even touch my bike. The weather forecast was indeed as bad as yesterday, and since I was told that the road I had to bike from Derwent Bridge to Queenstown was very scenic and enjoyable, I really did not want to miss it and have another shitty day on the bike. Anyway, in my planning I had foreseen a day hike to the top of Mt Rufus, starting from Lake St Clair, the end point of the Overland Track, near Derwent Bridge. I just did not do the hike and took some rest instead. Many things happened to me during this day, however.First, I had an agitated night due to the storm that was still continuing, and a “funny” wake up. Around 8:00 AM the rain had finally stopped for a few minutes and I was about to get out of the tent to start making breakfast, when I heard a “pshiiiiiit” sound, followed by an intermittent spray of water. I quickly understood that the grassy spot covered by wallaby poo on which I pitched my tent yesterday was in fact watered by a bunch of sprinklers! As if I hadn’t had enough water so far! This was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laughing nervously alone in my tent!
Fortunately, it lasted only for a quarter, but then the real rain took over. In these conditions, preparing oatmeal becomes a bit challenging because cooking under the tent’s abside is not very safe. Maybe it is something that you don’t really realise it while seing all these nice photos, but in this type of adventure the level of confort is sometimes a bit precarious: i sleep most of the time in my tent, I don’t have a shower that often, I mostly eat the same stuff each morning, noon and evening, and when it rains, it makes things a lot more difficult. Finally, I could find a good cooking spot next to the public toilets near the hotel. This morning the oatmeal tasted nicer than usual! Then I spent most of the morning near the hotel’s fireplace updating this blog.
I also conceived a very sophisticated device to protect my tent from the spray of the closest sprinkler. It is amazing what one can do with a wraps packaging and two rubber bands 😜
In the afternoon, I went out to visit the Wall in The Wilderness. It is a giant wooden sculpted bas relief that tells the history of the harsh Central Highlands region of Tasmania. This 100 metre long artwork is the result of the talent and perseverance of a single man called Greg Duncan. I have always been impressed by wood sculpting and wood is a very noble material for me (wood sculpting is on my bucket list for when I will be retired, by the way 😉). I found this artwork just amazing: the level of detail and the movement and depth the artist managed to create in a 4 cm deep layer of huon pine is just unreal! This man has gold in his hands! Unfortunately for you, taking pictures was not allowed in the gallery, so I can only show you a screenshot of the official pictures from the official website. If you go in the area, this is a must-see!
In the evening, I ate my second pork curry in a row with some hikers who had completed the Overland Track the day before: Karel and Marketa, a young couple from Czech Republic living in Melbourne for two years, and Sheldon and his parents, from Melbourne, for whom it was the first experience in multi-day hiking. It was a very enjoyable evening and I could learn a lot of things about this hike I would start myself about one week later.
Karel and Marketa were so friendly with me: they gave me their topo map of the Overland track and their leftovers of pecan nuts and dried apricots. Moreover, they let me sleep in one of their two “hiker cabins” near the hotel because they slept together in the other one anyway. This allowed me to have a hot shower, dry the tent and avoid spending a second night on my clumsy camp spot. Thank you so much for all of this!!