Like a lost dog who returns home, I’M BACK AND I MIGHT HAVE A TICK OR TWO.
Back in Townsville that is; not back in Chicago. Did I mention I left? You see, when I was told there was a week-long study vacation, I heard “VACATION” and hopped on a plane to Tasmania.
I wasn’t alone though; two other friends and myself rented a car and drove over 900 miles in the course of five days. It was the ultimate procrastination destination. And to keep the procrastination going strong (yes, i have a final exam tomorrow IT’S FINE), I’ll give you the play by play.
DAY 1: Arrived in Sydney and spent the evening on the famous Bondi Beach. I ate a burrito.
DAY 2: Had an early flight to Tasmania and spent the day exploring the city of Launceston. We took a chairlift up to Cataract Gorge, hiked around the mountain, and walked across the suspension bridge overlooking the gorge. We then drove to the Tamar wetlands for a sunset walk and bird watching. After checking into our lovely little hostel, we cooked up a delicious green curry. By 8:30pm, we were sound asleep.
DAY 3: After grabbing a quick cup of coffee, we set out West to Cradle Mountain. Along the way, we stopped at the old fashioned town of Deloraine for some shopping, and then at Mole Creek for a tour of King Solomon’s caves. At one point on the tour, all the lights were shut off, revealing the hundreds of glow worms on the ceiling of the cave. After the tour, we continued onwards to Cradle Mountain stopping only to photograph the wild wombats. Every. Single. One. …We passed a lot of wombats.
DAY 4: The day started bright and early with a sunrise hike around Dove Lake. We were surprised to see so much snow on the ground…! Maybe it was because of the snow, or perhaps because it was 5:30am, but we were the sole hikers on the mountain. Not a bad way to start the day. As I reflected on my past travels, it occurred to me that I’ve been hiking, scuba diving, biking, kayaking, swimming, and camping. So it was only logical that next, I go horseback riding! The views from the horse trail were simply stunning; it was an unforgettable ride. After lunch, we departed Cradle Mountain and set off for the East Coast, stopping at several lookouts along the way. Upon reaching our campsite at Bay of Fires national park, we immediately got a camp fire going. It was over these small and mighty flames that we somehow managed to cook fried rice using only an aluminum tin. McGiver himself would have been impressed.
DAY 5: Every vacation has one rainy day. Today was that day. On our journey down the East Coast towards Freycinet National Park, we were determined to walk up to the Friendly Beaches Lookout, despite the pouring rain. It took all of five minutes before we were running back to the car screaming “ABORT MISSION!”. The rain began to subside once we reached our destination, and the rest of the afternoon was spent hiking down to Wineglass Bay, rated one of the best beaches in the world!
DAY 6: After eating breakfast on the edge of a cliff, we embarked on the final leg of the journey: Hobart! We arrived early in the afternoon, checked into our hostel, and then spent the day walking and shopping around the city. We ate treated ourselves to a fancy Turkish dinner, and then went out for a few drinks afterwords. We ended up stumbling upon a hidden gem: salsa night at the Republic Bar. Maybe it was because I was wearing hiking boots (sorry, I didn’t have any room to pack cute shoes), or maybe it was because I just looked incredibly awkward, but my dancing was so horrific that I was approached and asked if I wanted a brief dancing lesson. Ladies and gentleman, I am now a salsa dancer. Thank you, Tasmania.
DAY 7: I was sad to say farewell to Tasmania, but at least I got to say helloooooo Melbourne! I wish I got to spend more than just two days in this happening city, but I made good use of my time. I walked around the entire city, shopped around the Victoria Marketplace, got lost a few (dozen) times, and went to a comedy show at night. The people I met were kind and friendly, and the city itself has a very modern and trendy vibe to it. Melbourne is certainly somewhere I hope to return to in the near future.
Now that I’m back at JCU, it’s hard to believe that I only have a week left in Townsville. I’ll save the waterworks for my final post, but just know, they’re coming.