It is Lunar New Year 2007 - the year of the Golden Pig, the 1st day, and I am in Strahan, a beach village in western Tasmania. This morning I received lots of Lunar New Year greetings from Malaysia (what great technology brings in the form of sms, hurray!!), being in a foreign land backpacking alone, it is so sweet and so warm to receive these. Thanks guys!!
I am in Melbourne since 9th Feb, travelling to the west of Melbourne and then I took the Spirit of Tasmania (Ferry) across Bass Strait into Devonport, Tasmania. Will be travelling extensively in Tasmania for about 10 days, then fly from Hobart to Brisbane. Then, spend some time in Brisbane and take a flight home from there.
The pictures above are just a glimpse of what I had done so far.
The top pic : I am cooking dinner in a Backpackers Hostel in Melbourne. Hehehe, just feel like having some Indomie (40 cents) and a muffin (AUD4.50). Ate some good hefty meals the first few days in Melbourne, so that night got to have something simple. Oh yes, all hostels are equipped with all kitchen stuff, from electrical stove to microwave, from cutleries to utensils, and fridge to stuff your food packs too. I did not get foods like other backpackers do, because I choose to eat out most of the time. In Cradle Mountain National Park, however, because it is not a village so there are not many restaurants there (there are 2 or 3 5-star spa resorts up in the Cradle Mountain National Park but they are situated so far away), I got no choice but to cook my own meals.
The middle pic : I trek to the top of a peak (got to find the name of the peak later, can't pronounce it well, it is some kind of aborignal name) in Grampians National Park. I love the little town called Halls Gap which is nestled in the midst of the National Park. The day I arrived, there was a Jazz Festival, small little village, hardly 50 families, but because of the Festival, it drew in more than 5000 people camping, and most drove in theri caravan, they sing, they set up tents and the mood was really swinging. The next day was back to normal, and normal means just the rustling of the leaves, blue skies, whisperings of birds and wallabies and kangaroos hopping in the treks. So, I stayed 2 nights in Halls Gap and loved it, loved it!
The bottom pic : This is Cradle Mountain in Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania. One of the very much publicised National Park in Tasmania. The day I did the trek, it was bit cloudy but the weather was cool and crisp, very good for trekking. I trek round the Dove Lake trail which is about 2 hours. But I hike up further to almost the saddle in the middle of the mountain, so I took my time (anyway, I got lots of time, daylight hours until 9pm here in Australia) and walked slowly while I enjoy every bit of it. So, I think it took me more than 3 hours. It is beautiful. The treks are all well laid and constructed. All the trails are either plank walks or stones-paved, so everyone can do it. There are lots of people whom I met along the way who are way over 60 years old. It is pristine and it is nature at its best. I must say this though, in Tasmania, because their natural reserve is so well taken care of, the treks are made easy (or I should say, constructed...... and re-constructed) to allow even the wheel-chair bound "hikers" to have their fair share of the nature trails (not all, but a some shorter nearer treks). Great-ah!!!
It is an experince you will talk about for years to come!!
I am now in Strahan, a beach front village in West Tasmania. Also a small little village (please note that when I say small village, it is really small small small), but they have the best catch from the sea. Last night for my own "reunion dinner", I had Ocean Trout (fresh Salmon) grilled just right to maintain its sweetness and tangy-ness. I had a bowl of garden salad, all for AUD 27. Great deal!! I love foods, so I will go for fine dining whenever I feel like it, especially in a town near the beach.
Oh yes, I had a Tasmanian famous scallop pie too - oh......it was creamy, soft and very tangy, sort of sour-cream type that melts in your mouth and slithe through all your senses-kinda-taste!!?
OK, got to go now. Will be taking a bus to Hobart today. Well, since the bus will be passing by and dropping passengers at Lake St Clair National Park, I may just hop off there too, for a night. Then go to Hobart the next day. Well, never know, I have no itinerary, so I go as I like and since time is not an issue here, I am not rushing anyway.