Strahan and Hobart

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February 1st 2017
Published: January 9th 2019
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1st Feb: It was time to leave Cradle Mountain. Since our bus wasn't leaving until around lunchtime and we had to check out of the hostel, we headed over to the café in the information centre. I bought an extremely expensive coffee and sipped it to keep warm as it was still rather cold. Our bus left on time and we were soon making our way to Strahan, where we would be staying for the night. I can't remember the reasoning we had for staying in Strahan for one night but it was probably to do with the bus timetable. Tassie Link definitely ruled our itinerary on this trip. Anyway, the journey took a few hours and nothing really stuck out as memorable during the ride. The bus driver dropped us near to our hostel instead of in the town centre to save us walking with our stuff. I love how friendly and genuinely nice people are here. He also said that he would arrange with the next driver to pick us up from the bus stop near the hostel the following morning, so that we didn't have to head back into town. It was a short walk to the hostel, where we checked in and headed to the dorm room we would be in for the night. The hostel was fine, but a bit ghetto. I think having stayed in much nicer and cheaper hostels in South East Asia earlier in the trip has made me more picky. I know living costs are a lot higher in Australia, but I don't feel like a lot of the hostels offered real value for money, and they were all stuck in old style institutionalised hostel mode.

Once sorted, we headed to the local supermarket to get some supplies and after dropping them at the hostel headed into town to explore. There seemed to be many tours on offer of the surrounding area, but since we would be leaving early the following morning we didn't have time to participate. However, we did have time for the number one rated attraction in Strahan on TripAdvisor, which was to see a local play. We had some time before the play was due to start, so we took a walk along the harbour front. Strahan looked like a cute little town, and it was obviously well cared for as all the places lining the harbour were immaculate. We also came across a Banjo's and since we hadn't had any baked goodness in a while, we headed in for a bite to eat. Since it was almost closing time, there wasn't much left, but we did manage to get something to snack on. From there, we resumed our walk before heading back to the theatre.

We were going to see the play 'The Ship That Never Was', which is the longest running play in Australia, it had been going for 23 years when we saw it (and is about to celebrate its 25th anniversary as I type this up two years later). The theatre is outdoors, but they provide blankets so that you stay warm. The play only has a small cast, I think there were three actors and they took turns playing different roles. The play tells the tale of the last escape from Sarah Island, which was a former penal settlement. I don't want to give away too much about the play, but the story was interesting and it was fun to watch. I liked that it was interactive and the cast got the audience involved, especially the children. It is definitely worth a watch if you are in the area. After the play, we headed over to the local chippy. It must get quite a bit of passing trade from the play as I spotted quite a few other audience members in there. We decided to get a large portion of chip and headed down to the harbour to eat them, while taking in the view. This place is so pretty and peaceful. We walked back to the hostel admiring the old buildings along the way.

2nd Feb: It was an early start for us. We headed to the bus stop and the bus picked us up on time. It was a small shuttle bus and there were only another two women in there. Listening to these two women talk about all the travels they had done, and done in style, made us feel like real plebs. It must be nice to be rich, the women were really nice, too, not snooty at all. The bus driver was really nice again today. Tassie Link bus drivers are the best. We even got to stop and view a waterfall as there was plenty of time. I tried to get some pictures on my phone, but they were pretty crappy. We drove until we reached Lake St. Clair, which is part of the national park of the Cradle Mountain Lake St. Clair National Park. We had quite a long break here as we were switching buses. Lake St. Clair is where the Overland Track finishes, after starting at Cradle Mountain. One day, one day I would like to do it. We headed down to the lake. There were quite a few signs about warning us bout the presence of snakes in the area. I'm glad I haven't seen any so far on the trip. Also, it was such a cold and miserable day that I'm sure the snakes would be in hiding. At least that is what I kept telling myself. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by Lake St. Clair. It didn't wow me like Dove Lake had. I think the crappy weather played a part in this and if I were to return on a clear sunny day I would be awed. We headed to the restaurant, but decided that everything was too expensive so skipped the food and drinks. We headed out to wait for the next bus, which would take us to Hobart. This was a proper sized bus and there were quite a few people getting on who looked like they had just completed the Overland Track.

The journey to Hobart didn't take too long and in the late afternoon, we were deposited in the downtown. We had a bit of a trek to reach our hostel, but made it there without getting lost. After checking in and getting the laundry on, it was time to head out. We only had a little time to explore and had stuff we wanted to do too. We wandered around a few shops looking for stuff, but couldn't find all of what we wanted. We checked out some of those camping meals in one of the outdoor stores for the multi day trek we would be doing, but decided that they were too expensive and we could get cheaper, better food at the supermarket. We headed down to the harbour and had a look around there. It was quite pretty and we saw some cool boats. We were starving by this point, so we headed back to a place we had seen earlier that did all you can eat sushi. I had died and gone to heaven. All you can eat sushi! It was a small place and the sushi was made freshly for you. There weren't a tonne of options and it was all sushi rolls, but still I was happy. We were also given a platter of snacks, like fried chicken, which were pretty tasty. I definitely got my sushi fill and left the restaurant feeling full. We headed to the nearest big supermarket to stock up on food for our upcoming hike. I definitely think we bought too much, but it's better to have enough food for the hike when the alternative is to be hungry and miserable. Then it was back to the hostel to try and figure out how to fit everything we had bought into the backpacks.

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