Drive to Coles Bay

I woke up early in the morning and got a danish to then head out for my hike. I arrived at the National Park of Freycinet, and to my surprise, I was one of two cars in the parking lot. It was a beautiful sunny day, with hardly any clouds in the sky, and I was so surprised that more people weren’t here enjoying this park. I then started on my hike through Mt. Amos and found myself at the peak after about an hour. Looking out over into the distance and down towards Wineglass Bay, complete isolation and purity, the sun brightly shining over the bluest water and the whitest beach. It was breathtaking, and really, I was out of breath too from having hiked up the mountain. :)

I then started my descent where finally I ran into another group of people hiking. Passed them and then continued down to the beach. The water looked so great I just wanted to jump in, but it was icy cold. I sat on the beach and had an energy bar while taking in the magnificent views. I then started my hike around through the forest towards the Hazards, another beach on the western side of the peninsula. While walking through the forest, I heard a huge thump thump thump, and finally saw a wallaby cross my path! It was amazing how gracefully it jumped, so I tried to get closer. He kept a good eye on me, and still looked for food. However when I came too close, he hopped off through the branches and trees like some graceful machine. I then continued along and started hiking more uphill. After about the 3 hour mark, I was getting a little over the hike. Mainly because I had seen a sign, and it said 1/2 hour later, but apparently someone must have crossed out a 1 in front of that. Then I kept wondering had I missed a turn somewhere since I never saw another soul on the path. So I just enjoyed the scenery and hoped that I hadn’t made the turn for the 8 hour hike :)

After I completed the hike, I towelled off and headed for Bicheno, a little beach side town. After arriving I found a place for lunch, and had a great chicken wrap. It was so great–food has been excellent here! (Despite the fried bucket of fish). I then went to the blowhole and took some pictures there. After a little walk, I continued back to my car and headed for St. Helens where I was to spend the night. Driving has been great fun, mainly because I’ll see something interesting, pull over, and get to look more. Little churches, graveyards, random beat up bridges, etc. Things I did not stop for were all the road kill. I’ve never seen so many of our furry friends beat to a pulp on the side of the road :( The sad thing is it’s all the little wallabies and wombats, even some foxes.

Half way to St. Helens, I saw a turn off for the Elephant Pass. So I decided to follow that and see where it took me. I ended up at the top of this mountain, at the Elephant Pancake house. It was this really funny house in the middle of no where, that served great pancakes. As I had just eaten lunch, I opted not to pound in another pancake, but rather just take a peek inside into the offerings. It was so fragrant there with the smells of berries, daffodils, and fresh wood. After the descent from Elephant Pass, I arrived at St. Helens. I went into the tourist info place to check and see the backpackers, and he gave me the address. I went by but couldn’t find it. I kept driving around in circles trying to find it, and finally stopped at a hotel, and they told me it was just across the way. Finally I see this tiny house with an itty bitty sign for YHA in the window. There was another car in the driveway so I felt confident that they would be open. The sign said they’d arrive at 5:00.

Marika and her husband Nick own this hostel now, and they’re a young couple in their early 30’s I’d say. I had a great time chatting with her, and my other fellow hostellers, two 70+yo old women from Adelaide. I then headed out for a dinner, as there’s actually a theater in town! Had a pizza, and headed to the theater for a show. I was the only one in the audience of course. As lonely as it may seem, it’s actually quite nice. Especially in the hostels!

After the movie I headed back to the hostel and got to bed. The night got quite cold, and for some reason, I couldn’t get warm enough. I had a heater on, and kept stacking up blankets on top of me. I had a total of 4 and still seemed to not sleep due to coldness. Quite bizarre.

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