Start of part two – East Coast

Just for a change we had an early start this morning. We had a pickup to make in Launceston to get our new travel companions, two girls from Korea. The two German girls, two Thai girls, Mariah and John from Alberta had all departed at Devonport. Well, the two Thais actually cadged a free lift to Launceston but that’s just a technicality. As it happens, they checked into the same hostel I couldn’t get access to the other night.

An hour or so down the trail, we stopped for another quick walk around a wonderful waterfall. Three of us – myself, Gustavo and Michael – plus Matt clambered up the side. And then higher. And up a bit more. It was quite hairy, but we actually found that the waterfall at ground level was the lower of four in a cascade. We managed to get some great pictures and somehow managed not to lose Gustavo. Our Colombian friend has a habit of vanishing off into the distance ahead of everyone else, and usually for longer than he’s meant to!

Out of our whole group, we were the only ones to make the climb. Makes me feel good when you consider that Matt does this thing for fun and money five days a week, Michael’s ten years younger than me and a mountain climber, and Gustavo lives in the hills in Central America and treks regularly.

After lunch cooked out the back of the truck, we visited another beautiful beach. This one had some pretty intense waves and Matt zipped off out on his surfboard while the rest of us messed around in the water and played with three dogs.

We stayed in a small town called Bicheno for the evening. There’s not a lot there, but it’s really pleasant. In the evening, most of us had signed up for the penguin tour as recommended by Matt. There are a few of these trips around Oz, but the one on Tas lets you get closer to the penguins than any of the others. So filled with a huge helping of curry and some really crap lager (so bad, even Australians won’t drink it), we were picked up to see the little tottering munchkins.

The tour took around 45 minutes and was really good. The guide was informative and we saw plenty of penguins. I think some of my pictures even came out, which surprised me as there was very little light.

Amazingly, I wasn’t the last one to go to bed. Taketo is actually travelling around Oz after going to a medical conference to help cover the costs. He’s actually working while on the road, and spends the evenings tapping away on his laptop at various projects and documents. Mind you, he catches up on the sleep in the bus during the day.

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