Okay… I have to admit. This post is SO beyond due. I’m terrible at keeping on track with my blog posts, and the more fun I’m having on a trip, the less I want to spend time writing. But better late than never I suppose!
During my Australia trip I managed to hop down to Tasmania for a week to visit my old pal Mark. Remember Mark? I met Mark and Ollie two years ago while traveling through the Bolivian Salt flats with Adam (see previous posts from Bolivia). Well, two years ago Ollie bragged than Mark cooked up “THE BEST” lamb in the world.
“Well you should make some for us!” Adam and I exclaimed.
“Well you’ll have to make it all the way to Tasmania and then I will!”
So that’s what I did…
Little did Mark know, I made the trip half way around the world just to try his lamb recipe. And I have to admit… It’s the best I’d ever had! (Well done Mark).
My trip to Tasmania was awesome, and I have enough stories to fill another 20 posts if I had the time to write them all. One of my most memorable however, was our trip to Wineglass Bay…
So here you go!
It was a two hour drive from Hobart to Coal’s Bay Saturday evening. Mark and I stopped for a wallaby salami and brie pizza on the way up (and on the way back it was so good) and arrived an hour or so after dark.
“You’re probably going to see lots of road kill on the drive up” Mark explained to me as we started our road trip. He wasn’t lying.
As we approached dusk, it seemed every couple hundred meters there was another flattened animal on the road. Wallaby’s, possums, a rabbit maybe… It was hard to tell with some. Sadly, we added to the stats only 20 minutes from Coal’s Bay, as we squished an unsuspecting possum around a sharp bend!
“There was no escaping it!” I said as Mark gave a sad face after hitting it full on. We decided the next day it was our sacrificial rain possum. We managed to pick the absolute best day of the trip to hike on. Couldn’t have been coincidence with my weather luck this trip… Had to be the sacrificial possum!
We stayed at Mark’s friend Cat’s cabin up in Coal’s bay. The little getaway was aptly named “Utopia” and it was just that! An adorable little home right on the edge of the water tucked away in a quiet bay. The place had a fireplace, multiple rooms to sleep in, comfy couches and a backyard with a picnic area! Pretty amazing.
We had an early night to get some rest before a long day of hiking. Just around the corner from Coal’s Bay, in Freycinet National Park, was the stunning Wineglass Bay! I had seen photos of it months earlier and instantly it was on my list. A secluded stretch of white sand and sparkling turquoise waters, bring it on!
“So do you know why they call it Wineglass Bay?” Mark asked me the night before.
Multiple answers ran through my head: because the waters sparkle like champagne? Because the bay is shaped like a wineglass? Because there’s vineyards all over the mountain and they serve free wine? Because there’s an exquisite wine bar on the beach that you can relax at after a long day of hiking?
“Because they used to herd whales into the bay and slaughter them there. The bay would then fill with blood, making it look like it was full if red wine”
…I sat there with my mouth open in horror.
“What?! That’s the reason?!”
“Yup, sorry to disappoint.”
“So there’s no wine?!”
Perhaps I should have looked up ANY kind of facts on this trip. But then I would look like I was “planning” on my otherwise totally fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants trip, and we couldn’t have that. Still, I was not thrilled that there was no wine in Wineglass Bay!
Luckily however, the day was beautiful, so no amount of whale murdering was going to get me down on the views. A day of hiking, here we go!
Mark insisted that we not only hike the 3 hour return saddle to the bay and back, but we also hike the totally separate 3 hour Mt. Amos trek as well. I’m not a huge hiker, and 6 hours seemed slightly daunting at first. But how bad could it be?
We started with Mt. Amos. The first 15 minutes were a wonderful leisurely stroll through the woods. We saw a couple lizards, I could chat while we walked, and our gradual incline was exactly how I liked to hike!
Then we came upon our first sign: “Warning. The rest of this hike is very steep and has rough terrain. Do not attempt in wet or slippery conditions.”
Nothing is easy.
And the sign didn’t lie! The path got MUCH steeper from then on in. In fact, “path” might not be the right word. More like “marked off direction”. There was no path; there were just steep rocks that you had to scramble over and climb up. Way up. To the top of the mountain! But an hour and ten minutes later we pulled ourselves over the last boulder and made it to the top.
“We did it!!” I cheered.
Retrospectively it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was tough, and uphill, and I love to complain while I hike, but the views were worth hiking twice the distance! (And by that, I mean I would have given Mark my camera and he could have hiked it for me)
Wineglass Bay is stunning, and Mt. Amos has by far the best views of it. As many times as I said “damn you!” to Mark, I’m glad he made me hike it.
We stopped for some photos, a little snack, and then a half hour later started our slow decent (mostly sliding down on our bums) back to the bottom.
It’s frustrating really, that you have to come right back to the starting point from one hike before heading out on the next. Why couldn’t we just walk straight down from Mt. Amos to the bay?! Now we have to hike halfway back up the mountain to get over the saddle and once again down towards the bottom!
But the second three hour hike was much easier. The path was cut out and graveled, the ascent gradual, and we ended up right at the water!
The tropical looking waters of Wineglass were a little deceiving. The day was scorching, I was drenched in sweat, and the most incredible thing would be to jump in the ocean for a swim. But one toe in the water sealed that deal…
I’m not one for cold water to begin with, but this was freezing! No wonder only two people out of the hoards we saw down there were brave enough to take a dip. A shame really, no wine AND no swimming! What kind of a place is this?!
But it was hard to complain when we sat in the shade with a picnic lunch with some curious wallabies watching the sparkling waters in the bay. I kept thinking “this is so peaceful… Why the hell do I have to now hike BACK out of it?!”
“Hey Mark, wanna bring the car around for me?” I joked.
I guess the thing that makes Wineglass Bay so enviable is that it’s difficult to get to. It is a sparkling blue and white oasis, tucked away in an otherwise uninhabited national park. The people are sparse, the views are second to none, and the trek well worth it. The only thing that could make it better would have been a glass of wine!