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Friday, May 07, 2004
Tiger Trails Tarkine Hike - Day 6 - Out, then to Strahan
Packing and eating breakfast quickly, we set off, aiming to meet Jarrah at the creek at 9:30am.
Darvis suggested we walk down the hill in silence, which we did. Part way down, there was a very big Eucalypt, and we formed a ring, holding hands around it. It was a little uncomfortable, since we could only just reach around it with 11 people, but it was an interesting, semi-spiritual experience. Darvis suggested we think about what we get from being in the forest, and whether we give anything back. I decided I should do something active to try to help save the forest from destruction, as I do get enjoyment, inspiration, relaxation and inner peace from wild places, so I should at very least let my political representatives know this, and ask them to spare the forests.
I took many photos on the way down the hill, as it was one of the few times on the trip that it was not raining, and my lens was not fogged up.
Pretty soon, we got to the creek and we took some group photos, and had a bit of a discussion about what we were taking away from the trip, then we crossed the creek and soon came out at a road, where Jarrah was waiting with the van and trailer.
We packed the stuff in the trailer, got in the van, and that was the end of the walk. The road was a bumpy dirt road for a while through glacial valleys, then we were on bitumen again, and went through Tullah, and on to Queenstown. The scenery was very beautiful until we got to Queenstown, where we were suddenly presented with a landscape devastated by mining. The mountainsides surrounding the northern part of Queenstown were completely bare of vegetation and covered with the rubble of 100 years of mining activity. We stopped in the main street of town, in the southern part, and all went to a café / fish & chips shop to get some fried food.
The others had warned me that Queenstown was pretty rough, and was like a time warp, and they were right – it seemed like it was 20 years or more in the past, as far as the shops, people and styles went.
I was getting off the bus at Queenstown, and heading for Strahan , so I unpacked the Tiger Trails stuff from my pack, said goodbye, and I was on my own again. After going back to the café briefly, and reading about Queenstown in my guidebook, I phoned Tassielink and Strahan YHA. The YHA person told me about a Tassielink school bus which came much earlier than the 9:30pm one the Tassielink office had told me about. After finding the local Tassielink agent, I was able to get a ticket leaving in an hour, rather than 7 hours.
The road to Strahan was pretty windy, and went through areas of plains and mountains. I was dropped off at the YHA, and after getting set up, went to take some photos of the sunset over Macquarie Harbour. I then had dinner at the Hostel, and spent a while trying to clean and dry my gear. It was very handy that I had the dorm room to myself.