Geeveston, Tasmania: The Cap’n Makes It Happen

After breakfast we headed out on the South Coast Track near Cockle Creek, which takes you inland towards the southwestern shore of the Huon River and the large bay it feeds. The walk is a 15K, 4-hour roundtrip walk and we did it in just about that. When we reached the coast we walked around and took the requisite pictures, but decided not to go any further because we needed to head north to see some caves and then find another campsite.

I feel I should devote some time to describing the weather around the southern coast of Tassie. Minus the snow, you can literally experience 4 seasons in one day. It could be overcast, cold and windy in the morning, rainy and warm at lunch, bright and sunny in the aftenroon and frigid but clear by night. When you only have a summer sleeping bag, or a tent that’s not waterproof, and mostly summer clothing, it can be rather irritating.

A little southwest of Geeveston are the Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs. The caves cost an absurd amount of money to see, so we decided against it. The thermal springs sounded nice, and were only $5, but we found out there that it was nothing more than a swimming pool fed by the waters of a nearby thermal spring. Weak.

Starving, we stopped in Dover to cook the rest of the sausages left from the night before. By the time we hit Geeveston, a town further north than Dover, it was quite windy, but reasonably sunny. The clouds were moving quickly, though, so we didn’t know how long it would last. The hostel in town let us camp on their grounds for only $6.50 each, which included the use of all their facilities. Ben and Jake forumulated a plan to sneakily sleep on the couches inside the hostel rather than in the car or tent. Late that night, the owner quickly removed any need for stealth by saying that she didn’t really care if we crashed in there, and where we could find more couches.

The hostel was a working hostel, in that most backpackers there were working at the nearby fruit farms or on fishing boats. In fact, the owner would actually help you find work if you were staying there. One rather old guy, who looked and sounded incredibly drunk, sat outside alternating rolling joints and rolling cigarettes, and told us about working in fishing boats in a town in northeast Australia called Bowen, making $3000 dollars a week. Then he told me about how he caught some massive fish, earning him the nickname of “The Captain”. And yes, everyone at the hostel called him Cap. It seems that was his livelihood: wandering around Australia, following fruit picking seasons and the weather, making money only when he needed it, and taking a sledgehammer to his gray matter. Must be nice.

Stay tuned for a beautiful night in National Park, near a national park, and a waste of gas as we drive up and down route B61, cursing the weather.

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