The morning was so cold I got up around 6:45 simply because I couldn’t stay still for any longer. The sun had started to rise above the treeline, bathing the dirt road which led to our campsite in sunlight. I saw Jake standing there and he gave me a tired smile. He had been up for about 20 minutes, standing in the middle of the road trying to soak up the sun for warmth. Yeah, it was that cold, and I joined him.
The car had been having problems recently with overheating due to bad water management. Somehow the water was leaking or boiling out, and Steffen would have to keep pouring litres of water into the tank to keep it at an acceptable level. The car was performing badly and was in dire need of a tune-up. Or a junk yard, hopefully the former.
Steffen was going to drop Jake and I off at the bus station (we had bought tickets the day before for the 11 AM bus to Launceston) and then head to a mechanic. We grabbed our things, including a couple beers for the wait, and said goodbye to the others. I knew I’d see both Steffen and Ben again in Melbourne, so it was a quick goodbye.
Jake and I sipped our beers on a bench outside the station and waited for our boarding time. The bus ride was uneventful, I fell asleep almost immediately and woke up just as we were pulling into the city.
Jake hadn’t been with us when we did the Cataract Gorge walk 15 days earlier, so I took him up the Zig Zag track to the recreational area within the valley. We walked across King’s Bridge, the blank-iest suspension bridge in wherever, then walked back around to the start. I couldn’t find a deli to buy some lunchmeat, so we settled for a couple peanut butter sandwiches in the bus station, laying the slices of bread on our knees and sharing the peanut butter across the aisle.
We had just barely missed the $11 dollar shuttle to the airport and had to resort to hailing a cab. We were told it would be less than $30 (it worked out to about $13 a piece), so we didn’t lose much.
I fell asleep again almost before the plane took off and woke up only when the wheels hit the tarmac in Melbourne.
And so ended the Great Tasmanian Road Trip. I’ll give you a wrap-up in the next entry.