(damnit this is the 2nd time I've got to re-do this long blog thanks to a RSS script error)
Can't think of any wonderful to write about today so I'll just jot down some of my experiences hiking in Tasmania's Overland (Cradle Mountain) track with my friends. There was this girl LC, her brother MC, another dude SW. All three were medical doctors who had studied together. I was friends with LC and MC but I didn't know SW.
I liked LC, a fair bit. I told her so. I thought going on this hike with her will help us to get together, or at the very least help me to get to know her better.
The Overland track is about 80km that takes you thru some of the most beautiful scenery in Tasmania. But it could end up that you'll spend most of your time starring at tree roots, or your fellow hiker's ass. Its a hard hike no doubt about it and will take you over a week to do. However, elite athletes have completed the entire stretch in a single day. Needless to say, they did it without carrying fullpacks, food rations, tents etc..
Oh, for the Lord of the Rings fans- you get to pass Fangorn Forest. Its of course not Tolken's FF. Just some hippies who decided to nickname it as such. (Go to the middle of Australia and you'll also find a desert called Mordor.) FF certainly fits the bill - its dense, forbidding, meandering, and you get the feeling that if you sat that long enough the trees would consume you whole. But apart from that, it seemed a cool and surreal place.
Some lessons- 1. never totally depend on your friend's "expertise" without finding out what exactly the dude plans to do first. One of my ex-flatmates - lets call him MORON - was this apparently seasoned hiker. He kept on yapping about his trip to such and such. And I assumed he was one hell of a hiker. Turned out to be one hell of a wanker. I assigned him to go get the food supplies. He showed up on the day of the hike with a packload of tin cans. TIN CANS FOR FRACK SAKE???? WE GOTTA CARRY TIN CANS FOR 8 DAYS???
2. never (totally) trust your friends and be too obliging to help. On the 2nd day of the hike, I got really fed up with my two friends who were chatting to each other like lovebirds. They were walking oh so agonisingly slow in the hot sun. I just wanted to get into the shade and take in the scenery. They just wanted to talk to each other. So I hooked up with this group of girls - one of them was sweet- and left them behind. Then MORON claimed he injured his leg and asked me to carry some of his stuff, ie his hiking tent and sleeping bag and tincan supply. Being the friendly fool I am, I said yes. I still managed to keep up with the girls which didn't seem to please moron. However, I was totally exhausted by the end of the day cos I was carrying his crap as well as mine.
Turns out the moron was faking it. Near the end of the trip, I was absolutely shocked to see him sprinting up a small mountain with my other flatmate. Ya, I figured out by now that they were "a couple". She assured me later its something that "just happened".
I was totally furious by now and had the hard word with moron. I passed him all his stuff back when he came down from the mountain. Things went downhill after that. My two flatmates, moron and his (now) girlfriend, basically ignored me for the rest of the trip. I suspect in their previous incarnation they were cats; worse part was waking up in the morning and finding the girl cuddling up to moron in the tent. Geez, she had her own tent ffs.
One other thing- bring along "Fruit Pastilles" when you go hiking. They're small blackcurrent (or assorted fruit) jelly-jam sort of soft sweets produced by Rowentree. They will keep your mouth moist and will not stick to your teeth like other sweets. And they're high in Vitamin C. Unfortunately, my supply ran out by day 2. And all I had to eat was dried almonds and chocolate for snacks. Chocs aren't so good- they're a bit heaty- not good when you're warm and sweaty.