January 26, 2017
km traveled today: hitch to Hanmer Springs
total TA km: Off trail!
Originally we had planned to stay one night at Boyle River Outdoor Education a Center and keep trekking but we changed our plans and today hitched into Hanmer Springs to soak up the lovely East Coast weather for a day or two before heading back into the alps and continuing down the trail.
We slept in this morning in our comfy bunks indoors at the Boyle, but once roused by our oldish European hiker couple roommates making breakfast, we started our day with enthusiasm and forward looking to the couple days of recuperation ahead of us. As soon as we were up and packed we started our hitching journey in the gathering mist and rain, team Jasper and Shep taking the lead and Jack and I getting a ride about ten minutes after them in an aromatherapy van from a healing retreat further west, which appropriately smelled amazing and was driven by a lovely Kiwi woman named Paru who is very into essential oils. Jack and I hope we didn’t ruin the peppermint and rosemary aroma of her van with our undoubtedly powerful stench. As soon as we reached Hanmer we fell in love – sunny skies, dry climate, beautiful golden hills in three of four directions. Shep and Jasper had kindly investigated the YHA and gotten us some beds with our member discount and after getting some fudge (passionfruit caramel, chili chocolate, crème brûlée, cookies n cream) it was 2 PM and we could check in and dump our stuff.
Being hygiene-minded we made it our priority to start laundry as soon as possible and spent the afternoon at the YHA doing that and watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which a couple of the guys working there were luckily just about to start in the TV lounge when we arrived. During the afternoon Lukas, Morgan and Dominique arrived at the hostel, as did Kate and Sam, and the fifth occupant of our room, Axel, who spent one of the nights at Blue Lake Hut with us. For dinner we heard there was a special half-kilo of ribs deal at O’Flynn’s so we took advantage of that and afterwards hurried back to the hostel still worn out residually from the past week or so.
As evening fell we got ready for bed and are hoping to really nail down our beauty sleep tomorrow morning and at some point visit the hot pools here which have made this little town the tourist attraction it sort of is.