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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Overland - the Finish!

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 30 April 2016 | Views [400]

After listening to the rain hammer down on the tin roof of Echo Point Hut for much of the evening, the weather cleared up this morning as it was brilliant and sunny with a gorgeous view of Lake St. Clair. I was surprised Zac and Ainslie even made it here last night, trekking in the rain the whole way along the lake. Already I was feeling the euphoria of finishing the track but this morning I still had another 10 km to go. Thanks to some other trekkers yesterday I had some extra food, but I prepared only a cuppa in the morning light. Echo Point Hut is my favourite hut; it's like a small cottage in the bush and I nearly had it all to myself last night.

Pointing to my face I noted to Zac & Ainslie "this is the most facial hair you'll ever see me with" as I've never grown a moustache or beard. Though much of the walk is along the lake there aren't many views of the lake itself. I did get some nice photos.

Toward the end of the walk the signs started getting more colourful and I could feel the euphoria of completing another of the world's great walks. The recommended time is 3-4 hours from Echo Point Hut to the visitor centre but I made it out in slightly less than three hours, and spotted a similar sign at this end. It felt great walking the entire 80 km rather than the 65 km most people do. First thing, I set my pack down, washed my face, and shaved off my mob of facial hair.

I still don't feel 100% because I need a shower. Even after a week without a shower a young couple who picked me up remarked that I don't smell at all. Dropping me at the Hungry Wombat Cafe, I ordered fish & chips with a Red Bull and then had a coffee and lamington for dessert. It feel's great to be back in civilization, though I'm very glad I spent six nights in the bush. Derwent Bridge is a small community at the southern end of the Overland Track with a hotel, a pub that doubles as a hotel, and the Hungry Wombat. Fresh off the track, the barmaid filled my wine glass to the brim when I ordered a glass of house red wine.

Tasmania is small enough that I could search for CouchSurfing hosts virtually anywhere I could get there within a day, so I did some searching. I nearly gave up to opt for a sleeping bag accommodation at the hotel, but a host named Tim in New Norfolk agreed to host me this evening. It took me three lifts to get to New Norfolk, including one by a guy who is touring Tassie whilst his wife is doing the Overland Track. Though he was thinking of stopping somewhere en route, he decided to stop for the evening in New Norfolk. Tim runs the Junction Hotel! And not only that, I was put up in a hotel room. Even better, my favourite bottle of wine, Brancott sauvignon blanc, was on sale tonight! Stripping off everything, a steaming 20-minute hot shower never felt so great after seven days without one. Tim would order some Chinese food, and I had Mongolian beef: A great meal after a week of trekking. Another CSer named Max is staying for a few days, and the three of us all chatted about various things. Tim wintered-over as a chef in Antarctica for a couple of seasons and it's interesting hearing about that. At an Antarctica base over winter, there is seriously no way out! In addition to Antarctica, Tim has spent a great deal of time in Asia; evident by his large collection of Asian Lonely Planets. Whilst I didn't miss alcohol on the Overland Track, a few glasses of "sauve" never tasted so great, and a great evening of chatter it was.

For now I'm in New Norfolk, named after Norfolk Island. Seven days on the Overland Track is complete and after one of the best journeys I've undertaken, it's amazing how things work out.

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