The fifth leg – Queenstown (Tasmania)

Date: 26 February 2018
Distance: 4.2km
Time: 00:29

Traveling lots and staying in different places every night, meant that we couldn’t fit in as many runs as we would have liked to. You think you might run lots and stay active, and you plan for it, but somehow it is just too hard to make it happen. Especially when you travel on a shoestring, therefore limiting your motel, backpackers, cabin or other bottom of the range accommodation, by trying to camp or make use of the local free camping spots (which invariably don’t have showers, or even so much as a tap).

Tents get wet at night, which just adds another level of complication. With no wash-up facilities or laundromats, the smallest budget car rental, and only three sets of clothes, which includes sleeping, running and general use, one tends to become stingy with clean clothes. And you can’t really “recycle” running gear, so you end up not running.

This situation made me very nervous about our upcoming 101km. But it made the birthday boy real grumpy. Maybe it was the amount of candles on his birthday cake that made him grumpy! ;-D Be that as it may, we both needed to go for a run, even just a small one as consolation prize, which is exactly what we ended up doing on the morning of Gerry’s 50th in Queenstown.

Queenstown, Tasmania, is quant little town (with a population less than 1800). Primarily a mining town, but like the NZ counterpart, also nestled between the mountains and therefore in beautiful surroundings. Just much smaller and not as much of a tourist trap. The main touristy thing to do there, is to catch the steam locomotives for a full or half day West Coast Wilderness Railway trip thought gorges and rainforests, and generally just beautiful scenery. And should the steam locomotive not be operable for whatever reason, the heritage diesel locomotives will be used instead.

Of course we happily started celebrating the night before, staying up after 12, so to get up early enough to go for a run, plus pack, breakfast, and shower to check out of the cabin in time, was a bit of a challenge.

We trotted off from the Queenstown Cabin & Tourist Park, between houses for a bit, but were soon on the edge of town. Carrying on in a south-western direction, we saw a turn-off which looked like it might be going back to town. But it turned out to be the road to the cemetery. While wondering which direction to go next (that is the sort of question you ask when you get to the cemetery :-D), the scenic railway locomotive came past, with the conductor whistling, people waving, us waving while also trying to get a running photo with the train – chaos for five seconds before it was all over. We followed the service road next to the rail for a bit before turning around to go back the way we came.

An enjoyable little trot, which helped to lift the moods all round. A quick breakfast and packing, and even quicker shower and we were on our merry way heading even further into the wild west, while the celebrations continued.

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