It was time to leave my cozy cabin with an incredible view so I could continue driving around Tasmania, but first, I walked into the main house for breakfast. My Airbnb host, Jo, made me eggs, bacon, and toast. We talked about problems with family members not getting along. Then Jo got a phone call that he needed to attend to, so I walked back to my cabin to pack up.
I loaded up my car, and Jo said he’d show me around his nine acres. We walked on the rolling green hills, and it all looked like something I’d seen in fairytales or movies. Large trees were scattered around the green fields, and the mountain was in perfect view in the distance.
Jo showed me a spot where he planned to build a few cabins and another area where he’d build an eight-room lodge. Jo had it all planned out. He’d create two rooms for himself and sit on the porch while a manager ran the compound.
Jo also planned to put a restaurant on the property, which would include space for live music. He already had the cidery and tasting room, so I had an easy time envisioning it all. Jo described the compound as having a luxurious, natural vibe. He laughed, “Maybe I’ll put in a helipad for the super-rich.”
The cabin that I stayed in would stay, but Jo planned to add a bathroom and use it for the farmworkers that came during the apple harvest. The manager of the compound would live in the main house. Jo estimated that it would take ten years to build, but he was motivated. The previous owner bought the property when he was 50 years old and worked it until he was 80 years old. Jo didn’t want to work until he was 80, so his goal was to complete it all within the next ten years.
Jo and I walked back to the house, and Jet, his black and white collie, wanted us to throw the ball for him. He was a sweet dog, and I couldn’t help but play fetch with him. Jo and I talked while Jet was entertained.
The conversation went into climate change. Jo said he used to tear the earth up when he worked in the mining industry, but now he knows there’s a better way. He planned to put in compostable toilets, even though they are a lot more expensive. We agreed that the planet would change anyway (it always has, and we’re just a tiny blip), but we can do our part.
Jet was such a well-behaved dog, and I loved throwing the ball for him as he raced around the property. Our conversation ended up drifting in politics and the current events (Trump and the election that was just a year away).
I suddenly realized it was noon, and I was two hours past my check-out time. I said goodbye to Jo and started following him on Instagram. I love seeing the harvest and new gin being distilled. I also can’t wait to see the transformation of his property.
I drove to Leven Canyon and hiked to a lookout point. I walked down a dirt path through thick green trees and ferns. When I reached the end, the view was vast and awe-inspiring!
Mountains and rolling hills were all around me. Directly below me was a river that snaked through a deep canyon and had a horseshoe bend. The canyon was full of bushy trees. Across from me was a steep, jagged mountain.
I was all alone at the viewpoint until a young woman appeared. She had taken the reverse route, meaning she climbed up 697 stairs to get there. I was about to go down those stairs. I was grateful Jo told me to take the route that I did.
I started the climb down the dirt steps built into the mountain, and they seemed to go on forever. There were wood pieces at the end of each stair, keeping them in place. Wooden posts along one side held up a thick rope to use as a handrail.
I felt slightly dizzy from the stairs’ constant downhill, so I tried my best to look around to break up the view.
I arrived at the bottom, and there was another lookout point of the canyon. Because it’s lower, I could see the river in more detail. Then it was time to walk up the path back to the car.
There weren’t stairs, but it was so steep that I had to stop every minute or two to catch my breath. I was starting to wonder if taking this route was any better. It had been an hour of hiking and climbing in jeans, which I regretted.
Once I made it back to my car, I drove to Preston Falls. The hike was much shorter and more manageable. I passed the river on a bridge and walked around the edge to see the waterfall. It was beautiful! The water raged over the cliff and fell hundreds of feet. Green trees and brush surrounded it.
I continued my drive and didn’t pass any towns or gas stations for two hours. The road was narrow, without a center divider line. I passed farms and rolling hills.
I finally arrived at a small express IGA. I was feeling fatigued, so I got a coffee. The girl behind the counter was in her late 20s and asked where I came from that day. She explained that their location is excellent because they were 30 minutes from the ocean and not far from the mountains, which were on the other side of the valley. They were in the middle of nowhere, but she had a great attitude.
I continued my drive, and the road winded its way around the fields and hills until I came to a small, two-lane highway. There were mountains in the distance when I was driving in the valley. Then, the road took me through trees and mountains until I found my way to Strahan.
I arrived at my motel at 5:30 pm. The driveway was gravel, and there were a couple of small buildings, each housing motel rooms. The lobby door was locked, and a woman came around the corner to explain that she was helping the owner because he had to go to his other motel in a different town. She said, “I was just supposed to be helping with a couple of rooms, and it’s turned into 12 rooms. All of the rooms except for two are booked.”
The woman showed me to my room and handed me the key. Then she exhaustedly said that a few people from the YHA hostel were upgrading their room, and they just arrived. She left her cell phone number taped to the locked reception door if I needed anything and took off to assist the other guests.
I ate dinner in my room with food I had in my cooler. I wanted to take a warm bath with the jets because my legs were really sore. I booked the motel because of the bathtub. I filled the tub up with water, got undressed, and right when I was about to get in, the power went out.
I got dressed and looked outside. The building across mine had power, but it appeared the four units in my building didn’t. I called the woman, and she came to the property within a few minutes. She was wearing pajama bottoms and said, “I knew you’d be a problem.” I couldn’t tell if she was joking and wasn’t sure why she thought I’d be a problem.
When we walked into my unit, I noticed the unit next to mine had power. The woman found the circuit box, and the safety switch was on. She flipped it, and the power came back on. She explained that I could try the jets again, and if the power goes out, I should just flip the switch again.
The woman left, and I got into the tub. As soon as I pressed the button for the jets, the power went out again. I got out and wrapped a towel around me. I tried to flip the circuit box, but it wouldn’t turn the power back on.
I called the woman again, and she drove back over to help me. She couldn’t get the power back on, so she moved me to a unit two doors down. I was able to take a regular bath but wasn’t about to risk the jets again. It was 43 °F (6 °C) outside, and I just wanted to get warm. I relaxed and worked on my blog. Thankfully, the power stayed on the whole night.
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