Two weeks between the sea and the bush in Hobart on Tasmania.
The first day in Hobart offered a clear blue sky and chilly temperatures, so we decided to climb the main attraction of the town: Mt. Wellington. Most people go up by car, we took the bikes to climb the 1271 from the sea. Quite exhausting, but worth the work. Mt Wellington offers great views and a special landscape. On the way down we took another route over some mountain bike tracks. Felix had great fun while I was trying to manage to not fall in the second real MTB ride of my life. Nearly on sea level again we made a short side trip to a very good ice cream store, which is known to have the best icecream in Australia. In our opinion it is, but maybe every ice cream tasted fantastic after a five hour bike tour.
After a short stop at the home of our guest family, we went to a sprint training in the near of the house. It felt quite strange to run and go, after such an exhausting ride, but we both managed to win our classes and to leave a mark. We meet many nice orienteeres from Hobart there and a random tasmanian guy, who saw my SAOC shirt, on the way home. He came just from the beach and thought it would be nice to share some experiences from South America. So, once again, the australians showed how lovely and open minded they are.
In the evening we had dinner with the host family, which lives just 200m from the beach and has a dad who is a great cook. So perfect conditions to explore the surroundings of Hobart two weeks long.
We were very tired, so at the next day we just cycled to the Museum of New and Old Art (MONA) at the river side in Hobart. The mum of the host family recommended it strongly, but it seems we are not „art people“. It was interesting, but not to exctining. The most disturbing thing was that everyboy ran around with a smartphone and a headset to get information about the exhibits, because there were no labels anywhere. So for me it felt more like staring into the smartphone than watching art. However, everybody as he or she likes. Afterwards we got a nice glass of wine as a proper end of a calm day.
Next day was more exciting. We cycled to Clifton beach and rented surfboards there. The weather was better than at our first surfing lesson, but the waves were not that good. So it was quite difficult, but still great fun. In the afternoon Johannes, an old friend from Jena, came to the beach and joined us for a walk to the near cliffs. Unfortanely there is no food kiosk in Clifton beach and we had just some bananas and power gels with us. So after hours of cycling, surfing and walking we were total famished. Luckily there was a fish&chips on the half way back home, so we would make it also back to the house.
On Saturday morning we joined the family at the park run around the Risdon Brook Reservoir. The 5km park runs gets more and more popular all over the world and it is a great way to start the weekend, especially when it´s sunny and calm. Felix made a new record on the course and I was suprised about my not to bad time after a very unstructured training winter. However, after that we went to the weekend market to look at local crafts and foods. The stands with free tasting were the best. We tested several cheeses, nuts, fudges and fishs. Then felix had to go to the bus to Lanceston where he met with other international orienteering friends (see here).
Johannes and I stayed in Hobart and explored further mountainbike tracks and the Bedlam Caves. On the way home we could cycle all the way at a track right beside the coast line. So we had many beautiful views and a very cool track.
At the next day Johannes and I took his car to the model event of the national competition at the end of the week. It was the first time of orienteering for Johannes since many months, but orienteering is like cycling. You can’t forget how it works. So he managed to catch me up and nearly beat me. Later we drove to Eaglehawk Neck to visit the Blowholes and the Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen. These are all amazing cliff formations, which are formed by the forces of the sea waves.
The next morning Johannes had to leave already and I stayed in Hobart. So the next days I did some cycling trips, some orienteering and hard intervals to get ready for the competitions. And it was worth the work. I managed nearly to win all races. Just in the long distance I first forgot to punch the last control and needed to turn around. In the meantime Charlote Watson, a strong runner from Great Britain passed me and I became second. Maybe not so good, but still better it happens now than at the WOC.