Every journey must end. Every journey must also have its ups and downs. One of the downs is always flying, and this one was no exception. 34 hours home, filled with ineffective check-in processes, chaotic crowds, idiots reclining their seats and placing their over-sized carry-on everywhere they shouldn’t, inedible food, you know the deal. And yet, I had a breeze compared to my poor partner. Sneezing and fevering throughout the journey, she soldiered on without complaint, but I don’t envy her situation.
Flights aside, which we all know always is somewhere on he spectrum from annoyance to nightmare, this trip’s down was, for me, the persistent dry cough I contracted and kept Caroline, as well as other co-travellers on nights of camping and/or swagging, awake at night.
That said, the ups far outweigh the downs. It’s a well-known fact, for those that knows it well, that I hand out symbolic awards, The Backpacks, after every trip, highlighting the, er, highlights in some chosen categories. It’s a tradition, or an old charter, or something. As there were two of us, there are sometimes more than one winner, and note that we’re not being consistent on which opinion goes in what column.
Note also that the little event taking place near Simpsons Gap, just outside of Alice is outside contest, to be fair to the other contenders.
So without further ado, it’s time to present….
The Backpacks of 2019-2020
|Backpack||for||according to one||according to the other|
|The Cotton Backpack||best accommodation||Hobart Hideaway Pods||Hobart Hideaway Pods|
|The Rubber Backpack||best adventure experience||Tied: Hiking in The Knuckles / Kings Canyon||Hiking in The Knuckles|
|The Jade Backpack||best cultural experience||Tied: Brambuk Cultural Centre / Mona||Street art in Melbourne|
|The Brick Backpack||best city||Melbourne||Tied: Adelaide / Melbourne|
|The Malt Backpack||best drink||Citrus Haze IPA from Sauce Brewing||Tied: G&T at Arlanda airport / Silver tea in Negombo|
|The Silver Backpack||best eating||Oven baked barra, Vineyard, Melbourne||Gamine’s spread during the glamping in the Knuckles|
|The Argent Backpack||best fish’n’chips||Bay Fish Co, Strahan||Bay Fish Co, Strahan|
|The Gunpowder Backpack||best fireworks||NYE Fireworks, Hobart||NYE Fireworks, Hobart|
|The Khaki Backpack||best guide (tour)||The Soulless Ginger||The Soulless Ginger|
|The Twill Backpack||best guide (local)||Reuben||Reuben|
|The Glass Backpack||best hang||LT 42, Hobart||Farewell dinner in Matara|
|The Granite Backpack||best landscape||Tasmania’s east coast||Kings canyon from above, in a helicopter|
|The Fur Backpack||best nature experience||Clouds slowly rolling in around us high up in the Knuckles||Wetlands cruise, Kakadu|
|The Worsted Backpack||best penguin||The one that wobbled across the pier||Grumpy penguins in St Kilda|
|The Celluloid Backpack||best photo||Tropic of Capricorn||Wave about to hit local bathers, Negombo|
|The Calico Backpack||best surprise||C fixing Cooper’s interwebz, earning us baseball caps||The turtle|
|The Terry Backpack||best swim||Natural pool, Knuckles camp||Spider Lake, Litchfield|
|The Copper Backpack||most price-worthy experience||Cooper brewery tour||Hobart Hideaway Pods*|
|The Satin Backpack||best sleep||Hobart Hideaway Pods||First night home|
|The Velour Backpack||softest experience||Barossa valley||Cuddling and feeding donkeys on Bundy farm|
|The Pleather Backpack||experience extraordinaire||Caged with crocodile||Caged with crocodile|
|The Vinyl Backpack||song of the trip||Everything is Awesome!||The lack of Last Christmas|
|The Borax Backpack||best marsupial||Tasmanian devil||Kangaroo hospital in Coobers pedy|
|And last,||but not least:|
|The Gold Backpack||best experience in total||Red Centre||Yellow Water river cruise with Reuben the not so silent guide|
*) We were guests, but even if we had payed full price, it would have been worth it and plenty more