Regular readers will know we went for a wander around the Cradle Mountain area over the New Year. It was a great trip, we really enjoyed ourselves, especially just taking our time and only doing short days. The weather was quite hot for Tasmania and it was a relief to not have a schedule to keep.
We did have a funny, if not weird, experience at the end of the walk.
Arriving back at the Cradle Mountain Visitors Centre we were approached by a rather frantic fellow enquiring if we would sell him our Helinox walking poles.
After a quick chat we discovered that Cathy and Geoff were about the start hiking the Overland Track. They had travelled to Cradle Mountain via a local busline and someone…..had left Cathy’s walking poles in the bus. It, and the poles, were now on the way to Hobart via Strahan. Basically they were gone, not to be retrieved until the end of the walk.
This was ok, except, the walking poles were also their tent poles……..
It is a bit of a weird story but Cathy and Geoff had bought our Overland Track guide and the walking poles on our recommendation as they were regular readers of this site.
We got to meet some readers face to face! It was fantastic!
Over to Geoff from an email he sent on their return home:
Cathy and I have not stopped talking about our chance meeting with you in the visitors centre carpark at Cradle Mountain on the 3rd of Jan, the timing of your return to your car and the fact that the poles were identical to Cath’s felt like a minor miracle to us. You can see how critical the poles were by having a look at the attached shot of our tent !!
We had the most fantastic time on the OT (attached is also a pic of us on the summit of Ossa) with too many highlights to mention, what a beautiful place it is, our expectations were far exceeded and the highlight that we hadn’t anticipated was the people we met along the way and the friends we have now made.
Thankyou sooooooo much for your kindness which gave us the ability to get started straight away. We were touched by your desire to see us get going and the excitement for the track that you briefly shared with us. We had a fantastic late afternoon walk through the alpine heath past Kitchen Hut with the sun lowering and the landscape turning to a burnt orange colour. We made it to Waterfall Valley at last light with enough time to put up the tent and have some dinner.
We tented every night and took the walks each day slow and easy, admiring the big and the small beauty along the way.
Just by way of information, the last night we camped at Narcissus hut to catch the ferry the next morning at 9.30am to connect with a 10.30 shuttle but were finally advised at 10.30 am by uhf that the ferry service had been cancelled for the day (due to weather) so we missed our shuttle and walked the final leg to Cynthia bay and spent the night there (in a spa cabin !!) and got the shuttle to Launceston the following day (Paul Grigg was very helpful in this regard). We found by talking to various people that there is a growing dis-satisfaction with the hotel / ferry operators at Cynthia bay and that there is an increasing chance that the ferry cannot be relied upon.
None of this bothered us at all as we had some flexibility at that end and nothing could detracted from the walk we had had, we enjoyed the lakeside walk actually and found it quite spectacular and beautiful. If advising people I would suggest that you allow enough time to walk out (it took us 4.5 hrs) and catch the ferry if it turns up.
Negatives always turn into positives and because of ours and others delays we all had a great meal together in the resturant (about 10 of us) with others we had met on the track which was a great way to finish.
Next day we returned to Cradle Mountain Lodge for 3 nights to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary which was “luxury plus”!
Our little exchange in the carpark is now a rich memory and a fun part of the story as we tell family and friends about our trip.
Thanks Guys, it was a pleasure to meet you and fantastic you had a great trip!
By the way, we gave Geoff and Cathy the poles, Mox from Helinox had given them to Frank as a sample. He kindly replaced them on our return because we love them and don’t go anywhere without them!
Oh, and if you want to read more about the Six Moons Lunar duo single skin tent , Geoff posted an article over on the Bushwalk Australia site, great information.
Finally, if you love hiking but you’re not into camping, visit the Quickbeds website to find a great deal on your accommodation – no matter where you are!