Highlights of the Overland Track

We spent the last 5 days walking 62 kms of the Overland Track, which travels south from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair. It went by in a flash and now some of the days are jumbled together. We had beautiful weather (fine) for many days and constant rain for one of the days, which then led to a wet and muddy walk for the rest of the trip.

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The good outweighed the bad by far, which says a lot because the bad was B A D. We met wonderful people along the way. We camped when the weather was nice but usually prepared our food in the huts stationed along the way. We walked the same pace as several other groups so would meet and recap at night. The views were awesome but unfortunately my camera (or I) didn’t save the photo of the Lord of the Rings valley we came upon on our first day. That was before we walked along a plateau where the wind was so strong, if I didn’t have my ?15 kilo pack, I would have blown away. The first day included a fairly steep climb with rocks and a chain for a handhold but the view at Marion’s lookout was beautiful.

DSCN0339.JPG I stumbled into camp the first night and then we discovered a problem with our tent. We had used it extensively a few years ago and were very happy with it. it kept us dry and looked very cool. This time there was a problem. it never looked cool nor would it keep us dry in a down pour. The fly was flapping in the breeze. First we thought it was because we weren’t used to setting up on tent platforms. One guy told us he thought we just weren’t finished pitching the tent. By about the third night, we recalled this fly was a replacement for one with a faulty zipper. When we received it, all we did was check the zippers. Not whether it actually fit on the tent. We’ll have some correspondence with Black Diamond when we return home.

DSCN0392.JPG We saw wallabies, pademelons (which look like wallabies with fat faces), a wombat, possum, white lipped snakes, skinks and a platypus. We heard beautiful birdsong but couldn’t spot most of them. Somehow we missed the tiger and devil.

DSCN0358.JPG The little joeys stick their heads out of the pouch and munch on the grass with mom.DSCN0373.JPG There were boardwalks over sensitive areas. Some were made of straight boards but others were somehow milled and cut from wood onsite and was very creative.

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But oh the horrors!! Our second longest day, about 10 miles, was in constant rain after a night of torrential rain. This led to washouts on the trail. There was one waterfall we had to cross, about eight feet across, right at the dropoff, which almost brought tears to my eyes. Well we were too far along to go back, my lips and chin got to quivering but with Tim’s encouragement (and laughter afterwards) I made it across. Initially we tried to avoid deep puddles and mud, but after we had to slog through a foot deep river for about two hours, we didn’t care. The water sloshing around in my boots actually felt like a cushion. Some areas had boardwark a foot under the water with rushing currents. But that’s not the bad part.

All this water brought leeches!!! The idea skeeves me. At one point, five hours into the walk, heading uphill, Tim told me I was really slowing down. Well, duhh. But then I saw something, which looked like a black inchworm on my hand, when i tried to fling it off, it was stuck. Then I was able to run with my pack through the mud to Tim yelling, “Ahhhhh, get it off of me!” We had many on us when we got to the Pelion hut that night, but so did everyone else. Then today on the ferry I met a woman who had one in her eye!!!! She said it had been her worse fear to get a leach in her eye. i never even imagined such a thing. Her other fear was being stuck on a train. Now there’s something I can deal with.

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I think I shrunk in the rain.

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7 thoughts on “Highlights of the Overland Track

  1. Your story reminded me of a wonderful book I read years and years ago called Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage. It is a true story about a couple who bike around the world. The fact that it is still in print, and in Kindle format, after more than thirty years is a testiment to its quality. Umm, I should recommend it to my new book group.

    I remember reading it, sitting on the grass, in the early autumn of my freshman year in college. I was laughing out loud! The first time I ever laughed out loud while reading.

    Anyway, the section on New Zealand is interesting because the people were so nice that Barbara and her husband hardly ever actually bicycaled because they were always offered rides. The drivers were so insistent that they couldn’t refuse. 🙂

    • Thanks for the recommendation. I have my kindle with me and will order it and download it. I’m using my kindle for all my knitting. I’ve downloaded the patterns I want to knit and am only traveling with one stitch dictionary.

  2. You will not get any weather sympathy from me. I know that every year I come to love winter but it takes a while and it has not happened yet this year. Gray. Trails sloggy and icy. Snow on the mountains and a dusting in the valleys – it is admittedly pretty. Love your posts. Keep sharing your adventures with us northerners.

    • Warm and wet is better than cold and wet. I was so used to trying to avoid water and mud thinking it would be cold. When I realized it took much less energy to just slog through it was a breakthrough. The sensation of water in boots is sort of like wearing a wet suit. I wish you snow in the Adirondacks.

  3. Wow! What an adventure. You are getting to see so much of Tasmania. It sounds like hard work, but well worth the effort. I was so happy to have avoided the leeches, and sorry to hear that you had to endure them. Don’t you just love pademelons? If for no other reason their name.
    Your post about Frexinet and Wineglass bay brought back wonderful memories. Thanks for your posts, and I hope you have a great time on Deal.

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