Sunday, September 30, 2007

they call it lonny

Talk about changeable. One minute its a crisp but clear sunny day, not a cloud in the sky - the next, cold grey icy blasts of wind and biting rain. Wait 15 minutes and the sky is clear again. The weather is definitely schizophrenic down here.

Took a very satisfying hike up the Launceston Gorge this morning for 200,000 kilometres (well I dont know maybe it was 10 or 1 it doesnt matter) it took several hours and ended up at a place with the unlikely name of trevellyn hoo hoo hut. It sounds very exotic but was in fact a mission brown brick public toilet block with a sign nearby proclaiming "Deadmans Knob".

Now you have had a chance to stop tittering, the walk was beautiful and I was lucky to do the entire Gorge in a spell of clear skies. It began to change just as I returned to the first weir where there was a conveniently placed cafe which looked like it was straight out of Wuthering Heights, a la English Rose-Gardenny complete with peacocks.(The wallabies jarred the image slightly.) So I had a good reason to stop for a coffee and pastie while waiting for the 'change'.

Launceston itself is very "Englishy" - lots of stone 2 story houses, rhododendrons, and the air redolent with the smell of woodfires. They are very proud of their history (already heard the phrase "3rd oldest city in Australia" 4 times in less than 24 hours.

I have been making a few last minute preparations for the Cradle mountain walk which I begin on tuesday - which happens to be my birthday. Very excited about it too!

Launceston Bridge

Launceston Gorge

Launceston Gorge

Launceston Gorge

Launceston Gorge

Launceston Gorge

Launceston graffiti

Launceston graffiti

More soon.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

spivvy bivvy

Went shopping today and bought a few essentials for Tassy.
Mainly went to find a single 'Bivvy'(Bivouac) tent as I didnt want to lug my 2-manner as it weighs close to 3kgs.

Found this

It's pretty cool - compact and very light (1.1Kg)

Also bought myself a tiny stove for cooking:

Without the gas canister it weighs just over 200g. A single billy should see to all my water boiling and cooking needs.

All I need now is a head lamp, compass, gaters (maybe) and a billy and I'm set!

Oh - and I've decided I'm OK with doing the trail on my own.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

there's a track leading back...

... from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair to be precise.

Cradle Mtn.

Lake St. Clair.

Itchy feet have meant that I impulsively booked a return flight to Tasmania for next Saturday for 2 weeks. I am mainly going to walk the Overland Track , probably Australia's most famous walking trail. It runs up and down from Cradle Mountain finishing by Lake St. Clair 6 days later.

It will be very cold and very wet. I need to take a tent, sleeping bag and mat, cooking equipment and all my food.

Track profile

The walk is only 65 kms and doesn't appear to be too difficult - the hardest day is the first and involves a 400 metre climb which isn't very hard to do. (The second day of the Inca Trail that I did in 1998 involved climbing from 2,800 metres to 4,200 metres in rarified air.)

In fact the walk could easily be done in 4 days, but there are quite a few side excursions to various scenes of natural beauty, so there is no point rushing. After all I am there to experience the scenery not to break any records.

I'm just itching to get back into some nature.