If you haven’t read Part 1 yet start with this post, but for everyone else Katie’s story continues…..
Day 02 – Waterfall Valley to Windermere
Well … we woke up this morning to some beautiful blue sky!! Big Yay!!! So at least we got some glimpses back towards Cradle Mountain and Barns Bluff.
Day 02 was one of the smallest distances to hike with a side trip to Lake Will.
I think Ange was really in her element today … she seemed to have really found her stride and enjoyed the walk. Me … not so much … I think my body was just so fatigued from the day before that I struggled to find my rhythm.
Everything was still very very wet from the day before however at least we got to see some of the beautiful surroundings of the area. We did do the little side hike to Lake Will for lunch with views back to Barn Bluff – it was lovely just sitting there on a little sandy beach in mountains.
Today’s hut was down by Lake Windermere which was beautiful. We went for a walk down to the lake to soak our feet in the water! Believe me … it was definitely a wee bit cold! Got a cramp in the calf straight away! Brrrr but oh so nice on the feet!!
And today was the day I got to see my first ever Wombat in the wild!! YAY!!! So awesome!! We were walking along and heard a branch crack, making us look over and there is a Wombat frozen with stage fright half way over a log! Cutest thing ever – two front paws up and shy face poking over!!
Day 03 – Windermere to Kia Ora
Longest of the day hikes – think it was about 18km?
I really enjoyed this day, the body was feeling great, I was feeling more energised, the bag was sitting just right, there was better padding on my shoulders (where the bag had been rubbing on my collar bones) … I had finally found my rhythm!! Big YAY!!!
It was a beautiful day and we walked through sooo many different types of environments! Open grass lands, open plains, forests and rainforests, on boardwalks, natural rock, flats and the main the challenge for the day … there was a massive stretch in the forest where it was just a big old mud slush!
Thank goodness for my hiking poles … it was a lot of hopping and a major balancing act from slippery root to slippery root to attempt to miss the slush in between. I swear this area took twice as long as it should have. Did have a bit of slide at one stage there … bam … down on my knee before I knew it … no damage done but there was a bit of laughing on how to get back up with a pack on your back – he he … the unexpected challenges we came across!!!
Oh yeah … today is Christmas Day!! Merry Christmas!!
We settled in at the hut (which was a lovely hut) to have our deliciously savoured dehydrated Roast Chicken Christmas Dinner …. m… mmmm!! How amazing it was too … salty goodness… which was actually all my body was craving!! Oh … yeah…. we had also come prepared and trekked with some delicious “Vino” to compliment our nightly dinners in style (best decision ever). We totally lived it up on Christmas Night sharing a Christmas pudding with some new friends in exchange for our delicious Rum Balls and Macadamia and Ginger nut balls we had made for ourselves!!
Day 04 – Kia Ora to Bert Nichols (Windy Ridge)
We woke to a bit of dreary wet morning – not much you can do about the weather so you just wet weather gear it up and head off!! Woohoo!!!!
So today is Mount Ossa day – The highest Peak in Tasmania. The first part of the day is heading up to Pelion Gap where they have a little area to drop off your big packs so you can climb the surrounding mountains. So we get to the gap and it is pouring … actually it more like sleeting! It is that bad that some hikers pick up their bags and keep heading to the next hut!
So… the little guide book (that we were sent to “guide us”) tells you that “you should not attempt to climb Mt Ossa if there weather is bad”…. so what did we sensibly decided to do? Yes Of course … you guessed it…. we didn’t come all this way and get this close not to give it a go! What have we got to lose … if it gets too bad we will just come back down!! Meh!! Easy!!!
So I am not sure how you defined when the weather gets too bad? Is it the point when I stick out my tongue to catch the snow? Nah … of course not … but that was totally awesome!! Nothing like being committed to the cause!
We passed 3 guys coming down the mountain (the only 3 other people who attempted Mt Ossa that day) and they told us that it was just blanketed in cloud and they couldn’t see anything! Ah… shame … but still we were here already so we may as well see what can see when we get there!! So up we go … it is a lot of rock scrabbling … and as we started to get higher and higher the nerves started to get a little shot! But as we were up there and just about on the way down we had a miraculous moment where the clouds cleared from around us and the sun came out to shine on us!
Wowz … the view that came out … so dramatically spectacular!! It was one of my favourite moments – sitting on top of the world (or Tasmania) and just watching the world below you!! What an achievement!!! Yay for us!!
When we got back down to our big packs we decided to have a celebratory cup of tea whilst enjoying the brief rays of sunshine, as it wasn’t long before a shower came across to get us on our way again. Fortunately it didn’t last long – by the time we were at the huts it was sunshine again so decided that tonight was the night that I would camp!! Woohoo for me!!
So it turned out to be the coldest night EVER!!! I had 2 thermals on, + outers, + thermal sleeping liner + beanie, gloves, socks – all the normals, I was tucked in my sleeping bag pulled over my head with only a small breathing hole out the side. Yup I know…. style all the way but I made it through the night!!
Day 05 – Bert Nichols to Narcissus
I think we were both a little fatigued on Day 04 as it had been a 4 hour return trip up My Ossa + 2 hours before and 2 hours to the next hut. The body was definitely not quite feeling quite at its peak, but we still pushed on. Along the track today was one of the originally built huts (all made by hand) as well as a few side trips to see some beautiful waterfalls.
Both of us were keen to push on today and enjoy some rest time at the hut (which was amazing – newest hut of the whole walk and we felt like were back in civilisation)
Day 06 – Narcissus to Lake St Clair Visitor Centre
Last day – Downhill run to the end.
We started early today as we had pre-booked a ferry ride across Lake St Clair at midday.
I really enjoyed the track today – it wasn’t so “Alpine” environment and actually reminded me a lot of South-East Queensland. And would you believe it…. there was not a damn cloud in the sky!! It was the most beautiful day you could have ever wished for!! (Stark contrast to Day 01 – look at that sky)
The walk was amazing and as we rode the ferry to the Lake St Clair centre you could look back into the dramatic mountains and be amazed at how far we had come.
The hike was probably one of the most challenging adventures I have been on, but it was definitely rewarding and I am super proud of myself (and Ange)!!! I look back and remember all those little experiences that came together to be one my best adventures yet. I feel an amazing sense of achievement and can’t wait till my next big adventure!
Shout out to everyone ….
PS. Also have to say a huge Thank-you to my amazing adventure friend Ange!! Can’t wait till our next one!!
Just in case anyone wants to get any more information on the Overland Track head to this website.
Thank you Katie for doing such a great write up and sharing the adventure with us!