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Published: March 26th 2014
We have talked about our dear navigator Tom Tom previously, but on this leg of our journey he did a superb job of taking us towards Mole Creek. He chose unusual and interesting roads, but unbeknown to our little friend, we followed a heard of cattle for quite some distance before they were mustered to the side of the road to let a small queue of other Tommy navigators past.
Once through, all was well and we made good progress once more. That was until we arrived at Chudleigh. You have probably never heard of this town other than its namesake in England. This town does contain an interesting surprise - The Silk Fudge Shop. Now the fudge isn't made of silk, and the silk items sold are not fudge coated either. This is a thriving out of the way business with so many varieties of fudge to sample, one was starting to get a sugar high. There were a further 16 flavours that we didn't even see! The fudge panorama is half of the display.
Such a lovely lady who seems to enjoy extending conversations while you add more slabs of fudge to your purchases. We escaped with
just 8 flavours!
Next stop was a little past Mole Creek at King Solomon's Cave. We were hoping that some of his wealth may just drop into our pockets as indeed did the two farmers who found the cave many years ago. They lowered themselves via rope into the cave, turned on their light and WOW! The walls appeared to be diamond studded! Any way they lucked out as the sparklers were calcite crystal, and we found no diamonds either. There are three caves open to the public around Mole Creek, and access is by guided tour only. Interesting and informative as well. In one place there is evidence that an earthquake had lowered the floor from the ceiling but the gap is slowly being mended over as moisture seeps down from the ceiling.
We had made good progress for the day, and we noted that the central plateau looked clear, so we asked Tommy to take us to Cradle Mountain.
Off we went up Round Mountain. I'm not sure if the mountain is round or just the nature of the road. After many twists and turns we finally got to the summit and looked down on
the road from Gowrie park to Moina, a road we travelled on our second day in Tasmania.
These roads are slow to drive through, but just magic scenery, so far from boring. It wasn't long before we came to Moina and headed up to Cradle Mountain. The sky was clear and bode well for the following day. We collected our bus pass, found an unpowered site in the caravan park that suited us as it was too late to go down to the lake by that stage. Oh, nearly forgot to mention one of those 'I wish I had my camera' moments. We asked the camp ground to tell us which sites were available and set off to see if we liked before booking in. As we were walking back to the office, a big fat wombat just came out on the bush clad road about 20 feet from us.
We had read some grumpy reports about the caravan park at Cradle Mountain. We found the staff friendly and accommodating, and the unpowered sites, while expensive, were each separate little bush surrounded hide-aways. The camp kitchen is a beauty with a couple of welcoming open fires burning to
cheer the soul in the colder evening temps.
One of the things on our bucket list was to get to meet a Tasmanian Devil. We have seen some of devils driving cars down here; passing where they shouldn't, using both lanes as required. But the ones we wanted to meet are a rowdy bunch. Just 2 ks from the caravan park there is a Tassie Devil breeding and info centre. At 5.30 they feed these little fellows after showing the paying guests a film about these interesting animals.
These animals are the opposite of community - really solitary animals, but not territorial. They fight over two things - food and sex. We certainly witnessed a mighty 3 way tug of war over their dinner. They were discrete in respect of the other!
But it has been this biting that has transmitted the facial tumour across the population. The breeding program in Tasmania is aimed at getting healthy populations established and back out into the wild. The centre also has spotted quoll. These are cousins of the devils, but decidedly more attractive in their behaviour.
The tour finished about 7.00pm, so we headed back to the caravan
park and had a big bowl of minestrone soup sitting by the open fire.
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