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Published: August 20th 2015
Getting Less for Murder
This Devil is sexually mature, that is why he bares the scars of many fights with others
I think Andy wants to call this blog "you get less for Murder"
It still looks like we are going nowhere today, the snow is still pretty thick on the ground, the roads don't seem to get cleared it all happens naturally. It is still amazingly pretty from our cabin window, a huge slab of snow is overhanging the roof onto the balcony, the icicles are dangerously posed to kill with one wrong move.
No early start to today, we just eased into the morning, I made a cup of tea, apparently the one day in the year that I should make the morning tea, perhaps I should mention now that today's date is the very reason that we are here on Cradle Mountain, 25 years ago today, Andy and I got married in Romsey Abbey, a normal summer's day in England, overcast but fairly warm, and here we now are on the other side of the world experiencing a proper winter.
This is a great way to celebrate our 25 years together.
We sort of have a plan for the day but it is wholly dependent on the road conditions and if the Road up to
Getting Less for Murder
View of the snow curtain, slowly sliding down the roof
Dove Lake is open. But first we drive down for breakfast, it has stopped snowing but the car park is still pretty bad, and very slippery. I am being terribly careful not to slip up, it is tricky and spiked shoes would be helpful.
Heading in for breakfast after taking in the views we sit near the fire, Andy puts his gloves down in front of the fire to take the dampness out of them, I wasn't worried about somebody stealing them, but more-so worried that an ember from the blazing fire might make them disappear, fortunately they survived and we headed back outside only to trip over another wombat or two.
After a wander around we headed up to the visitor information centre to find out if the road was open, it was only open to 4 wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The conditions are pretty icy out there, I think the bus was still only running up to the interpretation centre and not Dove Lake. It has changed a lot since we were last here, the shop is not so good as it used to be, very limited supplies of clothing and they didn't have any
So our plan for the morning was to head to Devils@cradle, a great place to go and look at the Tasmanian Devil, where they are working hard to stop the Devil from becoming extinct and find ways of wiping out the cancer that they are suffering so badly with. The main car park is closed, but there is enough parking out the front for about 5 cars, they are not very busy at the moment, people are not coming up to Cradle while the roads are still snow and ice.
Before going inside, we saw a Pademelon sat soaking up the sun next to a snow covered log. It was not perturbed by our presence. Inside we purchased our tickets and chatted to Chris, who has worked at the sanctuary for around 15 years, since it opened I think. A nice guy, knows his stuff. Grateful for the chat and the background information we headed down to the Devils enclosures, again being careful on the slippery pathways.
Pleased to see that they were mainly active, trying to keep warm maybe. We wondered if it was cold on their paws, but Chris said that their paws are
well padded, the funniest thing we saw was one of the Devils hugging the side of the colour-bond tin enclosure, she looked blissfully happy feeling the warmth from the corrugated fence where the sun had been shining persistently on it since rising this morning.
A couple of juvenile Devils played around their enclosure and when they had enough they went to the sunny side and lay huddled up together in the sun. There were a few older Devils around, in the main we saw some Tasmanian Devils in excellent condition, Chris told us that was because they were not sexually active. The older ones wear a lot of battle scars, one had very little fur on its back. Some had torn ears, wonky faces, missing teeth and scarred muzzles.
A Pademelon was hopping around the outside of the enclosures foraging for food under the snow covered ground, didn't seem to keen on having too many people around though and hopped offf.
The good news was that the shop sold mugs, not badly priced at $10 each, so we bought two. This meant that finally we can have a decent size cup of tea or a mug of
Getting Less for Murder
A view of one of the Cradle mountain lodges
soup. The Cradle Mountain Lodge does not supply mugs, when you order coffee or hot chocolate, they come in small cups, it is a disappointing aspect of the lodge. In weather like this you want a decent size mug of hot chocolate to warm up not a prissy tea cup size! They don't even provide mugs in your room.
I have no idea what time it was when we went back to the Lodge, but it was nice to go back to our cabin, have a rest, a spa, write up a blog and download some photos, checking out what we had so far.
Our original plan was to go out and have a nice meal somewhere tonight, but we were enjoying our day and decided that later on we would do the Enchanted Walk and have a meal back at the Lodge Tavern.
The walk was lovely, Andy was concerned about the boardwalk being slippery, well it was compacted with snow that had turned to ice. I found that if you carefully walked along the snowy edges of the boardwalk, then you could maintain some grip, on the proviso that you don't misplace your foot and
topple off the edge of the boardwalk, oh and the other thing that I found handy was to use a walking pole that we had brought with us.
We needed to make a snow wombat, well when in Tasmania needs must and as we walked through the Enchanted Forest we put our artistic skills to the test. Snow was plentiful so we made ourselves a nice tubby wombat, I guess it could have looked a little bit like a rabbit or a pretty pig if you think about it, but we think it hit the mark.
Moving on, crossing bridges, the trees were dripping with water from the melting snow, the water was crystal clear in the creek below, we wondered if there were any platypus around at this time of year, that water would be cold! The water was in abundance and gushed over waterfalls , there was barely any stillness.
We heard some people behind us and stopped to let them pass, we chatted and found that Renata and Colin managed the lighthouse at Wilsons Prom. Now when we were last at Wilsons Prom with the Travelin Trueys, we discussed staying at the lighthouse, but
it is a 19 kilometre walk from the car park to the lighthouse carrying all your provisions and bedding. An adventure that we want to do one day, so watch this space.
As managers they do one week on and one week off, they are allowed driving access via the service track however they still have to walk the remaining 4 kilometres in, with all of their provisions for a week. By the sounds of it people take in a fair amount of food and end up leaving stuff behind for the managers because they don't want to take it out.
We finish our walk, a fair number of people are around at the moment, some look as if they have only just arrived, you can tell by the excitement, especially as a wombat appears from the undergrowth.
Heading indoors the lady on reception who has been very helpful this week, asked if we had been back to our Cabin as yet, we said not and she had a look on her face that said we would be happy when we went back. How exciting, we wondered what surprise awaited us. But for now we needed to
We set about finding a nice cosy corner in the bar, they have big worn looking leather sofa's with lots of cushions and cosy armchairs, a big roaring fire warms the room, we choose what we want from the menu for our early dinner and I head to the bar to order.
I asked the guy behind the bar if we could have a mug of coffee, he said "sorry we don't have any mugs". Apparently it was a decision of the latest executive chef not to provide mugs. I am sure that had more to do with maximising profit than providing what the customers want. Sadly that seems to be the way with the meals, you pay top dollar for the meals, and with very little choice on the menu after a week here it gets a bit tricky to choose, soup of the day was the same for about 3 days and sadly there are no light bites for lunch, sometimes all you want is a sandwich but they don't have any of that.
We did some blog work, ate our evening meal, washed down with coffee and a little champagne and soon
headed back to our cabin where a surprise awaited. There waiting for us was a little wombat, (not a real one), our friends Jenni and the rest of the Davis clan had sent us a wombat for our wedding anniversary, they knew that mother nature had provided the snow, but just were not sure if she could provide the wombats so they sent one just in case! We took one look at her and decided that she was definitely a girl wombat. A name will come soon.
We had an enjoyable day and evening we almost polished off another bottle of celebratory champagne.
What a great day and such a special place to be to celebrate our wedding anniversary, this could not have been more perfect.
I set the alarm for 5am, we have an early start tomorrow, Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain await and I have a dawn shoot with some friends of ours.
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