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Published: October 11th 2014
WILD TASMANIA...Freycinet in the footprints of Jo Trouble.
She said it was a piece of cake...said it'd be easy.
Or did she just offer me some cake and say take it easy?
I'm all confused. I'm sure she said it'd be easy.
Anyway whatever she said...the fact that SHE did it...couldn't leave without ME also doing it.
Nearly killed me. I'm sure she said it'd be easy.
Leaving Bay of Fires gotta get some sunglasses as I lost mine in the surf.
Hardware store at St Helens...rack of sunnies. Some tradies getting wood...agreeing the blue rimmed mirror lens pair complemented my sunburn...having a good laugh my wife will love them...those nice meetings you can have in shops...bargain price too...only twenty bucks.
But Denise did not like them...pretty horrified actually...what were you thinking she said.
****** The Challenge
In planning our circumambulation on 4 wheels around Tassie I checked out some blogs on TB...as you do...to get a few hints on where to go.
That's when I saw the pic of the sweeping arc of Wineglass Bay.
Mmmm...Photo by Jo Trouble.
So I checked with her
where she'd taken it.
Top of Mt Amos she said.
Then in Tassie a brochure...mmm...a different angle...a bigger sweeping arc of Wineglass Bay.
Checked out a map. If I take it from Mt Graham maybe I can get the bigger arc.
So top of Mt Graham is my objective!
But if we are gonna do this...we've gotta look good.
Got the blue sunnies...got the sunburn...but haven't washed for days.
So we went looking for a shower.
Public showers at the wharf at St Helens...$2 and I'm looking good...Den somehow enduring the mother in front washing her daughters & neices...making sure the queue heard she was taking her time...Den nicking into the Gents for her shower or I'd still be waiting.
Then the best fish & chips in Tasmania at the Fishermans Catch Blue Shed...yep we tried others in our travels and these were the best...love John Dory.
South down the scenic East coast via Scamander...inland over the mountains to St Marys...past the Chain of Lagoons...Douglas Apsley N.P. to Bicheno...the entrance to the peninsula that is Coles Bay and Freycinet N.P.
All we know about this area is
there is a lottery months before to reserve places to camp...so maybe difficult to find a spot.
That's where our mobile home comes in handy...also hoping for some power to charge my camera batteries.
Sure enough the National Park is full...but nice shady spot at River & Rocks Road Campsite...free camping...pit toilets...50 metres to a little beach with views of four peaks of Freycinet...tomorrow I'm climbing one.
Up early to get a parking spot in the National Park so we can spend the day wandering.
The Visitor's Centre has maps and travel times.
Mmmm...Mt Graham is an overnight trek...rethink...Den just wants to go to Wineglass Lookout...1.5 to 2 hrs return.
Mt Amos 3 hrs return...Den happy for me to do that alone...OK...following the footprints of Jo Trouble it is.
Still think she said it'd be easy.
I'll be back shortly!
The Climb...Not so easy after all
The track is hard clay with tree roots cutting it into sections...slight incline for 200 metres...pretty well climbing up & up from there.
Tree roots making natural steps...clambering over rocks...path tunnelling through scrub and gum...always climbing...stretching
my tendons...feeling refreshed and free...just me and my thoughts.
Not so sure now that this'll be easy.
It's mizzling now...light drops floating in the breeze...occasional flashes of wind.
Walls of concave and convex granite...teasing...treacherously slippery...but I'm up and onward...one after another.
A granite tor...like a giant beast...others like massive balls...an inviting overhang for shelter as the mizzle turns to light drizzle...hairy underfoot getting there.
Then the wind flicking the clouds...flashes of blue sky...its dry again...I ever onwards.
A fit athletic young guy with his girlfriend coming down...I've just had a fall he says...too slippery to risk...looking at the girl...gallantry I think.
They disappear below.
I see Jo Trouble's smile like an apparition...hear a whisper..."Come on Dave...I could do it"
...the wind pretty strong now...drowning her out.
A granite face ahead...runnels etched in its face lined with iron oxide impurities from feldspar corrosion...pink & cream...sparkles of black mica...white and glassy quartz...splashed with fine rain.
Taking some steps forward but it's slippery...not mizzling now...just windy...marks in the rock showing the path...legs wobbly...the wind wanting to grab me and blow me down.
A crevasse to the right so climbing up it's edge...some footholds
here but it's nearly vertical...know this is off the path but little tufts in the rock to hold.
My backpack carrying my water slips off my shoulder...my cap tied to it waves as I shove the pack to my back.
Stopping half way up...thinking thinking.
This is crazy...I'm all alone on the mountain...clinging to a vertical rock face...wind trying to lever me off.
But I continue climbing...I know I can do this.
If I give up...I won't be able to blog about it.
I'll have to pretend we didn't visit Freycinet.
What will I say to Jo Trouble?
That we couldn't find it?
That it was too slippery due to light rain and we couldn't come back another day?
That I wimped out?
That I followed your footprints Jo and here are my photos of Wineglass Bay!
So I push on...getting to the top of that section...now entering narrow paths through spindly trees...time for a drink.
Backpack off...panting on a rock...gulping from the water bottle...sweat stinging my eyes.
Then I see it...or more correctly I cannot
ATOP MT AMOS
View of Wineglass Bay
see it...must have come off when my backpack slipped.
My cap has gone!
But no ordinary cap.
It was from the Serengeti...my balloon flight over the grasslands of Tanzania.
Walking back to the vertical climb I had come up...looking down the crevasse.
I'm not prepared to climb down and have to climb up again...no way...hope I can find it later when I climb down after reaching the top.
Then after that all I can think of was losing my cap...not noticing I must have lost the track...no markers around here...following animal tracks to get up and out of here.
Like all mountains you see what you think is the top...get there...the summit always further.
But I got there.
Three peaks but I choose the one on the right...Mt Amos.
I'm pretty knackered.
Time for a drink...an apple...a weary smile.
I see Jo Trouble next to me...yep...done good she says.
I can blog again!
Pleased and relieved I must say.
Now for those photos to prove I got here.
Two guys join me at the top...one in his early twenties with
his Dad...took one hour they say.
Took me two and a half hours but I don't let on.
"Did you see a cap on the way up?"
"Yes...from Tanzania? It was on the track."
Then they are gone...the young guy bounding like a mountain goat...his Dad scrambling down after him.
Denise is probably back at the van by now...the last thing I need is for her to worry...imagine how embarrassing it'd be if she sent a search party for me.
Time to go down.
Sometimes going down is harder because it applies pressure to the legs...but not this time.
The path was much easier to follow...markers on the rocks clearly visible...orange markers on trees...nimbly through tracks...down steep rocks on my backside...I'm not proud...I'm not slipping now.
Sliding in places...but not slipping!
Then I see it.
My cap is hanging in a tree beside the narrow track.
The guys must have put it there...cheers me up no end I must say.
Down all the steep granite rocks on my backside...getting in the groove...having fun again...feeling safe and free.
Those rocks that
were so tricky going up...going down is a breeze.
Still took me one hour 45 minutes to get down.
Supposed to be three hours return!
Pheee...took me four and a quarter...better not tell Jo Trouble!
Putting my head under a tap at the bottom...a Singaporean chap chatting how pleased he was that he got to Wineglass Bay lookout...easy stroll...well done I said...but I've been....way up there.
And in the carpark...Denise in the van reading...Nah...I was never worried she said...I knew you could do it...you always do!
Friends Act 3
We met Tony & Glenda at Mt William N.P...photographing little things.
Met them again at Bay of Fires as they dropped by to say "Hi".
They'd rung Den and were now at River & Rocks Road Campsite and had reserved a spot for us to join them.
So we join them again...those delightful meetings you have on the road...cherries, raspberries and brie...the odd beer or two...chatting like old friends...yep...as if we'd known them for years.
Some French guys wander over...saying that Zaz we were playing was a really big music star in France.
Tony charging my camera batteries on his inverter...who needs power he says.
And as dusk settles we head down to the beach where I show them around...other campers perched on rocks also awaiting the sunset.
The girls wander back...the beach and rocks now empty...leaving Tony and me laughing and chatting as dark settles...taking photos of this and that...getting off on each others company...and little things.
Relax & Enjoy,
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