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February 23rd 2009
Published: February 24th 2009
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The engineering is fantastic
Day 108

I got up early again this morning grabbed the PC, my cup, a tea bag, a spoon and the milk and wandered over to what they call the camp kitchen.

Don’t get any Idea’s that it is some derelict dirty lean too, it’s a modern large room, equipped with fridge, Microwave, kettle, TV, with a large seating area, but above all it’s nice and warm.

The weather is very grey and windy but I am glad to be here.

Once the morning tea is “mashed” I plug the lap top in and settle down to managing some picture files, and just making some minor changes to the previous blog Caroline type, the day before.

Someday’s I do it, someday’s Caroline does it and sometimes it a mish mash of both of us, when reading it I think it is easy to spot who’s written what part, Caroline’s is clear and concise, and mine is just rubbish with some technical or animal stuff in to bolster it up.

After 8.00 Caroline wandered over “I have been looking for you” “where in the sleeping bag? I didn’t want to disturb you my love so I

We are going in invest in one of these when we are working
came over here out of the way”!!

I make her a cup of tea and we decide to have some breakfast. Great, toast we brought a new loaf last night we can again have toast and Marmite. Caroline ceremoniously put the loaf on the table, and to our horror every slice had been chewed. Slice by slice we inspected the damage, like inspecting a deck of faulty cards. “Them pesky critters, where’s me gun?

“That explains the rustling that I heard in the night” Caroline said and explained that she woke up when the shopping bags under the awning were rustling, realising that it was not the wind, shone the torch out, however, whatever it was was quick and ran off into the night.

We both came to the same conclusion! A Possum had to be to blame but it wasn’t worth putting wanted posters up, as we didn’t know what this fella looked like.

Oh well we had to settle for boring old Crunchy Nut Cornflakes again.

We set off up to Cradle Mountain, and on route Caoline said that shesaw aT-Van in a layby, we have been doing some research on Various campers

The inside
and decided when we can afford it, that we were going to by a T-Van, we turned our truck around and went back to see what was parked.
A german guy and his family had parked overnight in their T Van, and he gave us a grand tour it so fantastic. If we could afford we now we would have one now.

Our first real day in Tasmania, we were so excited. It is such a pretty place, very much like the Cotswolds or Cornwall, and so green. We had about 80K’s up to Cradle Mountain and people had warned us about the road kill, Kangaroo’s, Wallaby’s, Possums, wombats, they were all there, it was like a bad day in the Meekong Delta.

We drove up to what they call the transit terminal, where we left our truck, on with the hiking boots, “JUMPER” I did say the nasty word, Jumper and on with the fleece.

Caroline’s got her camera rucksack on contains the usual, crampons, Ice axe, sled, rope, GPS antenna, Swag, Huskies, food for 6 months, and I put my Sony Cybershot camera in my pocket.

We walk to the shuttle as apparently you can not drive your vehicle to the drop off points, such as Snake Hill, Ronny Creek or Dove lake.

The shuttle driver drops us off, and I am last getting off, I ask, where’s the best place to see Wombats mate? All over replies the driver, but especially Ronny creek. The shuttle company runs night watches but they are 25 bucks each.

We have been recommended to do the Dove lake circuit; it’s a 6 Kilometer walk, easy to medium grade that will just take a couple of hours to do. We set off at 2.15 and we have been advised that the wildlife is in abundance.

Just about 10 minutes in to the walk, we find fresh Wombat poo!! Which are about 6 nuggets the sizes of conkers, if not slightly larger and along the stream beds Wombat footprints. Wombats are grazers, they eat roots, grass, tubers etc so nothing unpleasant, it’s a bit like horse poo really.

It was a truly beautiful walk, some places were much harder than others, and the boardwalk sections were fabulous, really well done. The descent in parts could be a bit tricky as there was quite a bit
Which wayWhich wayWhich way

We chose the Dove Lake Circit
of loose rock.

We got back at 4.50, but we had stopped to talk to a British guy who’s son and daughter in law have lived in Sydney for 5 years, they have just had their 1st child, now his wife wants to return to the UK. He had told us that he had walked the enchanted walk the day before and had walked past a Wombat that was asleep just at the side if the walk, and when they went back it was just waking up.

We also get in to conversation with an Australian guy who is from Singleton in New South Wales (the Hunter Valley region, famous for its wine), so possibly if we hadn’t engaged in so much conversation then we may have got around in the two hours.

We finish the walk just after the old boat house, chuffed as the walk was great, not a single Wombat, but loads of tracks and poo, still they are all still in there burrows, just thinking about getting up!

Getting back to the car we were thinking about hanging around for a couple of hours then driving up to Ronny creek and waiting till dusk to go back out to see what wildlife we can see. But we are totally unprepared for this. We need things like, our big torch, our head torch, sandwiches etc so the idea is put on hold..

There is a camp site right across the road from the transit terminal, which is a Discovery Holiday park, and the Australian guy we had spoke to said it was one of the best sites he had ever been on.
As we are leaving Ulverstone on Wednesday morning we thought we could book 3 nights up here and do the wildlife watching we wanted to, right in the Cradle Mountain National Park.

Someone had told us that this camp site and all the other discovery sites had just been brought out by Big 4.

Caroline marched on in and asks “Does Big 4 now own Discovery? Well not quite we are to become an affiliate but it did not quite happen this week, “Oh shame” Caroline said “I am a Big 4 member and was hoping to get our discount” explaining that on this trip every cent counts. To which Claire responded, “that’s ok, we will honour your discount, you can be our first customer as a Big 4 Affiliate.

Caroline marched out victorious, we have got 3 nights booked in Cradle Mountain and we were all set.

We drove back to Ulverstone getting there at 8.00 pm and we were going to cook a hot chilli tonight, unfortunately we forgot to take the mince out of the fridge, so the meat brick we had was could not be used. We didn’t go to an emergency code Spam situation, but instead rustled up a bacon and lettuce sandwich.

I cooked the bacon then we went in to the Camp Kitchen to put it all together, where it was nice and light and warm. We started to chat to a couple of fella’s one of them a young Austrian Guy called Gregor was working over here designing something to do with the National railways, and the other guy Richard, has been on his travels for the last 8 months.

Richard has one of these tear drop Caravans we have raved about in the past, do you remember the “Honeymooner”, but unlike the Honeymooner Richards is only 3 years old, like we mentioned in our previous
Wombay NuggetsWombay NuggetsWombay Nuggets

Fresh Wombat Poo!!
blog they are making a comeback.

I have seen Richard around a couple of times, but never previously spoken to him, we talk about travel and he is heading right up the centre and is quite nervous about it, but more so than anything the extreme hot and cold temperatures. Richard is here on Tasmania until early April then he will drive up to Adelaide to see a mate where his Beach Wheel chair, which is made out of Titanium, needs some specialist welding done to it, then he is away again on his travels up through the red centre and on to Darwin.

We talk and talk, then we need our beds, we say good night and go back to our refuge.

Back to those Pesky Possums, we find a carrier bag that rustles a lot and put a couple of slices of bread in, then put a rope through it and tie it up about 2 feet from the floor. If they are back tonight they are not going to have it easy.

I gave Caroline my Camera, to put at her side off the bed, her window is open slightly just exposing the mozzie net, so if she hears rustling in the night will wake me up.

Not long after falling asleep, I get that shake, “its here” and in the darkness we see two Possums, one was sitting on the table and the other was on the floor, they shot off but were soon back again, there was not chance of getting a photo they were just to quick.

When I inspected the bag this morning the bottom was open and the bread was gone. Our little test had worked, but at least this time they had to earn their “crust”.

Note For all travellers wishing to go to Cradle Mountian you can drive your vehicle from the Transit Terminal to the drop off area at Dove lake as there is a nice big carpark, and a toilet, but if you are going to Snake Hill or Ronny Creek, use the transit bus as it is easier.
You can also get the Transit Shuttle to Snake Hills and Ronny Creek and walk back across the board walk which is 8.4 K's

Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 28



in abundance in this area.
The Afternoon ViewThe Afternoon View
The Afternoon View

This is what the morning walkers could not see.

This tiny toadstool appears in the undergrowth.

Most of the track is like this - easy to walk through the undergrowth but a necessity to make sure the vegetation is protected from being trampled.
Cutting GrassCutting Grass
Cutting Grass

These are the flowers from the "Cutting Grass", this grass has serrated edges.

With Cradle Mountain in the background.

Boatshed with Cradel mountain the background

24th February 2009

listen to the night
hi guys you are doing well, just a note to you both to listen at night time to the sounds of the tassie devils fighting over food etc, not every night is obvious but you will hear them and its quite a sound when you do hear them. try the bakery at westbury or the pub in deloraine for a goodf feed. ooroo

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