Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Overland Track: day 6

This was our final day and we awoke to rain which had began during the night.

After breakfast we donned out wet weather gear for the first time and headed out on the final leg of our trip. We had some 9km to cover and the rain persisted for the entire day. While our wet weather gear kept the rain out it also kept the sweat in and before we were half way through this section I was wet on the inside too and my camera, which I was carry inside the jacket, was moist. Wet camera meant no photos. This was a pity as there was some lovely vistas and other features that I would have photographed. Such is life.

The walk was mainly through cool temperate eucalyptus forest with the odd bit of button grass plain.

Most of us looked rather bedraggled by the time we arrived at Narcissus on the northern end of Lake St Clair. We had managed to pick up the odd hitch hiker in the form of more leeches. When found these were promptly dispatched.

We ate our lunch down at the jetty in the rain with a dropping temperature. I think we were all please to see the ferry arrive for our 1 o'clock pickup.

The 17km trip along the lake to Cynthia Bay and the Lake St Clair Visitors Centre showed glimpses of the spectacular scenery on both sides of the lake.

Coffee was most welcome and provided a warming boast but I was still fairly chilled as was most of the group. We took the opportunity to change out of our wet clothes into whatever we had that was both warm and dry. While I was changing I discovered a leech on my leg just above the knee. Cheeky devil! Having flicked him off I took delight in stomping on him.

Our bus finally arrived and we headed off on the return to Quamby.

Once our borrowed gear was returned and people had reclaimed their luggage and packed their hiking gear back into them it was time for farewells. Cradle Huts provided nibbles and drinks and we said goodbye to our guides before heading in to Launceston and our various accommodations.

Overall, this was a great trip. The guides did take good care of us both on the track and in the huts. The scenery was spectacular. The alpine flora was a riot of colour. We had opportunities to learn about and appreciate the fragile nature of the special area through which we passed.

We are indebted to the people who set out to preserve this very special track of land. It could so easily have been lost. Without their courage and persistence this area with its magnificent trees which have graced this land for thousands of years would have been logged and those glorious trees turned in to wood chips.

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