The blog is evolving!

Stay tuned for new features including journey maps, some missing posts, linked photo albums, minor tweaks and ultimately... the earlier trips...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 4 - Cradle Mountain

Cookie says...
Padawan Rebecca decided to have the morning in so the rest of us headed to the interpretation center (interpretive dance anyone?) to do a few of the short walks. Here we learnt the truth about why yesterdays hike went pear-shaped.

Our track was a dead-end but we kept on walking!

We did a few of the walks, took photos, found evidence of ent warfare (LotR reference) and Mim kept an eye out for wombats but to no avail.

Pencil Falls was a neat spot

Lunch was back at the ranch and afterwards we cracked out Citadels. Mim won and then we escaped for some more walking for photos. Mim was overjoyed to find some wombats. The light was pretty crumby so no time-lapse of Cradle Mountain at sunset.

The last known photo of this tourist
before he was mauled by this savage beast

Mim and Mikey went off on a night walk to look for wombats and check out Tasmanian Devils while we headed to the tavern for dinner and snuck in some 500. After they returned we cracked out Settlers where Mim proceeded to trash us.

Mim says...
I stalked some wombats and managed to pat one after some tourists herded it in my direction. After the night walk the tally stood at ten.

This will definately be the highlight of the trip

Luke says...
My knee hurts. So do my ribs.

Bec says...
I slept!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 3 - Cradle Mountain

Cookie says...
Two words: bush walk. And lots of it today. After breaky we sorted out our passes and headed for the Dove Lake carpark with the intent to do the two hour Dove Lake circuit. Two detours and six hours later and we arrived back at the car. I swear there was a warp in the space time continuum or we walked through a few temporal singularities because one sign said 1hr 30 and it took us 45mins but another sign said 1hr 45 and it took us somwhere between 2.5 - 3.0hrs. We even got the bum steer from a ranger... a RANGER!!!

The start was great. Boardwalk and some steps. Piece of pie. Then the first detour took us up a steep bit. We made Wilks Lake for lunch and continued. All we seemed to do is go up and up. We finally made Little Horn and started coming down to where there's an emergency hut and the path split nearby.

If we hadn't walked the circuit backwards,
we'd have seen this sign earlier!

Two people including a ranger said that the Twisted Lakes path was flat albeit muddy so we thought we'd do it and avoid a climb. Strange idea of flat. It was a hard slog up and down for hours. Not happy. But we made it back in one piece and we all feel impressed with where we walked and Mim was happy. Not only did she get to take some more detours, she now has a young Padawan in the form of Rebecca.

In spite of my whinging, the views are very rewarding

We returned to the cabins for nibbles, a roast dinner, games and some much needed sleep.

This made the hard slog worth it

Julie says...
I was looking forward to getting some hiking training in (I'm doing the Gold Coast Kokoda walk) but after getting lost beside a Twisted Lake I decided that this wasn't worth it.

It was all smiles at the start

Mikey says...
The walk was fantastic. Didn't see much wildlife though.

Mim and I having a ball. Haha... get it?
I'm so funny!

Luke says...
Even though I was at the back, I could still hear Mikey's singing. I feel sorry for the wildlife.

Mikey couldn't understand why he kept losing at Liars Dice

Bec says...
I was proud of my previous detour suggestion (day 1) when I lead the team to the Cataract Gorge... but not so proud of my later detour suggestion that had us turn a day of 'we'll just do a short walk' into what will go down in history as the longest hike ever. The team: noisy pants Mickey (you are the reason we didn't see any wildlife); always happy hiker Mim; the camera guy Pete; the camera guy's assistant (Julie your dedication to carry a camera tripod that entire trip was incredible); preggas (I would never have attempted this walk in my normal not-super-fit condition and now I was doing this 27 weeks pregnant); and the always helpful preggas assistant (Luke's dedication to push me up the hills, talk me through the hyperventilation and escort me down the rock faces will never be matched), are now available for hire if you are in the mood for an adventure hike with a twist.

I found snow!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 2 - Launceston

Cookie says...
The plan was to rise early, go for a walk and then meet for breaky but Mim let the team down. In fact, she's our first casualty. She had a big night last night, drinking like a fish and now she's paying for it. She's claims it was food poisoning (the scallops apparently) but we know the truth. Julz and I walked with the mercury registering 0 while Mikey took Mim to the hospital. The rest of us had breaky and caught up with them as Mim was being discharged.

It's a wee bit cold for a walk!

Before heading out of Launceston, we checked out Cataract Gorge (First Basin). We rode the chairlift (the worlds longest single span chairlift) to the other side and walked back via the suspension bridge. It's worth a visit.

Mim and Mikey went in search of a chemist while we headed for Cradle Mountain. On the way we passed through two towns who are clearly in competition with easch other in the uniqueness stakes. Railton which is 'The Town of Topiary' (whatever that is) is full of shaped hedges and Sheffield is 'The Town of Murals'.

The vandals out here are a special breed

A 45 minute windey road later and our car was the second to arrive at the cabins. We checked in, fired up the wood heater, fell in love with the place and started feasting on the food (courtesy of Ashgrove Cheese Farm and a bakery) and wine we'd bought during the day. Gout here we come!

Glad to see they use real moo cows for their cheese

It's interesting to see how people occupy themselves. I have my cameras, Julie and Mim have their books, Bec and Luke have their dice and cards while Mikey talks to himself. We're here for three nights, hoping for snow (unlikely), and swingers party jokes aside, we have several board, card and dice games to keep us occupied.

The team doing what they do best

Julie says...
The Town of Topiary was a unique find on the journey. I was devistated at the thought of arriving at Cradle Mountain with no win after the large town of Sheffield provided a mediocre IGA and no Bottle-O (that we could find).

Is this a work in progress or topiary nudity?

Mim says...
Being sick is bad. Poor Mikey. he had trouble figuring out how to rub my back while sticking his fingers in his ears to stave off sympathetic spewing.

Mikey says...
Cracked the windscreen today... don't tell Cookie...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 1 - Launceston

Cookie says...
Well, we're (read: I'm) at it again. We're off to Tasmania and this time we're not alone. The man who was with me (and inspired me) when this blog first started, Mikey, is here and he's brought a wife (Mim). Oh, Mikey says hi. Also, long time reader Luke Allen-Ankins has saddled up with us and he too has brought his wife (Rebecca). And naturally I have brought my wonderful wife (Julie) too and Mikey says hi.

Funnily enough... Mikey says hi... we're sitting in the JetStar waiting lounge and they're showing a movie about a plane crash. Nice choice. Mikey says hi.

Anyway, the flight came and went, we picked up the cars and headed to our accomodation after a detour. Yup, they've started already. This one was Rebecca's but I swear Mim sponsored it! As any self respecting tourist would do, after checking in we headed to the pub for dinner and some James Boags on tap (when in Rome!). Good food and great company but I reckon that if this is the norm for the rest of the trip then checked in baggage won't be the only weight I'll be worried about when coming home!

For Sarah's benefit, and Mikey says hi... it turns out I didn't need to bring the bowl or the keys because these days there's an app for it.

Okay, Mikey... I appreciate your keeness to contribute but please get back in your box! Mim, where's his medication?

Mikey says...
I loved the view from the window seat!

Mim says...
I'm really excited that I'm travelling again and the best part is that Mikey and I had Cook Tours organise this trip for us!

Luke says...
Mikey stole my window seat!