13 December 2011

Day 5 - Overland Track, Tasmania

Kia Ora Hut to Bert Nichols' Hut
Distance to cover: 10km
Forecast: Fine and sunny
Dinner to look forward to: Chilli con Carne
Socks and Boots: Ridiculously muddy. I have given up hope of them drying.

Not so many photos from today - I think it's because I was on Struggle Street for the day and just wanted to get to the next hut and rest. After yesterday my feet feel sore in a bruised sort of way, perhaps from clambering on the rocks of Mt Ossa yesterday. But worst are my achilles - I guess I must have strained them sometime yesterday. After about an hour of pathetic hobbling in my boots I have warmed up and can soldier on.

About 4km down the road we pass an old hunting base camp, Du Cane Hut. There are photos on the walls of guys with hog-tied wombats, skinning quolls, etc, from around 1910. They used the biggest (now threatened) King Billy Pine in the vicinity to build the hut. The last entry in the visitors book for the disused hut says "i had sex in this hut". Hm. Perhaps it is just a place of self indulgence?

There are a few waterfalls that we visit as side trips. Again this means putting the packs down (yay!) and going on a couple of km loop. The sun is out again and I see a healthy sized black Tiger snake basking on the path. I make a rugged sort of "Eep" noise and jump to the side. How exciting!

D'Alton Falls
The falls are lovely, thundering white veils of water crashing down the rocks. It's hard to comprehend these sorts of volumes of water in summer. We talked about how the large rushing creeks we were passing didn't even have names on the map, whereas if they had been in WA they would have been major rivers.

Hartnett Falls

Unnamed falls near Ferguson Falls

Hartnett Falls

Next we struggle up the shoulder between 2 hills, called DuCane Gap. It's not the steepest hill we've climbed, but we are both a bit over it today. It's easy to just look at your feet but we are actually in some fabulous forest. Down another tree-root covered path and into Bert Nichols' Hut. This one has been newly rebuilt and is MASSIVE. It takes a while of wandering around in amazement before we realise it's probably been built with school groups in mind. Instead of being a big open plan hut with bunks like the others, this one has a drying room for stinky socks, a big dining area and 3 separate rooms with bunks. If you were coming from the south end of the track, it's only 1 or 2 days hike in so would be perfect for school camps.

We have too much chili con carne and trade some of it with the French couple we have made friends with. In return, they made us some delicious garlic flatbread in their frypan. How awesome - I didn't even think of carrying flour and yeast for damper.

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