Thursday, 5 April 2012

Australia: Overland Track Day 6 - Bert Nicholls to Lake St. Clair

Day 6: Early morning sun on the mountains
Day 6: Early morning sun on the mountains
I had a terrible night. My left arm was in a constant state of being either dead, or having pins and needles, and I just couldn’t get comfortable. I was happy to be finishing today. Keen to get underway today, I returned the books to the Ranger, and left the hut just before 8am.

Day 6: 3hrs to the ferry at Narcissus!
An easy three hours to the ferry at Narcissus
A quick photo session of the range behind the hut, then best foot forward.

Once I had popped some pain killers and anti-inflammatory pills, my arm was coping, and today was a breeze; pretty much a gentle descent, through shady forest. I started to enjoy the final few hours. Occasionally, you were afforded glimpses through the bush of the mountains on the other side of the Narcissus River valley. At Bowling Green, I could look back at The Acropolis.

Day 6: Early morning sun on the mountains
Early morning sun

Day 6: Bowling Green
Bowling Green
Day 6: Pine Valley turn off
Pine Valley Turn Off
Day 6: clearing by the track
Clearing by the track
Eventually, the terrain levelled out, and the appearance of well maintained duck boards gave you the impression that the end was near. Still quite a while to go though.

Day 6: Well maintained walkway
Well maintained walkway
Before the suspension bridge, I met another Ranger on his way to Bert Nicholls, before doing a stint up at Pine Valley. With the Easter break almost upon us, Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife were expecting a busy end to the Summer season.

Day 6: Mount Olympus ahead
Mount Olympus ahead
Day 6: Narcissus River suspension bridge
Narcissus River Suspension Bridge
Over the Suspension bridge, it was no more than half hour to Narcissus Hut. By far the shabbiest of the huts, no doubt it is the least used as the jetty  is only 500m away. I had noodles for lunch at the hut, and as I did, I was passed by an Overlander who had walked from Kia Ora in order to get the ferry. With a full house tomorrow, there wouldn’t be any space on it, and he would have had to walk the 15km around the edge of Lake St. Clair.

Day 6: Narcissus River
Narcissus River
Day 6: Narcissus Hut
Narcissus Hut
I wandered down to the jetty soon after, with an hour still to go, laid my pack down in some shade, and sat myself down to reflect on the past week. After so long, I had finally done it!

Day 6: Narcissus Bay
Narcissus Bay
Day 6: Narcissus Bay
Narcissus Bay
The Cradle Hut crew turned up; They obviously felt sorry for me doing the walk on my own, as they gave me the best roll I had ever tasted, full of beetroot, cheese, salami, pickled onions.. the ingredients seemed endless! And to top that off, a large bar of chocolate! Travellers of the Appalachian Trail would call such kindness and generosity “Trail Magic”!

Day 6: trail magic - a cheese, ham and salad roll
Trail magic! a cheese, ham and salad roll
The ferry arrived, and soon I was signing off the track, and into the lodge for a welcome beer. More trail magic as the bloke behind the bar gave me it for nothing, as I was waiting to be served so long. With no way of getting to Hobart today, I booked into the backpacker accommodation and phoned Stan of Adventure Seekers, to see if he could pick me up tomorrow; No problem, he would see me there at 11am.

Day 6: Lake St. Clair
Lake St. Clair
So that was it! My journey had ended. My evening was spent having a long hot shower, taking in views of the lake, another beer, and a glass of wine with a fillet steak that, I swear, gave me a high!

Day 6: A well deserved beer!
A well deserved beer!

Day 6 Route: