26 May 2021. Western Tasmania
With an air of excitement, we loaded the car, waved good-bye to the trio of chickens and set a course for the Western Wilds. First stop: Lake St Clair .
“Can you remember much about Lake St Clair?” Back in 1992, David and his buddy Ross, walked the Overland Track through Cradle Mountain National Park. They started the walk from here.
“Not really,” he thought for a moment. “We caught a mini-bus from Hobart, the driver was hopeless. I felt sick by the time we got here and had a meat pie and felt better.”
We walked into the Lake St Clair Lodge for a coffee and to warm up by the fire. “There was nothing like this here” remembered Dave looking around at the log cabin styled lodge restaurant. The walls were lined with old sepia photos of early hikers, and logging activity.
After perhaps the worst coffee I’ve ever had, and the most expensive coffee at that ($6) we strolled down to the lake shore, side stepping a bus load of pensioners on route.
“Well that’s why the coffee was so weak.” I scoffed at Dave.
Back aboard Kenny, aka the Good Ship Enterprise, the highway guided us through the spectacular landscape of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
Cruising along and listening to Tom York at full volume we were transported into another world. Mountainous, rugged and wild.
Approaching Lake Burbury was particularly dramatic. The road ran between the base of mountains and the lakeshore. I wanted to pull over, but there were no lookouts on route.
From the lake the Lyell Highway headed west and through a valley with alien looking mountains. Denuded of trees and rocky.
“If I was being cynical, I’d say this has been mined.”
“Surely.” agreed Dave.
David pulled into a car park for a minute while we debated doing the short walk to Horsetail Falls in the rain. Besides being reluctant to leave the bikes unattended, we were keen to get to the cottage in Strahan and get a fire going. We were close now.
Coming down from the mountain pass into Queenstown felt a little like coming into land. Banking left and right, being buffeted by winds and rain. Suddenly There was a burst of sunshine and a magnificent rainbow.
Our Host had forwarded us about some storm damage, a tree had fallen across the road from the house and cut-off access. But by the time we arrived there was no sign of the tree. So with great relief we pulled up in front of our pretty in pink cottage. Home for the next week.
I quickly ran around photographing the house before it was messed up with all of our stuff. This helps us remember how to put the everything back where we found it. I like to move things around to suit how we live. What can I say?
“Pernickety.” Says Dave. One of these days he’s going to write a story called ‘The Pernickety Wife’.
It’s a simple, cosy little place. They’ve done a lovely job renovating it. I particularly liked the artwork and decoration. It’s styling. David found a really interesting vegetarian cookbook in the kitchen and cooked a number of interesting dishes from its pages. We’ll buy this when we get home.
There are a few quirks to work around: a bar fridge was too small for a week’s groceries and the fireplace was minuscule. Like one log at a time, small. Most of the logs available didn’t fit. It was a full time job to keep the thing alight. I gave up after the first try and we used the heat pump instead. Worked a treat.
Also the toilet was positioned on an angle to the vanity. The corner of the vanity was right in your face when, er-hem, upon the throne.
But other than that, we really felt at home in this cute little house.