Day 159 – This is Tasmania (As I Expected It)

We heard a little community radio yesterday afternoon, and on it the presenter was talking about the clear day that was forecast for tomorrow (today). To my absolute shock, it was perfectly clear when I stepped out of the car a little after 7AM this morning. I was excited, so I pushed Risa to wake up early so we could make the most of this weather before the clouds/rain inevitably came.

20131019_RCH_4520 20131019_RCH_4517I wanted to visit a rocky dolerite outcrop/lookout called Devils Gullet. We drove through a few small towns, including the picture perfect Mole Creek where we found some cherry blossom trees that were possibly more beautiful than any I’d seen in Japan! If only they had more of them in the one area this place would make for an amazing hanami (BBQ/alcohol party underneath the cherry blossoms) party!

20131019_RCH_4532 20131019_RCH_4534The scenery was everything I’d expected Tasmania to be, beautiful, lush, green, and rugged. There was plenty of happy looking livestock (unlike the ones in Northern Territory that I feel sad for, scratching around in the barren rocky desert).

20131019_RCH_4529We even came across a few more echidnas, and I couldn’t resist pulling over to terrorise it for a few minutes while I photograph it. This guy was much smaller (~20cm), but wasn’t as shy as the other one we stopped to photograph last week. It was pretty funny, after every shot I took on my camera, the loud shutter noise would make it hide into a ball, and slowly his face would pop back up.

20131019_RCH_4537The drive up to Devils Gullet was pretty serious, we rose nearly 800m vertically, and along the way we had amazing views out to the central mountains, including a snowy Cradle Mountain. Seeing this vista made me want to do the overland hike more than ever (if only I could have a week of days like today…).

20131019_RCH_4542 20131019_RCH_4544The drive ended suddenly on a plain. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but followed the 500m walking trail anyway. It wasn’t until we were 20m from the end of the trail that we finally saw the incredible, breath taking view. Today was just getting better and better – I could hardly contain my excitement! It was perfection, vivid blue skies, snow-capped mountains on the horizon, (very) rugged mountains at our feet and green as far as I could see.

20131019_RCH_4547The lookout extended right to the edge of the cliff, and for once I was feeling very nervous about looking over the edge (I was paranoid about dropping my camera or something else valuable). We were lucky that it was quite a still/calm day, as I imagine that the wind here must be intense at times.

Now, this is probably the high point of the day. Things got a little messed up from here on… I had heard of the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, but I didn’t know a great deal about it. We drove there, firstly driving back down from Devils Gullet. Driving up the hills we’ve been going slow to keep the engine temperature down (until I can replace the broken t-piece with the genuine part), but going downhill was equally hard on the brakes. By the time we’d reached the bottom, the brakes were smoking! It was then another 23km of slow going on steep unsealed roads, only to find the road suddenly ending at a car park. There was just the single sign, warning that it was a 3-4hr walk to the base of the Jerusalem Walls, and that weather can change quickly. This is where I realised the failures in my research – I knew that there was a full day trek to the walls, but I’d wrongly interpreted that there were other, shorter trails, too. It was too late to do an 8 hour hike, so our only choice was to return back to where we’d come from. Risa was less than impressed, and I can’t blame her…

After seeing Cradle Mountain with a nice dusting of snow, I really, really, really wanted to go back there to see it again, doubly so with this perfectly clear day. It was a 50km detour (one-way) and I couldn’t sell Risa on the idea. I tried, and tried, and tried but realised it wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t perfect weather when we visited the first time, but it was for all intents, good enough… It killed me on the inside, but we kept driving.

20131019_RCH_4555 20131019_RCH_4554 20131019_RCH_4559There were never ending mountain passes that made travel spectacular and fun, but also incredibly slow (to keep temperatures right down, we were driving anywhere from 30kph). We eventually crossed the last of the big ranges (Mount Roland) and from here it was rolling green hills – more of my Tasmanian vision. If I ever come back to Tasmania, I really hope that I can do it on a motorbike or a sports car. It was a perfect Saturday and the bikes were certainly out in numbers, and I was more than a little jealous…

We made a quick stop in Sheffield, mainly because we had loads of time to kill before catching the ferry tonight (oh, did I already mention that we moved the ferry date forward by a few days? We covered all we wanted to see in Tasmania, so decided to leave and go to the MotoGP in Philip Island). This town’s tourist gimmick are the colourful murals that are painted on the sides of buildings. To be honest, I was expecting more buildings to be painted, and I was also expecting something a little more impressive from the murals… but, it’s certainly something … different.

20131019_RCH_4560 20131019_RCH_4561We had seen so many advertisements for a Marble Factory in all the tourist brochures that we’d picked up, so we had to go inside and have a look. Some of the marbles were just incredible, and I have absolutely no idea how they are created! They looked like little underwater worlds, but it was all created with glass, and then housed inside a perfect glass marble. I didn’t even bother to ask how much they were, as I knew I couldn’t afford one (nor do I have a use for one anyway). They also had some Rube Goldberg-esque machines that were sending marbles down tracks, but sadly the whole shop was plastered with ‘no photography’ signs (which I saw after taking my first photo).

20131019_RCH_4563 20131019_RCH_4564 20131019_RCH_4565We had a quick wonder around the centre of town, lots of old buildings, a kid with ADHD singing tunes on an out of tune piano, bearded bikers in chaps drinking Boags by their hogs, and a fudge shop (among other things).

It was yet more beautiful flowing roads back to Devonport where we found a free warm shower (Devonport Surf Life Saving Club), which gave me the perfect opportunity to go for a quick swim (mostly to say that I’ve been for a swim in Tasmania – and yes, it was cold).

20131019_RCH_4566Quick dinner by the side of the road, then back on to the ferry for another uncomfortable night trying to sleep in a chair.

But, at least we have something exciting to look forward to tomorrow! It’s just a shame that Casey isn’t there to mix up the Spanish domination of the MotoGP…

15  9日目  10月 19日(土 ) タスマニア最終日

今日は、タスマニア最終日。 なんと朝から快晴!

オーストラリアと日本は季節が反対なので、タスマニアでは桜がとってもキレイに満開に咲いてました。 美しい山並みをバックに最高の景色。

お天気も良いし、気温も北海道の春と似ているし、おーい誰かジンギスカン持ってこーい!笑  隣の牧場には、いっぱい羊さんがいるけど、、、

峠から峠へ移動し、Deville’s Gullet という場所に行ってきました。

またまた急な山道を登ったり、下りたりを繰り返し到着。 ここは、世界遺産にも登録されている場所らしいので、楽しみ。

駐車場を下りて、ボードウォークを進むと、濃い緑の体に、赤いベレー帽をちょこんとかぶったような可愛らしいロゼラという小鳥を発見。
オーストラリアの本土では、全身が赤っぽいロゼラを見たことがありましたが、タスマニアでは、黄色とこの緑色のロゼラを見る事ができました。

10分ほどで、 Deville’s Guletに到着。  突然視界が開け、大きな崖が柱状になっている景色が目の前に。

崖はかなり高く、この柱状の崖は、見渡す限りの山全てに広がっていました。
下をのぞくと、この柱状の岩が砕けたゴロゴロとした岩が転がっているのが見えます。

お天気にも恵まれたせいで、タスマニア2日目に訪れたクレイドルマウンテンの裏側も見る事ができました。
私たちが行ったときよりも雪が多く積もっている様に見えます。

その後は、エルサレムの壁と名のついた場所へロスがどうしても行きたいというので、1時間ほどさらに山道をドライブして着いたものも、5時間以上の登山をしなければ見れないとの事で、せっかく着いたのに、残念ながら引き返し。

お腹もすいてきたので、ランチをとりフェリーの港があるデボンポートへ向かいました。

その途中シェフィールドという小さな町へ立ち寄りました。 この村の建物の壁には、様々な絵が書かれていました。 観光客を呼ぶには、小さな町は色々知恵を絞りますね。

フェリーまでの時間も大分あるので、小さな村を散策。  きれいなビー玉やさんに行ってきました。

ビー玉の中にお花が咲いていたり、蝶がとんでいたり、小宇宙になっていたり、、、とっても繊細で、すごい技術です。

ロスも子供の頃にビー玉を集めていたらしく2人で懐かしいねーとノスタルジックにひたっていました。
次は、ファッジという甘—いキャラメルようなお菓子を売っているお店に立ち寄り。  色々試食させてもらうと、何も買わずに店を出るのが悪い気になるので、アールグレイの紅茶味のファッジを購入♫

その後は、デボンポートへ向けて出発。  やっぱ晴れてると、景色のきれいさが、格別。

海沿いの公園でなんと無料のシャワーを発見。 しかも無料なのに温水!

晴れてるからといっても、パーカーが必要な寒さ。 なのに、子供達や若者が泳いでる!  信じられん、、、

けどロスも、タスマニアの海でどうしても泳ぎたかったらしく、一瞬だけどシャワーの前に泳いできました。 アホー

長旅の前にシャワーを浴びてスッキリ。  その後は、フェリーターミナルの近くで早めの夕飯を食べ乗り込みの列へ並びました。

今日は、タスマニア最終日にして初めて1日中雨が降りませんでした!!

明日は、MOTO GP観戦!!!!  まさか今年は行けるとは思っていなかったので、最高に楽しみ♡

今日は、ぐっすり寝れるといいけど、どうかな〜

おやすみなさい!!

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2 responses

  1. Loving the pics as always Ross. Did you say you have a D600? Are you experiencing the shutter issue shedding any pieces onto the sensor?
    I’m teetering on the verge of buying, but the D610 has come out to resolve a suspected issue that Nikon never acknowledged.

    October 21, 2013 at 10:50

    • PEKOiSM

      Oh, I’d not heard about or experienced that problem. But, I have the 800, so hopefully mine won’t have any problems.

      October 22, 2013 at 07:24

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