SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY DOVER
We had some rain during last night, and today was cloudy and windy.
John was determined to stick to the plan, made yesterday, to go up into the Hartz Mountains, despite the weather. So I packed a lunch to take with us, and we rugged up and took the wet weather gear.
Drove to Geeveston – that road is becoming very familiar! Took the Arve Road again. Then took the Hartz Road, to the south – unsealed and narrow. This took us up out of the forest country to more of a sub-alpine heath and scrub land.
As we climbed the range, beyond Geeveston, and wound south towards the Hartz Mountains, the weather got worse. By the time we got to the Waratah Lookout, there was light sleet, much wind and it was quite cold. We figured that would take care of the bushfire!
We stopped to look at the big tree stump remains. These were huge. The biggest one had a hollow in the middle that was so deep it had a railing around it. This area has been extensively logged at different times in the past – and present – and one wonders how many superb old eucalypts like these have fallen to the axe.
We walked the short distance to the Waratah Lookout, but of course could not see much, as the cloud was low.
Continued the drive, to the Arve Falls carpark. Here there was much low cloud, racing over us. The sleet was heavier, and the wind even stronger. It was quite spectacular to watch, from the shelter and warmth of Truck. How quickly the weather changes in Tasmania. We ate our lunch, sitting in Truck, buffeted by the weather.
Then geared up in our japara raincoats and did the 20 minute walk to the Arve Falls Lookout. The falls were most impressive. The Arve River starts up in this area, with lots of little glacial bog land streams gathering into bigger ones – and much water going over the Arve Falls.
I loved these falls. They were quite high. There were several levels formed by large boulders and it was quite fascinating to stand and watch the water pouring over. On a more pleasant day we could have spent an hour or two sitting around, there, just enjoying the place. But it was too cold and bleak for us to linger, this day.
We continued driving, to the end of the Hartz Road – at a carpark that is the start of the main walks in the mountains. There were no other vehicles there – I wonder why? We could not see much from there, so started the drive back down.
John got tempted to explore, and drove up several logging spur tracks in the forest. Some of these ended for us where trees had fallen over the track – and involved some tight turning around! Others just stopped dead in the bush. Guess this is what happens when logging tracks become unused in these parts.
When we got back into mobile phone range at Geeveston, there were messages from R and H. John phoned the latter and they had a long chat. While John was doing that, I walked around and looked at the old, For Sale, Cambridge House – a large old weatherboard house, with a tin roof, that reminded me in some ways of my former tower house in Hamilton. I indulged in a brief fantasy about renovating the Cambridge House – this would be quite a pleasant area in which to live. But I also thought the $150,000 price tag was far too expensive for the condition the place appeared to be in. I was able to go into the garden and have a closer look around, and decided I wouldn’t pay even $100,000 for it. But I hoped someone buys and restores it – beautiful old place.
Back in Dover, it had obviously been windy through the day, but it was finer there – and much warmer!
Tea was the last of the tomato bread soup, chops, potato and cooked tomato.
We drove 112 kms today.