The following morning, we awoke to another cold day with grey skies and spotting rain. Nevertheless, we decided to visit Dove Lake and view the Cradle Mountain. The first shuttle was at 9.10 am and we were on it – apart from the driver the only ones on it. After 20 mins driving through the park we arrived at a car park with snow topped mountains in the background. On the far side of the car park was a sign board with all the walks available and Kerry selected the walk to the old boat shed. We walked past a couple getting out of their car with backpacks and bush walking sticks looking the very image of prepared experienced walkers. We walked along the edge of the lake, passing buttongrass and other alpine flora not realising we were walking in the shadow of Cradle Mountain. That couple from the car park passed us as we neared the boat shed. We started talking with them and learned they were walking to the summit of Cradle Mountain which was immediately behind us. After bidding them fair weather for their climb and taking a few snaps of the boat shed (I don’t know how long it has stood in that cold water but it seemed in good nick given the environment) we returned to that car park and caught the shuttle back to the caravan park and set sail for Strahan.
There is no mobile phone service on Cradle Mountain or its surrounds, so we blissfully thought the world had forgotten us until we reached Tullah (pronounced Tu-lah in Strahan and Tull -a in Queenstown) and we regained service and the urgent messages. Whilst Kerry rang home, I made a cup of coffee. Coffee cup in hand I walked through the mining memorial beside the highway. It had provided a convenient place to pull in and it also told an interesting story about the mining of galena (silver sulphide – the usual form of lead in its natural state) at Mt Farrell in the 19th century and later after the Depression a second strike was made saving the town till 1974.
Kerry finished her phone call and we moved onto Strahan. We had hopes of visiting Bonnet Island but the weather is against sailing through Hells Gates (or so we were told) so it is an afternoon of knitting and writing this blog.
That evening we visited Hamers Hotel for dinner. Not bad but a limited menu and a noisy woman who continuously laughed like a hyena.