It was 10 April 2014, Day 5 of our travel in Tasmania.
When we saw it was misty in the morning, we realised the chance for us to see the iconic Cradle Mountain peaks was grim. According to the statistics of this website, the wettest day this year was 21 February with 162mm of rain. Up to 18 April 2014, there were 62 wet days versus 46 dry days. Seeing the peak of Cradle Mountain is at a chance of basically half and half. Today we were cursed. Speechless.
This drive took us about 10 minutes from the cabin lodge to reach the car park of Dove Lake, one of the three lakes in the National Park. By the time we started to make a round trip of Dove Lake from the left side, the rain has intensified. We eventually finished the walk barely over 3 hours. On a sunny day this circuit must be filled with trekkers. Today we met far less people. Even less people holding up their cameras. By the time we reached Dove Lake Boathouse, close to the end of the circuit, we were still in pretty good shape. My Leica M and the Elmarit-M 28 mm f/2.8 have both survived in this weather.
After drying our bodies a little bit in the car, we arrived Mole Creek on our way to the direction of Hobart to take a light refreshment in Mole Creek Cafe. We recognised this heritage block, its outlook is not very different from our memory. It is where we stayed for a couple of nights last time on our way to visit Cradle Mountain. The café at the front has definitely gone through some serious renovations. It is modern and yet very cozy, but our bill was at shocking $105 for 5 chicken pies and teas. The lunch special on the menu (beef and cheese pie) has already been sold out and the waitress suggested us to try their chicken pies. We did order the pies with the expectation that the cost would be similar to that of their lunch special (or we should have been kindly told). When we paid the bill, we were all at shock. It was outrageous to charge people $17 for an ordinary chicken pie the size of your palm. We took an image of the bill and posted on Facebook so that friends know how ridiculous the price is.
The plan today was hampered by the adverse weather. Due to the wet condition, it took us too much time to complete the Dove Lake circuit and driving time was longer than usual. It was supposed to be an easy 4-hour drive along the Heritage Highway (Route 1)for the day with stops at some of the most beautiful historical towns in Tasmania, like Longford, Cambridge, Ross and Oatlands. When we filled up the petrol in Deloraine, a very kind gas station owner advised us not to take another route (A5) because of unpaved roads, otherwise it might take longer than we expected. It was well passed 5pm by the time we arrived at Ross. Luckily, the sky has cleared a bit so we could take some nice pictures of the Ross Bridge. Ross was a charming town under the light of the crescent moon.
At dawn, we travelled for another 140 km to New Norfolk, had dinner at a local pub in the city centre and arrived at Haimet Chatlets up in the dark by 8.30pm. We were allocated a holiday home instead of inside the farmstead. Frank, the owner, led us to this self-contained timber cottage with 2 bedrooms in an adjacent property a few minutes away by car.
We felt truly exhausted after a long day drive.