The trip lasted a few hours with stops on the way. Every time we stopped, one of the Perthianers left the bus to buy food for the hike. This was their last change because at Cradle Mountain was no shop.
At the visitors centre of Cradle Mountain we registered and received our pass for the Overland Track. To get to the start of the track we were transported with another smaller bus. This one dropped us off at the Waldheim cabins.
It was advised not to start the track after three in the afternoon because you would not be able to reach the first hut in daylight. We booked a cabin . It was a very basic place but good enough for one night. From the bus to the cabin was about 1 kilometre and while we walked to the cabin I started to realise how heavy that backpack actually was and was thinking, “what the hell are we doing?” My pack was about 20 Kg ( not overly heavy if I look at the 40 kg another hiker and mountaineer was carrying, but still,) while Yasmine’s was about 15 Kg. In the evening we explored the surroundings of the Waldheim area, saw quite some wombats but it started to rain and we turned around to our cabin.
Our first day on the track.
Got up early and the weather was beautiful. From the cabin next to ours a couple of “elderly” ladies appeared. We started a conversation and heard that they arrived yesterday after having finished the Overland Track. Their age? The oldest or it could have been the youngest was 72 years young and unbelievable fit, as they all were.
Off to the track. The first part was very easy walking over a boardwalk but the track progressively changed shape, somewhere we had to pull ourselves up along a chain, something we had not expected and definitely was not mentioned in the brochure‘.
WATCH OUT!!!!! All of a sudden from underneath a bush, a tiger snake appeared and crossed our path.
They are very poisonous but not aggressive and slowly it moved to the side, out of our way so we could continue our adventure. We still saw a lot of walkers who were doing just a day trip to Cradle Mountain. We on the other hand (tough guys), followed the track to the first hut. having taken our time we thought we were late but once we arrived at the hut, we discovered that we were the first for the night.
There were two attendants at the Waterfall Valley Hut. They volunteered to stay at the hut during the season to check the travellers. They showed us the hut and where we could sleep. Two long tables with benches in a ‘room’ and 32 spots across where we could sleep but, if there were 32 people it would be very tight. Very tight indeed and when one of the attendants said that there was a school group coming, my breathing became irregular. Luckily enough, for school groups there was another bigger hut. Slowly other walkers arrived and animated discussions were popping up. We got to know other walkers and stories about earlier hikes were changed.
My left shoulder was hurting a bit and after I undid my backpack, I discovered that my shoulder was enormously swollen. Never seen before and I started to get worried about the rest of the track. The pain was bearable but what would happen if I went on with that heavy backpack pushing on that shoulder.
More pictures of Tasmania click. works