Date: January 17th 2015
Day Three of the Overland is the hardest. It’s 16.75km from Windermere to New Pelion, an estimated 4-6 hours. It was also pouring rain, and the track resembled more of a creek than a track. I LOVED IT.
It’s a good challenge, and I got away early again in the hopes I would arrive at New Pelion with enough time to at least maybe dry my socks (AHAHAHHAHAHAHAAA, the stupid ideas we get!). And maybe I had a few vain hopes that I would stay dry. AHHAHAHHAHA. However, there was merit to this plan; it was much drier for me than those who followed. The weather was following a pattern of storming afternoons and drizzling mornings. I’ll take a drizzle over a rage any day.
The walk starts off for an hour or two across the flats and this was breathtaking early in the morning. One of my favourite parts of the track, and it wasn’t rainforest! I know, gasp.
Just ridiculously beautiful. This was one of the rare moments the sun broke through. Unfortunately, by this point I didn’t have a lot of camera battery left and I was frugal with it from now on 🙁 I basically only turned it on if I thought there was a chance I could get reception (again, the crazy things we think might happen).
The path meanders it’s way around the Forth River. It’s tough work, and in my opinion this is the most poorly marked section of the track. There were a few times I stood knee deep in water wondering if I had somehow lost the path only to find a km later I had not. And I was not alone in this; several people said the same thing to the hut liason when we got there.
The path eventually leaves the flats and ends up in thick rainforest, which was completely flooded by the time we got there, looking somewhat like this:
Like I said, it’s hard work and there is a fair bit of wading involved, but it’s beautiful the whole way and I didn’t mind being wet and cold; it’s a novel change. I was concerned about leeches after fourways, But I’ll take leeches over snakes any day and there were no signs of snakes here. I didn’t see any leeches either.
The path switches back to flats again…
Before eventually returning to the rainforest where you stay until eventually New Pelion comes into view in a field of creaking gums. Seriously, they creak and had me convinced I was about to die buried under them, so I basically ran at the hut praying and as a result ran smack into a locked door at the back end of the hut. Through the rain, I felt my way around until I found an open door, stumbled in and scared everyone there because I’d somehow managed to walk it in under 4 hours; they hadn’t been expecting anyone for at least another two, and yet the next walker came in about an hour later. I think the water was so heavy everyone was rushing, afraid of being caught in the forest in the storm. There really was a lot of water.
New Pelion is a junction between Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and the Walls of Jerusalem, so we had quite a few people who had walked in on the Arm Track and it was great talking to them about their walk. The Hut also has large separate bunk rooms, so we were able to make a room with just solo girl hikers, which was very fun and gave us time to get to know each other. Solo girl hikers are rare, but not that rare; there were three of us on the track, and everyone was OK with that. After all…what is wrong with that?
Nothing, that’s what.