So I made it to cradle mountain with Trish and had a great time. We left early Monday morning and headed west to the national park stopping in Sheffield for a look around and some caffeine. The small town was known for its murals, but was nothing really exciting, I didn't even take any pictures. We continued our way to Cradle Mountain and arrived at about 11:30. It was a cloudy day and we had not seen any evidence of rain, but I put on my jeans just in case! We took a shuttle bus to dove lake, and picked our trail that we where going to take. The summit walk is about a 6-8 hour return walk and decided against that, plus my foot had been really sore and I didn't want to hurt it any more. We decided to do Marion's lookout walk and when returning we would take a longer trail back. We took the steep walk up, which was pretty much right up the side of the 'hill', and the last quarter of the hike had chains to help you as it was that steep. They where used with great thanks! It was only about a 45 -60 minute hike up, pretty good timing I think - especially with a sore foot! The view was pretty amazing and we stopped for a break and to eat lunch. We met a couple from Melbourne, and she had just had heart surgery in November and was out hiking.....good on her!
On the way back, Trish and I where chatting away.....we talked pretty much the whole trip! and as I was walking, I heard a bunch of flies swarming around, I glanced over and to my surprise, there was an echidna!!! I called out (wouldn't say it was a yell, but you all know me :) ) AN ECHIDNA!!!!!! I was so excited to see an echidna in the wild, and it was the first time Trish had seen one as well. We stopped and took pictures of it, and I of course had to get in there and get a picture of me with it!! Once we where finished taking pictures Trish spotted on the side of the trail..... a pile of shit......which is what the flies where attracted too. Lovely. But I guess thanks, cause if it wasn't there I would have walked right by the cute little creature!! We ended up walking for about 3 hours, don't know how many K's it was, but by the end the bottom of my foot was quite sore and I was ready to call it quits. We probably could have done the summit (which isn't really a 'summit', but its the highest point you can go) that afternoon, but i don't think my foot would have been all too happy. We headed back to the car and drove to our hostel. We where hoping to cancel our reservations and drive up to Devonport as we had finished a lot earlier then expected, but no such luck. We settled in and headed back to the Cradle Mountain lodge for some chow and drinks. Trish and I got along great and chatted till almost 10pm!! Oh yeah, and that was after moving tables as we had some lovely insects try and join us for supper - roaches. Ugh. We killed a couple baby ones on the table, but there where about 3 or 4 others that hung around on the ledge and this wooden post. We mentioned it to the waitress and the manager came by, but they didn't do anything about it. I get the hibby-jibbies just thinking about it!!! The next morning we got up and drove to Devonport. Devonport is on the northern coast and it is where the Spirit of Tasmania docks if your arriving from Melbourne or Sydney by boat. I think its about an 8 or 10 hour ride over and I've heard it can be quite rough crossing the Bass straight. I think I'll just fly thanks :) It was a cloudy day, no rain, but a bit windy, I had woken up with a sinus cold and Trish had to work in the afternoon, so we decided just to drive around and not do any walks. Thank goodness cause my head cold got worse as the day went on! On the way back to Launceston we stopped at a chocolate factory which had awesome chocolate AND fudge, a cheese factory - mmmmmm, cheese! and saw a hotel called the Lucas Hotel!!
All in all, it was a good trip....I had great company, I saw Cradle Mountain, stopped at a few other smaller towns, ate some chocolate, cheese, and the highlight: I SAW AN ECHIDNA!!!!!