At 8 am on a glorious blue sky morning, Jeanette drove to my home already loaded with food and walking boots and much more. I slotted my esky and walking boots and all my bags into the remaining crevices. This was real. After all our planning we were set and ready to go. As we drove through the Greater Hobart Area suburbs against the incoming traffic, we remembered this was a normal work and school day, yet we were free in that moment from those constrictions.
We talked about the information I had researched. I explained, that for each day of our trip, I had created a document detailing the social and other history of the places we would pass by and/or visit. Included were maps and directions to find some out-of-the-way places. We knew the territory ahead was too remote for mobile telephone reception and internet access and that old fashioned print material would be very useful .
We drove west to New Norfolk and continued onto the Lyell Highway. About two and a half hours after leaving home we took our first break at the Hungry Wombat Café in the town of Derwent Bridge – its name derives from the Derwent River that flows through one end. The Café is a delight with most of the staff consisting of itinerant young travellers from around the world – you can always assume that other languages will be spoken here. I have stopped here frequently; the food, ambience and service have always been noteworthy and I have contributed a Trip Advisor report. During my Walking the Derwent project I referred to the Café here. Jeanette and I sat outside in the sun with our cups of tea and newspaper intermittently watching the travellers come and go along the Lyell Highway. Immensely relaxing. After all we were on holiday.
Once back on the road again we recognised the air was so very clear. The large range of green colours across the landscape were vivid and distinct. The puff-less blue sky presented a true dome of heaven. I felt that a perpetual glow of extreme pleasure emanated from my body. We felt truly privileged to be seeing the landscape in all its grandeur.
Then we were forced to stop. To step out of the car. Frenchman’s Cap, a mountainous landmark, stood prominently in the distance, with forested hills in the foreground. A photographic opportunity not to be missed.
Once travelling again we passed a carpark, filled with vehicles, marking the start of the bushwalk to Frenchman’s Cap. It was perfect walking weather and we wished the walkers a terrific time on the track. The TasTrails website shows a photo of the view from the top of the Cap, explains the ‘strenuous’ walk takes 3-4 days, and provides further details.