Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lake Pedder - day 2

In the morning after breakfast we went straight down to the Gordon Dam. FUN FACT: It holds back as much water as 25 Sydney Harbours. Lake Gordon abuts (word of the day) Lake Pedder and is connected by a sort of channel/spillway thing. Its a spectacular Hoover Dam style construction, unlike the others we saw later that day which were a bit dull to look at. The boys and I went down about 20 flights of metal stairs to walk along the top, while Elf watched and took photos from above.

It curves side-to-side and also top-to-bottom. It felt really amazing to stand on top of it. I can't deny that it's an incredible feat of engineering, but it's hard not to look down at the dry side of the wall and then imagine a similar ecosystem drowned under squillilitres of water on the other side. One or two species are thought to have gone extinct in the process. Worm species, but still, eh?

Climbing back up (in a relatively light shower) was pretty hard work. I was onto day 7 of a heavy head cold, and also I am very, very old. Our plan for the rest of the day was to drive around the lake to look at Scotts Peak Dam and Lake Edgar Dam. This involved heading back towards Hobart for about 45 minutes and then something like another 45 on a potholed dirt road. It's not true to say I went into every pothole, I certainly missed some. The dams? Average. Quite a view from this lookout but probably not a must see. As we left we "Goodbye Scotts Peak Dam - goodbye for ever".

From there the main excitement was to see if we could get back to the Chalet before they finished serving lunch as it was the only hot buffet available in the entire south-western quarter of Tasmania. We made it. The boys were understandably getting fractious with all the time in the car and no rain-free exercise, but they were generally pretty good. This range is called The Sentinels.

After lunch there want much else to do but try out the recreation centre (with heated pool). We splooped around in that for a while, then we filled half an hour in the empty games room. Elf and Marcus explored variations on badminton while Michael and I tried a new combination of cricket and indoor lawn bowls, that has no chance whatever of catching on. By this stage the rain had almost stopped and we walked to dinner unhurriedly. The wallabies were out and also the smaller ones which we have decided to call pademelons though they may be bettongs.

I can't talk about the rest of the evening as it involved a Richmond game on TV.

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