Friday, July 3, 2015

Listening To The Silence: Chauncy Vale

The world is quiet here. Lemony Snicket.

Chauncy Vale is a private conservation area about 30 km north of Hobart, named after Nan Chauncy, a well known Tasmanian author of children's books, which straddles an area of low hills and forests between two valleys. There are a few constructed trails, and several old road beds, now used as trails, and, mid-week and mid-winter, you are pretty much guaranteed solitude. 

I used this map for my walk which was more than adequate, although there are quite a few old roads that branch off and are not shown. The main blue route on the map to the Eastern and Western lookouts is marked with blue flagging tape.
Although it was 9 am when I started walking, it was still chill in this dark valley so I skipped the interpretive signs and headed straight out on Winter Walk, which runs east up the main valley by Browns Caves Creek. At the track junction, I wandered up the Caves track which runs along beneath a short series of heavily lichened sandstone cliffs and caves before dropping down to join the appropriately, though not imaginatively named “Old Road Track.” The pass to the north of Devils Elbow is the next major landmark. You could easily walk up the open forest to the top of Devils Elbow but there is no view. 

 Sandstone Caves

Instead, I carried on along the gently climbing road to a marked junction with the Eastern Lookout to the right and the Western Lookout to the left. If I could have seen over the hills in front of me, I might have seen our house-sit near Campania from Eastern Lookout, while Western Lookout had a view down the Derwent Valley to Mount Wellington. Apart from the wallabies I scared up, and the three echidnas that waddled across the track in front of me, the bush was timelessly silent. 

 Listening to the silence at Eastern Lookout

On the way back, I did a loop around Guvy's Lagoon which was dry, as I suspect it frequently is. Back at the track head, it was warm enough to view the interpretive signage and find out a little about the park, although my hands were so stiff with cold, I could only scrawl my initials in the visitor book. 

 Familiar view down the Derwent Valley to Mount Wellington

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