Friday January 8, 2016
Day 2 – Overland Track: Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere 19km
A foggy start to the morning. The whole valley was covered in a shroud of mist and a cold wind was whipping the tent. Made it hard to get out of a warm sleeping bag. This was more like the weather we were expecting. As today was going to be a short day we deliberated about hanging around waiting for the fog to lift or just hiking out to our next hut which was only 8km away. Then we would wait for the fog to lift and hike back to do a side trip to visit Lake Wills. This turned out to be a great move as we ended up hiking through the mist which gave the area quite a surreal, lost in time, feel. We passed one other couple who left camp before us, Canadians Laurie and Terry. They stopped for a short break to get out of the strong cross wind. We made the hut at Lake Windermere well before lunchtime. By the time we had a hot drink the sun was out and we headed back to visit Lake Will. It was so nice to see the landscape we had walked through only an hour or so earlier completely transformed by sunshine.
I was so pleased that we went back to visit the Lake Will. It was so amazing to see this lake high on a glacial morain, with a white sandy beach and Barn Bluff in the background. I was almost expecting the water to be salty. Hammer went in for a swim while I piked. The water was a tad on the cool side for my liking.
We headed back to camp at a leisurely pace. The air had a lovely smell of mead from all the plants that were in full bloom. The sky was so clear it felt like we could see forever into the distance. So different from only a few hours ago.
On the way back Hammer stopped for another swim in Lake Windermere, which was close to the camp. Traditionally hikers would swim naked here. There were quite a few other hikers around enjoying the late afternoon sunshine so Hammer elected to give his some of his clothes a wash while he was at it. Lou-Seal on the other-hand had no problems swimming naked.
In the late afternoon we cooked dinner in the hut and enjoyed the company of a couple of other hikers we had met earlier, Steve and Clara. Like us, one is a teacher and they are on two years leave from work. They are traveling locally before heading off to hike in South America later in the year. So pleased to see we are not the only crazies.