St Patricks Head 24 Dec, 2013
We had taken our Swedish friends, Elin and Frederik, down to the coast to spend the night and watch penguins, and were on our way home, happily filling ourselves with pancakes when I pointed out that if we made a tiny detour after St Mary’s, we could take in another mountain. We hadn’t done one for two days now, so were height deprived. Everyone jumped at the opportunity.
Although I had never been up this mountain, and knew absolutely nothing about it, I proclaimed it to be just a tiny dash to the top, perhaps 15 mins each way. This assumption was based on the fact that Pelion East had only taken us about 30 mins each direction, and this one looked about half the size. Meanwhile, my daughter had read on the back of the toilet door in the pancake parlour that it boasted one of the top views in Tasmania according to some tourist brochure.
Because it was so little, and obviously intended for tourists, we didn’t do it the courtesy of dressing appropriately for the party. I was in a skirt, and Elin in a pretty blouse. I did (luckily) advise Yelena, my second-born daughter, to swap her thongs for runners, just in case there were snakes. My husband volunteered to mind the toddler in the car, and we all set out:. “See you in about half an hour,” I called back in departure, as Elin and I set out together. We had colds and were walking. The others were running and were going to pass us at some point, it was assumed. The sign said “St Patrick’s Head. 2 hours”. We laughed at the tourist signs as we strode purposefully past.
The path was narrow and strewn with small rocks, bushes and stinging nettles encroached upon the limited space. The going wasn’t as fast as we anticipated, but we still seemed to be moving nice and quickly given the conditions. However, we took nearly as long to reach the top of this one as we did to climb Pelion East! The climbing at the end was quite tricky so that one of my daughters needed a little guidance, and Frederik gave the actual summit a miss, as his vertigo was making him uneasy. So much for our tourist pimple. The views were every bit as grand as promised, and we had a marvellous view of the part of the East coast that lay to the north. The cerulean waters below shone in the early afternoon glare. The white sand made an arresting narrow strip separating the blue from the green landscape behind.
My skirt did not make the most elegant of climbing gear, and the pretty blouse hit the wash at the end of the day, but luckily toddler Gussy and his granddad had had a fine time while waiting double the promised time for us all to appear.
Perhaps a skirt was not appropriate wear.