It was a delayed departure for us, this year, necessitating a change in routine – which of course is not a bad thing. It was also a very hot day – a day which apparently saw Penrith, just west of Sydney, hit a record heat of 47.3°C, which was not only the hottest place in Australia for January 7 but the hottest place in the world on the day. We were driving through temperatures of 37-39°C – but our car air-conditioning, did the job for us.
We did stop for coffee in Cooma as we usually do, but given we’d left after lunch there was no first-day lunch this trip at the lovely Wild Brumby. (There would be other opportunities we knew – we can’t come to this region without visiting the Brumby.) Anyhow, instead, we booked in for dinner at the Terrace (in the Denman Hotel), another must, and had a great meal. We particularly liked the DIY dessert option which involved choosing from 8 or so options priced from $3-6. Len’s choice of Cherry Eton Mess, Chocolate Sorbet and Rhubarb Custard Ice-cream ran to $12. It was a hot evening but we sat in their enclosed veranda area, with the door open and were perfectly comfortable.
With the forecast for Monday being iffy, we made no plans until we saw how the day broke – and it broke a bit overcast but mild and eminently walkable, so off we set along the Alpine Way around to Sawpit Creek where we planned to do the 6km Waterfall Track. We haven’t done this one for several years but thought would be a good first walk given our change in routine!
Our drive along Alpine Way was pleasant. It was 9am and the car was telling us the temperature was already in the low 20°sC. We were amused to drive past signs for Eggs and Garlic; Gin and Schnapps (the Wild Brumby); Truffles; and Eggs, Honey and Jam. All the necessary food groups! Perhaps we could have Scrambled Eggs on Garlic Toast with a G&T, followed by Toast with Jam or Honey, finishing up with Truffles and a Butterscotch Schnapps. What do you think? However, with our walk on our minds, we didn’t dally at these various vendors …
We arrived at Sawpit Creek around 9.20pm and set off on our walk with a lone walker – an ESL teacher from Sydney as it turned out – who had arrived at the same time. We walked together for a couple of kilometres before a stop by us to pack away my jacket, saw her head off. In that time, however, we learnt quite a bit about the challenges of ESL teaching in NSW in the current environment. We caught up with her near the end, and drove out of the carpark in convoy.
The Waterfall Track was very enjoyable. It has a 205m change in elevation which gave us a bit of a workout, but we were confronted by more March flies than we’ve seen in the last few years. Unpleasant little beasties they are. We were delighted by a Swamp Wallaby bounding across the path in front of us just after the waterfall (yes, folks, there was one). We rarely see critters along our walks here – most being nocturnal – besides birds, insects and lizards, that is.
The rest of the day
We lunched at the Wild Brumby – told you there’d be an opportunity – and then saw two feral deer dart across the road in front of us on the Alpine Way back into Thredbo. Another unusual and surprising critter sighting for us this trip. We then spent a quiet afternoon resting and reading, Len, Tony Park’s The cull, and me, Jenny Ackland’s The secret son. Two short sharp thunderstorms broke the peace mid-afternoon, but it was still by dinner-time. Best laid plans. Our first and second choices were, unexpectedly to us, closed on Mondays, but we were confident that the Black Bear Inn was a seven-day operation and so it turned out to be. Having had a hearty-ish lunch, we wanted something lighter for dinner so we ordered a charcuterie-based tasting plate, a hot and sour pork belly salad and some chips. That was hearty enough – and we didn’t stay for dessert. Like most eating venues in Thredbo, it’s a friendly place with the same people working it (managers or owners?) as have for the last few years. Thredbo feels like our second home.