Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- The N.S.W. Nurses' Association, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
No. 295. July, 1959. Price 1/-
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey.|
|Sales and Subs||Audrey Kenway.|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey.|
In This Issue:
|At Our June Meeting||Alex Colley||3|
|Danae Brook||Mike Peryman||5|
|Walking Guide||12, 21|
|News from Lyn. Baber||14|
|Illinbah Round Trip||Edna Garrad||17|
|Ettrema Gorge||Colin Putt||18|
|Mr. Harvey Wins the Lottery||Canis Minor||19|
|Hattswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||7|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||9|
Let's Be Illiterate or Burn, Bash and Bury.
“Rubbish in the Bush”, did I hear someone say? “In the Castle area”. Shades of Blue Gum in 1938, is it possible? -
Litter is a world-wide problem to which the answer is Education. To quote from the Report of a Committee on “Litter in the Royal Parks of London (1955)” -
“Litter scattering is more a consequence of bad habits than of civilisation itself. We have only to travel to certain foreign cities to realise that litter is no problem where high standards of living are accompanied by parallel development of civilised habits and where public opinion makes an offender realise that to drop litter in a public place is a social offence… Those who use the Parks for relaxation rather than as places of amusement, are, on the whole, careful not to leave litter on the ground.”
Waste material, it should be noted, only becomes litter when disposed of in the wrong places. These Editorials always start on page one, and so long as they don't extend too far down page two, are in the right place and cannot be litter(ary). Therefore, with a clear conscience, we can issue this appeal to all offending, that is to say “litterate”, Bushwalkers:-
“Don't leave your rubbish in the Bush, send it to the Magazine!”
Dates For The Social Calendar.
|July 15th||Don't forget the P.M.G's Movies Night - Tasmania and other films.|
|July 22nd||“Roving Around Australia” - George Gray, Frank Young, Frank Rigby and Henry Gold.|
|August 19th||S.B.W. “Amateur Hour with a difference”. Let the Social Secretary have details of your act as soon as possible.|
|August 26th||Malcolm McGregor will present more about America. Don't miss this!|
Non-Scenic Colour Slide Competition.
Malcolm reports only Ten competitors, mostly old hands, with a total of 53 slides. (Glad to see Ern. French among those highly commended.) The standard was high and the evening enjoyable, but where oh where are all our photographers? How about spending 2/- on a non-scenic gem now and again?
Mr. K. Dietrich judged:
1st George Gray - “Wine Vats”
2nd David Brown - “Campfire Scene”
3rd Geoff Wagg - “Wife” (his own)
Judge's comments on 3rd place: Placing of figure good, red scarf perfect, sock and bare ankle not good. Bare skin should always be taken in large areas… Whacko!
Prospective Members' Night.
This time a panel of experts faced “prepared” questions asked by Prospectives and a few ring ins. Unofficial tampering with the questions added some hilarity to this solemn occasion.
Then followed the S.B.W. T.V. film with soundtrack. This provoked amusement or admiration depending on the viewer's sense of dignity.
To round the evening off Ken Meadows showed “Murder at the Meeting”, that silent Metro-Goldwyn McGregor classic filmed at the historic Ingersoll Hall with a cast of thousands, Terry's Meat, and a plastic privy seat. There should be more like this (films, we mean).
At Our June Meeting.
The meeting commenced with a welcome to two new members Dick Childs and his son, Ted. It was quite a family affair and probably the first time father and son have been admitted together. Later in the meeting Carl Doherty came in and was also welcomed.
In business arising from the minutes, Malcolm McGregor told us that the binding of an additional 119 song books had been held up in an attempt to find covers to meet the requirements of bathroom singers, who complained that the dye runs. Research had led to the discovery of suitable covers at a cost of £5, if the meeting approved, which it did.
Malcolm then submitted a report on behalf of the Club projectionists (George Gray, Frank Ashdown and himself) on the desirability of a new projector and screen. (This report was requested by the May meeting). The present projector, he said, emitted a large amount of stray light. This meant not only that people in the vicinity were annoyed, but that the image on the screen was degraded. The temperature of the light was high. Nevertheless, although not modern, the present projector was not bad. With more modern equipment, however, four times the amount of light could be thrown on the screen, while a temperature as low as 140°, the lowest practicable for projection, could be achieved. This would not prevent “popping” (buckling) of slides, but would lessen it. The amount of stray light was small. The cost of the projector would be £53.10. 9 and a spare lamp £2. There was no purpose in submitting alternative models, which were inferior and all cost between £45 and £50. He suggested a 4 inch lens, though a larger lens (6 ins.) would allow the projector to be shifted back another 6' to a distance of 21' from the screen, which would then require less tilting. The larger lens would cost another £14.17. 0. He suggested a 5' square screen at a cost of £12, as against about £6 for a normal 4' square screen. A “matte” screen was preferable to a beaded screen because it was less susceptible to damage. It also gave a wider angle of vision (120° as against 36°). There was better colour contrast in a “matte” screen. A hanging screen, costing about £12, was probably best, though there were other types costing more. The total cost of the equipment would be about £65, less, perhaps, about £10 for our present equipment.
While moving that the projectionists' recommendation for a 6“ x 5” Leitz Preda 500 projector with a 4 inch lens and a 5' square “matte” screen be purchased, the Treasurer, Ron Knightley, said that the showing of Kodachrome slides was a major social activity of the Club. He anticipated that the annual subscription would about offset our increased rental, leaving us with about £180 in reserve after purchasing the new equipment. There was some discussion of the merits of beaded screens, Frank Leyden being of the opinion that the extra brightness of a beaded screen was an advantage. Jack Wren supported a “matte” screen because of the wider angle of vision and the unavoidable closeness of the audience. Malcolm agree that a beaded screen gave more brightness, but, as we would be stepping up the amount of light reaching the screen by a factor of 4, he did not think the difference would be significant. Ron's motion for purchase of the equipment was carried, and Bill Burke said he might be able to get a discount for us.
The meeting then moved on to discussion of the Christmas Party. Edna Garrad was authorised to engage a band for up to £20 and arrange for catering at 6/6d. a head.
The Walks Secretary told us that 50 members, 21 prospectives and 2 visitors had attended the previous month's walks.
Len Fall told us that the National Parks Association had nominated Tom Moppett as a member of the Brisbane Waters National Park Trust. On his suggestion Myles Dunphy was nominated by the Club as a Trustee of the Blue Mountains Park which the Premier announced recently, was about to be created. A letter from Allen Strom asking for motions for the August Conservation Conference evoked no response.
The President told us that Lyndsey Grey had undertaken to look after Club publications. In particular the Magazine, which contained much information of value in planning trips, could be made available on request. There was an index done by Jim Brown, which listed articles and could easily be brought up to date if anyone would volunteer to do so. Frank Rigby said he would do the job.
On a motion by Len Fall appreciation was expressed of Paul Barnes' services to the Club as our Federation delegate for 13 years. Paul had been President and Vice President of Federation and would cease to be a delegate next month.
The President bid “au revoir” on our behalf to Margaret Ryan, who is going to Canada and expressed the hope that she would be back in the Club again.
It was also a “cracker night”.
A full moon shone on Kanangra Walls and you could walk across the tops without a torch and see the distant lights of The Tourist Towns. Now and again a coloured light would glow, rise slightly and disappear - rockets, 25 miles away as the crow flies!
On a rock slab under a waterfall in Danae Brook slept (?) the Danae adventurers and on Kanangra Creek (more comfortably) were the Paralyser Trio.
It was “cracker” night at the Harvey's to celebrate Irene(Canada) Pridham's birthday. Our reporter was there:
At the Harvey's.
Notice to All Bushie Car Owners: If your car bottom is draggin', place car near very new culvert and put at the wheel one Hooper filled with Kickapooch Joy Juice. The result is not quite spontaneous combustion but it gives a new lift to the bottom.
If to greater heights you wish to soar,
Go to Molly, wife of Will.
She'll fill your boots, socks and pockets
With lighted fuse;
And earthly cares won't bother you anymore.
While nations are trying to outdo one another in the rocket field, Hooper mildly has them coming and going from Canada to Wahroonga. If he isn't famous now it is only because he doesn't like publicity.
If your cracker night wasn't a success, next year try mixing Roaring Wind Mountain Brew with your bangers and you will have a night your friends will long remember. Did you hear about the absent minded President who punctuated his tale(tail) with a lighted bunger?
After the usual flurry of providing transport for a party to Kanangra Tops, our group arrived finally in the wee cool hours of Saturday morning at the old clay hut, welcomed by a clear crisp sky and a brilliant moon as only Kanangra can provide.
Still in the same small hours, we were all rudely and drastically awakened by our ill chosen leader, David A. Brown, to face the dawning of a brilliant Autumn day, which we knew favoured our trip, the descent of Danae Brook.
Being all hard working city folk and having such persons as the Dalai Lama and the Stitts with us, it was to the leader's amazed gaze that we were all packed and ready to move by 8.15 a.m, to cross Kanangra Brook and sidle into Thurat Rivulet thence to Big Misty on our approach to the chasms of Danae.
The trip was to be in conjunction with a party from the Tech. Bushwalkers and we proposed to rope dawn Danae Brook knowing full well that it contained many waterfalls of over 100' and a total drop, in a little over a mile, of 1500'. The descent had been done before by parties from the Tech., but this would be the first mixed group and also the largest, being 10 in number.
The actual canyon rim was reached at 9.00 and all spread themselves on a huge gendarme in the very centre of the canyon to gaze into the depths, realising that this would be the last sun felt by all on this day. This gendarme is situated at the side of the first (upper) fall of 80' and the view down the canyon walls neatly frames the sandstone cliffs of Crafts Walls, across the valley.
To descend into the actual creek bed, a concealed stone shute to the right provides an easy path for the most part and finally the last drop necessitated our first use of the rope. At this stage it was found that half of the party, had done little or no rope work before, but needless to say, with the motto of the Tech. ringing in our ears “we pressed on regardless”.
We were now imprisoned in our canyon, our only way out being down, as three sides were now sheer to overhanging and our gendarme loomed immediately behind and about 300' above us. The rock strata is at all times inclined out and away from the canyon floor, so that by sidling to our left to skirt a large waterfall of 90' we were forced higher and higher, till a likely ledge with a favourable belay allowed us to descend again into the creek. Here we used our full length of rope to descend vertically 120' to a spot where, after more sidling along “narrow” ledges with sparse, vegetation, we could reach the creekbed, our quickest way of travel.
We now followed the creek itself, as it cut its way through solid rock, down a series of small, very slippery and very awkward drops, for about 100 yards, each drop causing much delay whilst packs were passed ahead, and bodies roped together. All began to feel the chill of the canyon. Fortunately, everyone except a certain ex-bearded scientist, were able to keep completely dry. We had at this stage progressed about 300-400 yards along the canyon whilst time raced ahead to 3.00 p m. and still we hadn't come to a lunch spot.
At this stage the programmed leader, trusting fully in the first hand knowledge of his guide, allowed the party to be dragged up yet another series of broken ledges (away from the likely creekbed) to where the next “known” belay station would be. The guide, remembering this part well, said “just around the corner”. All were cautioned on the dangers of dislodged rocks; the guide clung to grass roots, twigs and air and looked for a belay - no go. Finally a likely tree was seen overhanging a small drop from which appeared to lead an easy but steep shute, ending at the foot of a waterfall; a fine one of 90', ringed by a grove of turpentines and large tree ferns. The ropes were lowered, the first climber, fastened to his rope sling and snap link, rolled off his belay station and bounded down a full 120' to what appeared a good grassy ledge. The second and third were also sent down in this fashion. At this stage, a large rock was dislodged and it crashed down towards those below who could be seen transfixed to their ledge. Phew! it missed them.
The hour had by now crept to 5.00, and the leader, somewhat concerned at the time taken for this descent, decided to split his party, those above would return to the creek to seek a campsite and packs would be lowered to the intrepid three below. Trying to out shout the roar of the waterfall and indicate the decision of the leader whilst lowering packs took up the rest of the daylight. From below came up the call “more rope” - one rope was untied, the packs lowered further. “More rope” again. In all 200' was required to lower the packs to the foot of the fall. The “ledge” they had been “standing” on was about 10' wide but lost over 30' in height.
Hauling up the ropes the main party prepared to retreat to the creek… “and all I ask is a quiet rest when the long day is over”. The campsite chosen on was a delight to our sore, tired, hungry bodies. Our bed was to be of jagged, cold, uneven rocks, varying from 6 cubic inches to many cubic feet in size, not one side of which was flat. To our left (upstream), a small fall fed into a large pool, the foot of our bed; behind us, a cascading waterfall provided a natural shower for those desirous of one before retiring; the whole site was as uneven, rock strewn, wood bare and draughty as any 20 square feet could be in a canyon under a waterfall.
But were there any complaints? Not one whimper was to be heard, well maybe one, or two or…. or….
The wood was easily and quickly gathered, as there were only half a dozen watersoaked, moldy pieces in all, and the fire(?) lit - every available wisp of smoke was rubbed on our heat devouring billies, whilst our only wet companion held his wet clothes over our wet wood fire to dry out. The resulting drips into our billies were “flavour”, said he; and his complaints “why wasn't I told it would be like this. It makes me mad”, were repeated over and over.
Considering the circumstances our meal was an excellent one, and so as not to lose any of its body warming heat, we hit the sack by 7.15. Our seven fleabags were “laid” side by side on the flattest spot, 8'6“ wide by 7' long (7'.6” was in the water) so that we created something of a togetherness record for sleeping quarters - if No.7 in the row should happen to cough, No.1 almost had his back broken by the resulting pressure wave; and there was no danger of sliding into the water, as one's hip was wedged very firmly between two boulders. Yet I must admit, I've not spent a warmer night. Not one calorie of heat was lost as our tents were spread over and under us.
About 9.00 a full moon peered over the edge of the canyon rim and bathed us with its reflected glory, and moonbeams cascaded from the four walls and for some hours its glow added “warmth” to our boudoir.
Dawn came with mixed feelings; leader, where to get down quickest; cook, how to cook without heat; scientist, no feelings; guide, thinks, have I led them astray; rest of party, oh my hips, back, shoulder, etc.
After much procrastination and other time-thieving delays, “camp” was broken and the new found descent investigated. Using a ledge to our right and keeping in the creekbed, we came to the top of the large fall of the night before and halloed to our companions below, caught sight of their luxuriously wooded campsite and smelt their cooking breakfast. We also saw the layout of the canyon - this small fall led into a huge amphitheatre, the left hand walls of which rose far more than 1000' to the rim of the Pooken Head, the right hand walls climbed 600' to the shoulders of Big Misty and the edges of Thurat Spires, in front a huge rock fall filled the entire canyon floor for about 400 yards; something like the entrance to Bungonia Gorge but inclined at 30 to 40 degrees. Both walls stood about 100' apart and rose without break almost vertically. It tended to make this waterfall insignificant, but it still took both our ropes to descend it with a change of belay half way down. We all finally assembled at the foot of the fall at 10.30. Progress down the rock fall was quick, every man-for-himself style, and the creek with all its setbacks was well buried beneath our feet.
At the end of this huge talus a series of small falls brought us back to our rope tricks again. And again the leader trusted in his guide, and scorned the apparently direct creek descent for the wonders of a scramble around broken (crumbling) ledges, clothed in nettles, vines and huge gympie trees.
Finally the last of the rope was to be seen by 1.30 p.m. and all charged downstream to Kanangra Creek to food, sunlight and brief but well earned respite. Danae Brook changed in appearance drastically now, as it wound its way through a rain growth of gympies, cedars, tree ferns and turpentines which towered over us.
Side streams now came in from the huge walls of Thurat Spires, and from the hidden glens of the Pooken Hole to our left, until finally the casuarinas of Kanangra Creek were reached at 2.30 and a well earned lunch was devoured.
However, realising that our cars were waiting at the top of the walls and that our climb up was equal to our descent of the previous day and a half, we were forced to leave the creek for the sally gum of the sandstone ridges of this side of Kanapgra Deep. We all groaned and huffed our way to meet at Smith's Pass at 4.30 to enjoy a quick few minutes gazing into the depths of the Deep, some planning new canyon trips from this exalted height; some noting to be absent on that future weekend; others just recalling the wonders of nature they had so quickly passed through; and still others just gasping for their lost breaths. With the sun lowering itself into the ranges to the west we moved through the freshening evening air to the cars.
It has been stated that no mountain is climbed until it has been slept in, I think this saying could fit our descent of Danae Brook. We had really done it.
All in all a mighty trip and quite an easy day for a lady.
Hatswell's Taxi and Tourist Service.
For all your transport problems contact Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 or W151. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
- Kanangra Walls - 30/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Perry's Lookdown - 3/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Jenolan State Forest - 20/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Carlon's Farm - 10/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
The Long Weekend.
The President's Trip.
by Black Dog.
Jack Gentle's Cox's River - Cedar Creek Walk lured out 26 starters - including the Chief White Ant. All set out from Katoomba and all arrived back at Katoomba as per programmed route.
Ever seen 26 bods emerging from their tents at 5.45 a.m, on a June morning, black as the Ace of Spades, ice everywhere? - I have!
It was good to see the Cosgrove, Leyden, Ardill trio on the track - never a quiet moment - good whipper inners!
Kodachrome has it that Jack Gentle was seen crossing the Cox's River - a pair of ladies shoes in one hand - My Fair Lady's Hand in the other.
It was felt that the Railway's deficit should be less this year since three bods lost their return rail tickets.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Brian Harvey who broke a bone in his ankle prior to the rocky section of Cedar Creek - Brian completed the walk in fighting style.
Jean Ashdown attained great heights and was not too keen to change position despite assurances from Husband Frank that the fall would not be great. His ministerings comforted all in Jamieson Valley, and Megalong too, I believe.
Bad luck to David and Betty Bennett whose car would not go down Nellie's Glen.
Dave Brown led 11 starters to explore the caves and they report finding a new one. Location:- about 30 miles South of Braidwood between the headwaters of the Shoalhaven and Deua Rivers. More details hoped for shortly.
N.P.A. at Kanangm.
Twelve adults and two children were at Kanangra Walls for the outing arranged by the National Parks Association to enable members to have a look at part of the area included in the Kanangra-Boyd National Park proposal.
We were welcomed at the Boyd River by the first snow fall the season, but the weather cleared towards evening and a very cold night followed.
Sunday was spent roaming over the tops and those who had not visited the area previously were suitably impressed by the grandeur of the views and the necessity for conserving it as a National Park. Monday was another beautiful clear day for a second visit to the tops to round off a very cold, but most interesting and informative weekend.
Jack Perry had a party of three. Somehow, they managed to visit the tops of Danae Brook and Thurat Rift before reaching Sally Camp Creek and had to by-pass the Canyon. Knowing how cold it can be down there in the middle of summer, and knowing how Joan Walker's party fared last June, we reckon Jack got out of it lightly.
Sanitarium Health Food and Vegetarian Cafe.
Biscuits are lighter and less bulky than bread.
Choose from our wide range:
Wheatflake, Kavli, Ryking, Dano, Ryvita, Vitaweat - and spread with Marmite!
13 Hunter St., Sydney. BW1725.
Dear Mr. Editor, you did request a report on a walk, didn't you? And, dear Mr. Editor, you know damn well I only go walkabout every now and then. Do I participate in perilous parades and peep at peerless panoramas? Not me, mate. Tried trips and trusted troopleaders are my meat and if there are any unusual happenings being bunged on, I do not wish to be included. As Mr. Knightley somewhat unkindly placed on record at the last general meeting, I'm now bracketed with the hasbeens.
Leader Frank Leyden could almost be labelled as an ancient walker and more because of friendship than anything else I find myself being entrained on the 5.45 p.m. on Friday night bound for Kiama. What with being issued with the wrong ticket and several dashes around the Assembly Platform to rectify same I finally climb aboard and justly claim to be the last and most breathless traveller on the train. At Hurstville this claim is challenged by Col Ferguson, whose time allowance of 13 minutes to get from Electric to Steam Platform is thrown somewhat askew on account of his connecting train being eleven minutes late into Central.
Eight bushies fit nicely into two taxis and we camp near the headwaters of Brogher's Creek. A nice habit of Frank's is to boil the Friday night billy and I begin to like bushwalking again. Mist and light rain in the morning, plus a prospective who got up last and was ready first, put me back in perspective smartly and then I endure a two hour's non-stop track bash. At 10 a.m., with the promise of sunshine, we stopped and here I became aware that we have eggs in the party. This lanky prospective has a very small pack and he takes this opportunity to inspect and repack. At the conclusion of this task there is an overflow of one brown paper parcel. “Eggs”, the owner briefly explained, and is immediately overwhelmed with advice and suggestions as to the best way to carry the oval delicacies. The egg man doesn't seem very interested in this well meant advice and when we get going again he swings the bundle in his hand.
At the first opportunity Frank lost the track - a familiar turn of his. “Was there last time”, “spread out a bit”, then “can't afford the time to look” and finally the ominous “We'll steer a compass course”. So we push through bracken and vines, cross creeks on rotting logs and generally perform like idiots. Then in the thickest part of it Bill Cosgrove found the egg. Bellows out “Look at the big bird's egg” and pounces on it like a starving goanna. “There's another one” (Bill), and so there was, and both specimens passed by the egg board as fresh and fit for a human consumption. You wouldn't have to be told that the brown paper parcel had sprung a leak and a couple of the contents had gone to earth. Bill is a bit disappointed, but not as much as the owner who has a swift check and finds only four out of twelve eggs are still surrounded by shell.
E1entually we hit semi-open country and peer expectantly down to Brogher's Creek and from a point further South we had a look into the luverley Kangaroo Valley. We had lunch before descending into the valley of Brogher's Creek. I presume four eggs were eaten as a lunch but I'm not sure. The climb down the chimney was interesting and unexciting except to the leader who kept imploring the tailenders not to kick rocks down on top of him. I keep thinking to myself “Why not”, but I suppose the thought is a little uncharitable.
Later on we made a final descent to Brogher's Creek to camp, and you'll be happy to know I got scratched to the bone on another of Leyden's short cuts, blunted my dinner knife cutting lawyer vine, lantana and sundry vines to such a degree I couldn't cut my steak at dinner. Also fell for the old one about “feeling much better after a swim in the creek before dinner”. Feeling dammit! I had feeling alright. As well as the scratches and wounds, the water stirred up a vivid reminder of the afternoon joust with hip high stinging nettles. And then the character (eggless now) made a meal of a tin of coffee essence. Makes 24 cups it says on the tin and the lot went in one go! Shades of Clem Hallstrom and his cucumbers.
From Brogher's Creek we found a new way up onto Cook's Nob, and enjoyed a wonderful view from a rock that scraped yards of skin off my knees and shins while being surmounted. Oh yes, Mr. Editor, I'll write up a trip anytime you want it. Brian Harvey wrote one about a wheelbarrow trip once. How about one entitled “The World From a Wheelchair”
Conference of conservation bodies:
Mr. Strom advises that a conference will be held on Saturday 8th August. The agenda Committee meets on June 12th and notification is requested of any resolutions the S.B.W. would like discussed. The Club is entitled to two delegates.
Proposed rock carvings at Govett's Leap:
Attention is drawn to the press report on this subject. (See notice board)
Greater Blue Mountains National Park:
When opening “Cahill's Lookout” on the Scenic Cliff Drive at Megalong Valley, the Premier said that he had approved a recommendation to proclaim a 150,000 acre area for the park. (See Notice Board.)
Spread of garbage in the "Castle" area:
Litter, which can only attributed to walkers because they are the only ones who visit the area, continues to spread in this vicinity.
Letter to the Editor.
Dear Mr. Editor,
In your last issue Allen Strom asks “How many of your readers, dear Sir, prefer to fiddle with the enjoyment of the bushlands whilst plans are being laid to leave only the ashes for future generations”?
The answer can be found by counting the non-fiddlers and subtracting them from the total. Of the readers who attend meetings, two have accounted for 95% of conservation business. One of these has been unable to attend meetings lately. A couple of others, though less talkative, are willing workers. Of the readers who don't attend meetings, two are leaders in conservation work and several others work. Some, if not all, the non-fiddling readers who don't attend meetings, have probably wearied of trying to interest members in conservation projects.
The number of readers taking an active interest would be 10, or less. The circulation of the magazine is about 180. The number of fiddlers is therefore 180-10 = 170.
|July 10-11-12||Katoomba - Nellie's Glen - Black Jerry's - Cox River - Gibraltar Ck. - Cullenbenbong - Blackheath Creek - Blackheath. Note that this trip now starts from Katoomba, not Blackheath as shown on the Walk's Programme. Camp at foot of Nellie's Glen and at Sandy Hook on Cox. Mostly pleasant track and river walking. Leader: Frank Young. Fares 25/-.|
|July 12||Campbelltown - Pheasant Creek - O'Hare's Creek - Campbelltown. Rural road bash to Wedderburn, scramble into Pheasant Creek and rockhopping on O'Hares Creek. Pleasant creek scenery. Leader: David Ingram. Fares 7/4d.|
|July 17-18-19||Leura - Lockley's Pylon - Blue Gum - Grand Canyon - Lake Medlow - Medlow Bath. Camp out from Laura on Friday night. Level walking to Lockley's - views down the Grose River and of Mts. King George and Hay. Steep descent 2000' to Blue Gum for comfortable camp. Sunday, a pleasant track climb up through the Grand Canyon (Beauchamp Falls, ferny dells, underground stream). Medium test walk for prospectives with some experience. Leader: John Logan. Fares 24/-.|
|July 18-19||Glenbrook - Euroka - The Oaks - Erskine Creek - Warragamba Dam inspection - Bus to Penrith. Mostly level track walking. Camp at Euroka on Saturday night. Inspect the Dam on Sunday. Leader: Jack Perry. Fares 15/-.|
|July 19||Cowan - Ellanora Trig - Cliff Trig - Cowan. Note change of Train to 8.10a.m. steam from Central. Medium ridge walking mostly on tracks. Fine panoramas of the Hawkesbury. Leader: John Noble. Fares 7/-.|
|July 24-25-26||Three Peaks Trip for “Ladies only”. Blackheath - Car to Carlons - White Dog - Cloudmaker - Kanangra Creek - Paralyser - Kanangra River - Guouogang - Carlons. Start training Girls! Although the programme says 5000' climbing, a conservative eStimate is 11,000 (UP). Then of course there's a lot of climbing down, too. Leader: Heather Joyce. Fares 35/-.|
|July 26||Glenbrook Euroka - Nepean Lookout - Glenbrook. Some rock hopping down Glenbrook Gorge; lunch at the Nepean Junction. Climb 300' to The Lookout, then to Euroka and track walk to Glenbrook. Leader: Ernie French. Fares 13/-.|
|July 31, August 1-2-3||(Bank Holiday) Katoomba - Nellie's Glen - Carlon's - Splendour Rock - Clear Hill - Katoomba. No river crossings. No wet feet! Friday night camp at foot of the Glen. Easy walk to The Glen Allan base camp via Carlon's Farm. On Sunday walk without packs. Climb Mouin and Warrigal, then to Splendour Rock and return to camp. Excellent walk for prospectives and New Members. Views of the Gangerang , Kanangra, etc. Leader: Brian Harvey. Fares 23/-.|
|July 31, August 1-2||Ettrema Gorge - Track clearing trip. See page 18 for details. Leader: Colin Putt.|
|August 1-2||St. Anthony's - Dodd's Lagoon - Yeola - Gerringong Creek - Budderoo Track - Jamberoo. A fairly rugged trip. 2,000' drop to Yeola - pleasant camping in valley. Climb to the Barren Ground area on Sunday. Coastal panoramas. Leader: George Gray.|
|August 2||Glenbrcok - Euroka - Fireworks Ridge - Campfire Creek - Glonbrook. Recommended test walk. Easy track to Euroka. Scramble along Campfire Creek. Leader: Jack Gentle. Fares 13/-.|
|August 7-8-9||Katoomba - Korrowall Buttress - Cedar Creek - Katoomba. Camp on Narrow Neck Friday night. Then over Solitary and down The Buttress - steady nerves needed here - rope work possible if wanted. Camp on Cedar Creek. Rockhopping up the Creek on Sunday - waterfalls and cascades. Leader: Jack Perry. Fares 23/-.|
|August 8-9||Colo Vale - Mt. Flora - Nattai River - Starlight's Trail - Hilltop. The upper Nattai - a comparatively unspoiled bit of “little river”. Medium going with some rock-hopping. River opens to attractive flats at Starlights. Expect wet feet. Lunch on train Saturday. Leader: Jim Brown. Fares 24/-.|
|August 9||Lilyvale - Era - Burning Palms - Otford. Pleasant walk, coastal views. Lunch at Burning Palms. Tea in the Bush! Leader: Irene Pridham. Fares 7/6d.|
“Sitting in O'Keefe's Hut, under the lee of Jagungal, hands wrapped around a steaming mug of cocoa, it was pleasant to thaw out now and reflect on the last two hours of scrub bashing struggle down the Northern slopes of the mountain.
“It had been raining heavily with the icy bite that mountain rain has and every bush had deluged us with more icy gallons. Those jackets of Paddy's were really something and I blessed the inspiration that had prompted us to include them in our gear. A well thought out garment with a removeable hood and double overlapping front, made from tough PVC cloth, long enough for complete body protection but not too long to interfere with free leg movement. The yellow colour was a bright thought too, especially in the foggy murk outside when it was so easy to lose sight of the person with you. Just the shot for that Tassie trip next Christmas. At £4.10. 0 a real bargain, really worth much more.”
“By the look of things outside the old “choofer” stove was a good buy too - 53/6d. worth of comfort for walkers in this weather.”
Gear for all weathers at Paddy's.
Norwegian heavy woollen jumpers at very good prices. £5.11. 0 to £6. 6. 0.
A really rugged garment for winter walkers.
paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. BM2685.
News From Lyn Baber.
“India is much colder than I thought it would be. Actually we are here in the winter, but I still thought it would be hot. Darjeeling was cold, really cold winter weather, and mist nearly all the time. The Indian people as a whole aren't as friendly as the Burmese or Thais, but we have met a lot of nice ones. India is as flat as a board, just seems to be paddy fields stretching in every direction. The shops all look awfully dirty and the majority of the people are very poor. We have only just been able to buy some fresh vegetables and fruit, and have we been making the most of it in the last few days? We eat a lot of rice and cook vegetables or open a tin to go with it. I quite enjoy it too. In one town in Burma, when vegetables were quite a novelty to us, we bought some potatoes, eggs and cabbage, and that night could even find some dry wood for a fire. We really had a feast and christened it “Australia Day”. We are still awaiting for this Ganges ferry. Actually right now I am sitting on the banks of the great river finishing this letter. The ferry does not go for another hour. Tonight it is New Year's Eve. I'd just love to be somewhere exciting to see the New Year in, but I don't expect we will be - never know though. We are now on this ferry waiting for it to go. It is only a half hour crossing, 3 miles across the Ganges, which seems to just spread in every direction, a muddy grey scene. We are surrounded by bales of jute and spitting Indians, and some even ask you for buckshees.
Birla Temple, New Delhi, 11th January.
Our home in New Delhi. It's unbelievable. We are staying in a huge temple, the Birla Temple. Actually it is a Hindu Temple but there is a section for travellers. We have a small marble-floored room - a bit cramped, but it doesn't matter because we are hardly ever in it. Tomorrow we leave - we arrived last Tuesday and tomorrow, Monday - and we have had a wonderful time here, made some terrific friends. First of all there is Eric's friends from last time. Next Bruce saw an Architect's sign plate in town and on the spur of the moment went in with some story and landed us an invitation first of all to an evening at this man's home, and met his family and friends, etc. Next day he took some of us on a trip around town to see some of the historical buildings and to some of the newly constructed ones, purely architectural, but very good. That night the six of us all went to his Uncle and Aunt's home and were entertained in a very Indian fashion, and later showed our slides, etc. and then last night Bruce and I had dinner at his house - a real roast chicken, all “hotted up” Indian style, bought specially for us as he is a Hindu and consequently a vegetarian. Our number three friends, and the best fun, are two Sikh men (the ones with the turbans and beards). They have been great pals. Tonight we had tea at the home of one of them, and the night before last at the other - served on a carpet on the floor. We have been to all sorts of odd places with them, to the Market at Old Delhi, to Ghandi's Tomb, to real Indian Restaurants, and today, Sunday, in the middle of the day, to a most exclusive restaurant in town, dancing. We didn't even know we were going, and no make-up at all - but did I care? I was wearing scruffy old slacks, rubber sandals and my hair was in a pigtail. They always look immaculate with their beautiful black beards and turbans to harmonise with their smart clothes. Indian men always remark upon the fact that they could not speak with Indian girls as they speak to us. Even now the parents always arrange all the marriages, so that they very rarely know their brides at all. We will be sorry to leave. Angela leaves us here and Bruce is another one who would like to stay. Mr. Bathia has offered him a job in his firm and also Norman has offered him a job in his furniture business, designing furniture. He might even come back again.
Our New Year's Eve was very odd indeed. We spent most of New Year's Eve day waiting for a ferry to cross the Ganges and that night we spent in a Dak bungalow on the other side - a very very old Indian town, not very big - actually a Moslem town, Rajmahal. We just felt that we should do something. Angela, Bruce and I wandered through the black little streets, bought some peanuts and ate them beside a big Moslem Temple on the banks of the Ganges, with a huge red moon coming up over what looked like the sea, but really was just the river stretching as far as the eye could see. Then for midnight we rushed back to our house, dragged the others out, and sang “Aud Lang Syne” out on the lawn in a circle. Since we have been in Delhi we have hardly bought ourselves any food at all, always managing an invitation somewhere. We had been warned a long time ago that our tummies would probably be upset in India and before we reached Delhi we all seemed to be taking pills. Lou's explanation of pills is either “stop” or “go”. Nobody had any lasting effects. New Delhi is beautiful, terrific public buildings and parks and lovely homes and trees. Really a masterpiece, but Old Delhi is just the usual Indian jumble of people and shops and cows and motor cars and beggars. Have been to see the Taj Mahal - very beautiful, but main complaint was too many tourists. From 5 a.m. here at the temple we have the priests wailing and chanting over loudspeakers, very eerie.
Kabul, Afghanistan, 21st January.
Here we are once more in a capital city, but this one sure is strange. It is only quite small really. We arrived at 10.30 p.m. the night before last, snow on the ground, not a soul anywhere, great big wide streets, and pulled up outside the royal palace. Unfortunately the guard did not invite us in so we had to go looking for somewhere else to sleep. Eventually stayed at the Hotel de Kabul (the only one in town) and that cost us 10/- per head. Really hurt, as you can imagine, but last night and tonight we are much better off. Lou and I are staying with a couple (he looks after the Embassy Office) and the boys stayed with the British Military Attache. If our visas come through we leave tomorrow for Kandahar. We have to collect Iran and Iraqi visas, have been promised them, could not get them at all in Delhi. Afghanistan is just so different from anything else we have seen. It is either jagged snow-capped mountains or flat desolate wastes. Kabul itself is in a valley completely surrounded by mountains. There is no green anywhere. All the trees are bare and brown and there is snow lying about everywhere. All the houses are inside high mud-walled compounds so that no houses are on view. Some of the people are very white and some look Tibetar. All the women cover their faces. They wear long capes which go around them and all that you can see are their ankles. The Afghan boy who works for Valerie Neil (who we are staying with) asked her to keep all his wages for three months. When she asked why he replied “So that I can buy a new wife. The one I've got now is no good. When I go home on Friday I will beat her”. Here, I must add, that as well as this bad wife he has five children.
When we were in India we were all given some of their famous Betel nut to chew, but Bruce broke a tooth on it and an abscess had formed, and he has had this out today. So many people in the East chew Betel nut and it looks horrible. They have bright red mouths and lips from it and some even have their teeth caked in it. They spit this horrible red juice all over the place. It was funny to see us all trying it. John gulped it down, Angela nibbles a little bit, Eric had tried it before so he flatly refused, Bruce broke his tooth and Lou and I escaped round the other side of the Landrover and spat ours out on the garden.
India is jUst so steeped in religion - mainly Moslems, Hindus and Sikhs. Everywhere there are Temples and Shrines, even out in the rice fields. There seems to be a lot of bad feeling between the different groups too, especially over the partitioning of Pakistan. We visited Benares, which is the religious centre of India, but did not visit any of the Temples there. We stayed overnight in the Circuit house and it was absolute luxury. There were huge lounge and dining rooms with great high ceilings and beautiful old furniture, beautiful gardens outside, lots of servants, and it all only cost us 3 rupees altogether, about 6/-. Of course next morning when we left all the servants were out asking for buckshees. What a racket that is in India. While in Benares, which is a very big city, we visited a place where they hand-weave magnificent pure silk sarees, using real gold and silver thread. We asked the prices, but that was all - nothing cheaper than the equivalent of £8.
Continued on 23rd January.
I didn't have a chance to finish earlier but you should just see where we are now. Lou, Bruce and I are sitting in the back, John in the front. Lou and Bruce are making horrible noises with flutes that we bought in Amritsar (India) and John is singing to himself. We are parked on the side of the road in the snow waiting for Eric to return from Kabul, which is 30 miles away with a new bit for the Landrover. It is 2 1/2 hours since he went now and probably will be awhile yet. When Tess was serviced in Kabul they said that the bushes in the dynamo needed replacing but they had no spares and they should get us to Kandahar, 318 miles away, but one has broken now so they'll just have to give us something. We're in a valley completely covered in snow, surrounded by snow-clad mountains. The altitude is around the 8,000' mark and it's mighty chilly. The road is just solid ice and when you step off it you're likely to sink a foot deep in snow. When we tried to boil water it took ages and ages - probably because we had to melt the snow first. But actually we are quite cosy. There are a couple of houses that look like fortresses nearby but we expect no invitations from them. The Afghans are a strange race. Anyway, back to our travels. After Delhi we visited Chundi Garh, which is in the Punjab. It's a completely new town, designed by a world famous Swiss Architect called Le Corbusier. I've seen photographs of lots of his buildings in Art magazines and it was terrific to actually see them in real life. From there we went on to Amritsar, which is the home and birth place of the Sikhs. While there we visited the Golden Temple. To even be allowed in the grounds we had to wear hats, take off our shoes and wash our feet in a pool. We saw no other tourists there - all Indians on a religious pilgrimage. The Temple itself is all golden, not very big, and in the middle of a big square lake. All the Sikhs come and bathe and drink the waters of this lake and purify themselves. We went right into the temple by a bridge with hoards of people (had to leave our cameras outside). It was just a continuous stream of people all taking food into the temple and throwing money at the holy men's feet. All this time there were other men chanting, playing drums, and several reading their holy book aloud, which is a continuous process. The whole place was beautifully decorated with very fine paintings all over the walls and roofs.
Just after Amritsar we crossed the border into Pakistan - more forms to fill in, more officials, and more stamps in our passports. It's amazing how people, customs and countryside seem to change on the border. When we entered Pakistan we noticed much drier and hillier country - a terrific lot of soil erosion. Apparently a deal of the trouble between Pakistan and India is over water. The Moslem people have different features and very few have beards, and the tea is wonderful. Honestly, we have become real connoisseurs of tea. From Singapore onwards we have been buying tea in glasses. Through Malaya, Thailand and Burma it is always served with condensed milk and sugar, and we quite liked it too, after a while. It was always too complicated when we tried to explain “no milk, no sugar”, “milk, no sugar” etc. so we just accepted what we were given, and then in India we were actually served tea in cups, with real milk (buffalo milk and boiled too) sometimes flavoured with cinnamon - delicious. In the other countries there was no milk at all. In Pakistan they are very fussy indeed - fine china cups, no less, still boiled buffalo milk, but absolutely terrific tea, the best anywhere. Here in Afghanistan they use no milk at all and half the time it is green tea, always served in tiny cups and as many small teapots as cups, so that we can have 5 or 6 cups each.
Illinbah Round Trip.
Marion, Mouldy and I had a grand holiday at Binna-Burra and spent happy days walking on the excellent graded tracks throughout the Lamington National Park. Unfortunately Mouldy sprained an ankle and was grounded on the terrace of the Lodge, where at least he could sunbake and enjoy a magnificent view. For a final walk Marion and I decided to do the Illinbah Round trip. It sounded wonderful - giant flooded gums, quandongs, fig trees, palms - the sunlit Cedar Read, etc. Well, the morning trip on a graded track through really magnificent trees, was glorious. We had lunch at Illinbah clearing and then our troubles started. Illinbah is situated on the Coomera River and was in bygone days a favourite haunt of the aboriginals, who were able to hunt lots of wild life in the jungle surrounding the clearing. Then later on it became the last grazing place for the bullocks used by the timbergetters before they traversed the old Cedar Road. There was no food for them in the jungle. The clearing is now somewhat overgrown, but surrounded by lovely white gums, and of course all around are the high mountains. We had read that there were fourteen crossings of the Coomera River to be faced. From the start we had difficulty in picking up the Cedar Road and from then on we were for most of the time worried women. Trees had fallen across the track and many of them had rotted. On crossing them your legs were likely to sink amongst stinging trees (tiny ones but with plenty of sting) and everywhere the thorny fronds of the Queensland Lawyer were ready to tear us and our clothing. It was no country for shorts and our legs suffered. At each crossing it was necessary to wander up and down looking for the track on the other side - it never seemed to be directly opposite - and without the track it was just impossible. We were about three hours doing three miles, and what painful miles! At each crossing we would pause in midstream to admire the scenery, each secretly wondering where we might sleep that night. There were lots of birds and we were several times startled by scrub turkeys, and surprised to find how high they fly in the jungle. We were very relieved when we found ourselves at the swimming pool, and knew that from this point there was a track. As we strode up the last mile - road - we were very thankful to be going back to hot showers, a three-course meal and an inner spring mattress; for once we had no nostalgia for little tents and a billy of stew.
Mahratta Rum Liqueur (Patent Applied For).
Ingredients: Rum, ordinary or O.P., Lemon Cordial, Ordinary Honey, Brown Sugar, Angostura Bitters.
Method: As a base, heat a quantity of lemon cordial half the volume of the desired finished product in a small saucepan, but do not boil. To make a half-pint, add two heaped tablespoonsful of brown sugar, stir until dissolved. Then add as much honey as will cling to a tablespoon and dissolve. Pour into warmed-up milk jug and add 4/5 ounces of rum, with about 15 shakes from the angostura bitters bottle. Stir and pour into plastic container for your next trip. If O.P. rum is used, a little more sugar may be necessary. Any deficiency in quantity to fill the plastic container can be made up with cordial.
A little juggling with quantities of sweetening and smoothing ingredients may be necessary to suit individual tastes. Owing to the vast amount consumed in sampling to obtain the right flavour, it may be necessary to aim at two pints to get a final satisfactory half-pint, by which time the manufacturer will be unable to distinguish between brown sugar and angostura bitters. No liability on the part of the patentee if the plastic container dissolves before reaching Blue Gum Forest. The S & R Section would then have no difficulty in following the aromatic drips from the rucksack.
Many walkers still think of the Ettrema Gorge as inaccessible tiger country, situated beyond the edge of the known world; in fact their mental image of it is rather like a journalist's idea of Jamieson or wherever else the people he's writing about got lost. May I present the true facts?
Point Possibility, on the eastern side of the gorge, is about four hours' walk from the road for a fit party. The Yalwal roadhead is 118 miles from Sydney G.P.O., and all but 17 of these miles are on first class tarseal. The pace is easier to get to than Black Dog Rock! The river itself is, in Paddy's words “like a smaller Kowmung”, it is enclosed in a deep but wide valley with high bluffs on both sides, and the valley itself contains side-streams which have never been fully investigated, and large isolated mountains which have never been climbed. The surrounding country is, to say the least, extensive, and contains many delightful streams of the Upper Yadboro type, between high sandstone ridges and caps with granite outcropping lower down. Walkers have passed through this country here and there, but the greater part of it is unnamed and unknown. What are we waiting for?
All that we need is a more certain knowledge of the quickest way in we are in the same position here as were the early walkers before the standard routes from Katoomba to the Cox became wellknown. The best way in to Ettrema is almost certainly that discovered by the incredibly ingenious Old Buffers (wait till you see it, and you'll see what I mean), but the old goldminers' track, and various animal pads and open glades which make up the streamlined version of their route, are overgrown and slow and difficult to follow. The overgrowth is mostly weeds and creepers; these old tracks are beaten too hard for saplings to grow on them, and the passage of one or two good big walking parties would leave them clearly marked for months.
The first of these parties is going down on Friday night, 31st July. The idea is to walk lightweight, without tents as there are plenty of caves, and on arriving at Point Possibility, to split up into small groups to explore in various directions and regather at midday Sunday to return to Yalwal. For further details see me.
'Phone JU3218 (home); FJ8811 (business).
David Ingram has recently visited Cairns and reports that Joan Walker is well, and walking when possible. A picture of Joan on the top of Mt. Bartle Frere, the highest peak in Queensland, appeared recently in the Queensland Centenary issue of “Walkabout”. News from Bushies will be welcomed. Address C/- Commonwealth Health Laboratories, Cairns, QueenSLand.
Where's the Treasurer??
Ron Knightley was last seen on June 27th boarding a 'plane for New Guinea. Don't worry folks, we've checked that our Bank balance is still intact! During his three weeks business trip, Ron will be seeing old member Bill Carter, who is Director of Posts and Telegraphs in New Guinea.
Mr. Harvey Wins The Lottery.
by Canis Minor.
As we progressed from cave to cave during a recent week's trip through the Yadboro Rim - Pigeon House country, aeroplanes frequently flew overhead. Whether these were regular passenger planes or air force planes we never knew, but, after a couple of days Brian Harvey remembered he had a ticket in the lottery, and we imagined that they could be harbingers of fortune, bearing reporters seeking the lottery winner. What follows is what might have been had Brian's dream cone true -
In the State Lottery Office, the barrel is set rolling. Lolita, the dumb blonde bombshell, takes the tongs in her glittering hand, and, as the barrel comes to rest, extracts a marble. She hands it to Hazard the presiding official, who, after a startled pause, passes it to Gamble, the recording clerk, and announces the winner - Number 1. There is a little clapping from the disappointed audience of 5, which soon files out dejectedly. When the last has left, Hazard turns to Gamble and says “Gamble, did you check that the first marble drawn was No.1?” “Well, yes, it was a bit chipped but one is one you know, and all alone. “H'm, unusual”, says Hazard, “but I suppose it had to happen sometime - who held the ticket anyway?” “Harvey, Sir, Harvey of Mahratta Avenue, Wahroonga”.
In the office of the “Evening Blurb” the News Editor sits in consternation, rapping the table with his fingertips. After a few minutes of this he buzzes ace report Smiggins, who arrives in a few seconds. “Smiggins” he says “the situation is acute - there are no murders, no baby mix-ups, no horrors, not even a violent death or a film star divorce; in short, nothing to attract attention to our advertising. Any suggestions?” “Well Chief” replies Smiggins “we might fall back on the lottery - there's one drawn today. The winner might be so rich he doesn't need it or maybe he's living in a cave.” “O.K. find him and get a story.”
Two hours later Smiggins reports back. “Sorry, Chief, a bloke named Harvey won, but I can't find him - he's out hiking”. “What!” replies the News Editor “You can't find him! Smiggins, do you realise what this means! Unless we have a sensational coup, 40,000 small screen television sets, 10,000 worn out cars and 5,000 last year's model refrigerators, not to mention innumerable female undergarments, mentionable only in our advertisements, will remain unsold. Our advertisers expect every pressman to do his duty. You've got legs. Hike after Harvey!”
“But, Chief, I don't know where he's gone.” “Don't know where he's gone. DON'T KNOW WHERE HE'S GONE!! Do you mean to say you've been working on this paper for three years and you don't know where hikers go!”
“No, I'm afraid I don't. He might be anywhere.”
“Well, I can tell you where he is - he's in the roughest country in N.S.W. - that's where!”
“But where's that, Chief?”
“Wherever Harvey is, of course, Go - find him!”
Reaching for his pad the News Editor scribbles “Page 1, Banner Headline and Posters 'Lottery Winner in Smoke'” and buzzes his assistant, to whom he hands this note with the injunction - “Here's your story for today Smith - write it up.” As the assistant departs he breathes the sigh of a man whose day's work is done and takes a long swig from the bottle in his bottom drawer.
Meanwhile, Smiggins, having engaged a helicopter, picks up his evening paper and makes home for a few hour's sleep. He is away at dawn, and soon after is approaching the Upper Corang River. By good fortune he spies a column of smoke ascending from the entrance of a capacious cave.
Brian and his party were just finishing breakfast when the helicopter descended. The dawn draught raised a dense cloud of dust ashes, bracken fern and leaves from the floor of the cave, and as it settles on the inmates and their gear, Smiggins emerges from the murk, notebook in hand and pencil poised.
“Mr. Harvey, I presume - I'm Smiggins of the “Evening Blurb””.
“Yes, that's me - Smiggins, did you say? - that rings a bell - is there an - er - some - er features of the landscape bearing your name round Kosciusko way?”
“That's right - named after my grandfather. Out hiking, eh?”
“Yes, you out heli-bloody-coptering, eh?”
“Well, flying around, yes. Say, did you Sleep in this cave last night?”
“Yes, where did you sleep last night?”
“Allright, allright, let's skip the preliminaries. Mr. Harvey, Number 1, Sir, let me be the first to congratulate you! You've won the lottery!”
“Oh good,that'll come in handy.”
“I suppose you'll be booking a suite at the Hotel Bomaderry now.”
“No sir, there's nothing like a good cave. Tell me, did you come all the way down here in that thing just to tell me I'd won?”
“Yes, of course - pioneering blood, you know.”
“Don't you think it's dangerous?”
“Yes, but our advertisers expect it of us.”
“Are you insured?”
“Yes, of course”.
“Are you covered against helicopter accidents?”
“Well, no, I suppose not”.
“Man, you take a risk, goodness knows how you'll get on taking off through these trees, but you're lucky. I've got one of my Company's policies here with me. What premium can you pay?”
“I've got a tenner, will that do?”
“Yes, if that's all you've got. Here, sign on the dotted line.”
“O.K. but whose going to witness it?”
“One of my mates here.”
“Can they write?”
“Yes, when they get the grit out of their eyes.”
“How much will I be covered for?”
“Golly, that's stiff, isn't it?”
“Not as stiff as you'll be if that egg-beater hits a tree. Most companies wouldn't touch a risk like that. But throw in cover against falling objects, rising objects and subterranean fire too. The last is more than a risk for a men in your profession.”
“Oh well, I suppose I'd better be on the safe side.”
Smiggins signs, hands over the premium, and one of the party witnesses the signature. “Now that's fixed ”, he says, “I suppose I'd better be on my way”. Reflects for a moment - “If I do get up? - and if I don't? - Harvey, gimme back my ten quid.”
“Sir, a contract is a contract”. “Not when it's witnessed by an unregistered aboriginal.” Brian turns to his party - “Dust yourselves folks, and let him see you.”
As the helicopter ascends Brian fingers the notes. “This green stuff sure feels better than gum leaves” he remarks.
On the way home Smiggins envisages the headlines “Lottery Winner Recluse - Prefers Cave to Hotel”. But at that very moment Mrs. Jones' little dog “Patch” gets stuck while pursuing a rat through a welded steel pipe embedded in concrete under 30 feet of rock. The rescue operations extend over three days and occupy so much space that there is no room for Smiggins' story. Sales boom, but the world never hears the Story of the hiking lottery winner.
The Ski Jumper (A True Tale).
by Chintz Ribs.
A monetary interlude:
Bushwalker-Customer: “I want a kodachromatic pullover for a trip down to Kosciusko. Something in the Fair Isle style?”
Chic Counter-Bounder: “Why certainly Sir! Here's something to suit your excellent taste…”
BW-C: “Very nice indeed! All wool I take it?”
CCB.: “Most certainly, one hundred percent all wool. Very warm you know. Just what you need!”
BW-C: “Yes, I rather like the pattern and colour. By the way, what's the price?”
CCB.: “A mere Fifteen Guineas, Sir!”
BW-C: “Gad, Dad! They MIGHT let me OUT AGAIN next Friday.”
This goes to prove that ALL the World's
a little Queer,
Save Thee… and Me,
(And even Thee's a little queer).