Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
No. 299. November, 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:
|Social Notes||Ed. Garrad||2|
|At Our October Meeting||Alex Colley||3|
|The Social Past||4|
|The Walking Trial - The Trip Down Harry' s||Helen Barrett||5|
|“Round About the Lakes”||Sheila Binns||7|
|“What Was In the Billy, Mike?”||Carl Doherty||11|
|Much Ado About Nuttin'||Clem Hallstrom||14|
|Bush Baths - Good, Bad and Indifferent||Dorothy Hasluck||15|
|Magazine Information Bureau - Index to Walking Areas||17|
|Hatswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||7|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||9|
The Nature Societies in association with Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd. invite you to a Photographic Exhibition “Nature Conservation” illustrating the wealth of interest and enjoyment to be found in our Bushlands.
The Kodak Gallery, 379 George Street, Sydney, 11th to 21st November, 1959.
Mondays to Fridays 9 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.
Wednesday evenings 7 p.m. - 9.00 p.m.
North Sydney Council Chambers - 8 p.m. 10th December, 1959.
Roll up and make this a really good party. It has been a good year socially with our new club rooms, and we hope that the Christmas Party will wind it up on a very bright note.
Tickets 15/- available from Social Secretary.
Bring along your own drinks - soft or hard. Dress - Informal.
The “Peryman - Doherty - Brown - Duncan - Joyce” S.W. Tasmanian trip, Christmas '58/'59.
(Ed. See and hear the dramatic story of man against adversity, but first read about it in the March issue of The Sydney Bushwalker.)
Remember.... Remember.... the 6th of December!!
On the sixth of December, one mile from Waterfall Station, on the road to Garie Beach (at the site of the old Park Ranger's cottage).
The Kiddies' Christmas Party.
(Buses leave Waterfall Station 9.30 and 10.30 a.m.)
Bring your own grub.
For further details contact Clem Hallstrom. 'Phone LB6795.
The President led his party of three down Nellie' s Glen, through Carlon's, Glen Alan, and along the Neck to lunch at Corral Swamp at 11.45 on Sunday. This, says the leader, comes from Walking without Talking!
At Our October Meeting.
Three new members, Helen Barrett, Gwen Seach and Bill Ketas, were welcomed by the President. We were informed too that Ben Esgate had been made a member and hoped to be in that night, but might not make it as he lived in Katoomba.
Thanks were tendered to retiring Federation delegate, David Ingram, for his services to the Club as our representative and as “whipper in” of our other delegates. Frank Young was elected to the vacancy created by resignation.
The President was pleased to announce the appointment of Eileen Taylor as duplicator operator.
Although the Treasurer was not able to be with us his report was, and with it a cheering resume of finances as indicated by the first six month's income, expenditure and outstandings. It was probable that a surplus of same £50 would be shown for the year, but this would include reimbursement of last year's Christmas Party expenses, which though paid in during this year, really belonged to last year. Allowing for this our surplus would still be, probably, nearly £30.
The Walks Secretary informed us that 49 members, 23 prospectives and 5 visitors had been out during the previous month. A silver teapot had appeared on one walk and genuine firewater had been brewed in another. Had the goings on of members stopped at that all would have been well, but worse had happened. Several walks had been late, or overdue and parties separated. The President, speaking for the Committee, said that such things should not occur on well conducted walks. Leaders should be reasonably sure they could do the scheduled walk in the time, and should leave some margin for eventualities. They should also do their best to make sure that the starters were all capable of doing the walk in the time. People going on walks should make inquiries to find out whether the walk was within their capacity, and should stick with the leader. Jim Hooper said that many did not leave a description of the route to be covered at home before leaving, consequently 'phone calls were received by Search and Rescue from worried relatives who were unable to say which walk the overdue ones had been on.
Once again a number (bevy? herd? mob?) of room stewards was (or were) appointed. These were Frank Barlow, Kath McInnes, Dick Childs and Bill Ketas.
Geof Wagg then announced the scores in the walking trial. Some had been diverted by moonlit canyons and pleasant by-ways, but some rugged walks were completed and points allotted accordingly.
For A Swimming Walk - Megalong Gorge - Cox River.
As it nears the Cox' s junction, Megalong Creek takes a headlong plunge in a long cascade angled at about 45° and easily negotiable (to the agile) over granite boulders and races. It flattens out, and then dips sharply again and joins the Cox through a narrow gorge.
The Cox itself, from the upstream side of Billy Healy's down to the Gibraltar junction, is a jumble of granite-boulders and great sheets of rock which give rise to thousands of small falls, races and cascades. The drop is slight and the going slow but fairly easy. There are good camp spots and plenty of places for swimming.
The Social Past.
October 21st. Members' Slides.
Thanks to those photographers who saved the day when the Colour Slide Competition was postponed. Jack Wren gave an excellent story in colour of the “Slow Trip down the Kowmung”, Christmas 1958-99, and incidentally confirmed the accuracy of Pam Baker's comic sketches which illustrated Alex Colley's article (April issue of the Sydney Bushwalker).
The Scenic Colour Slide Competition - October 28th.
About 20 contributors showed 100 slides. The standard, uniformly high, was the best for some years.
Bruce McInnes / George Gray - equal First.
Len Fall - Second.
Mike Peryman - Third.
Have you been up the Devil's Hole recently? If you intend to, beware!
A track (fire access) has been cleared alongside the old walking trail from the Pub site up past the swamp. Be careful to pick the old trail from this point because…
The bulldozed horror keeps to the right of the creek and starts to go up and up and up, and after you've staggered up this 1 in 1 incline it just disappears and you follow a goat track which leads to the cliff line. Scramble around to the left and behold! a massive steel ladder complete with safety guard zooms into a chimney and you end up near the start of the Narrow Neck track. This safety guard is a tight squeeze for anyone but the oh so slim. We understand that you can follow the cliff line around to the Devil's Hole, but give me the old graded (even if washed away) track any day.
The recent Nattai party found that a good road (coal mine) now leads to the valley near Sheehy's Pass so that you can taxi down on a Friday night. Unfortunately the valley has been messed up for a few miles, but walking is pleasant further up.
Late-riser was just stirring from slumber when from outside the tent came “Oh, look at the white ants”.
Late-riser leapt indignantly from her tent, ready with excuse and/or abuse, but was halted by the sight of Dad and daughter studying a colony of Isoptera.
Moral - If the cap fits, wear it.
The Walking Trial. The Trip Down Harry's.
At 4.45 the alarm-clock dutifully went off, and half an hour later (after convincing themselves that that noise in Devil's Coachhouse was really only an owl, or something) three bodies emerged from their bags, ate a hearty breakfast (a quarter of a billy of tea and five apricots) and pushed off.
An ill-chosen adviser had assured them that they wouldn't get wet until the last stages of Harry's River, but needless to say by six o'clock number one had fallen off a plank, number two had slipped off a rock, and these two, with dispositions to suit the hour of the morning, had pushed in number three.
Despite care taken, number one's shorts were ripped by 7.30, number two's by 8 o'clock, and as number three spent the trip partially submerged in the water, the condition of her didn't really matter. By 8 o'clock, the three, having worn down to their underwear, found themselves sprinting with remarkable agility towards the nearest bush whenever they so much as heard a bird whistle.
All in all the trip was without much incident but was great fun. The Cox was reached before four, but owing to the advice “you'll just about run up to Carlon's Creek in half an hour” (given by another ill-chosen adviser), too much time was taken strolling along the Cox and the beginning of Breakfast Creek. Needless to say, by 5.30 they were searching high and low for Carlon's Creek.
Three hours and three miles later it was found. So with the thought of a meal ahead (5 more apricots) and the imaginary (?) smell of smoke to egg than on, they made themselves respectable (?) again and finally made Carlon's with loss of morale and a mere 190 points.
Walking Trial Placings.
1. The Stitts and Garth Coulter - Breakfast Creek - Cox's River - White Dog … (11 hours, 55 minutes).
2. The Esgates and Heather Joyce - Morong Creek, Guouogang, North Ridge, Harry's River Canyon, Galong Creek … (11 hours, 45 minutes)
3. Eileen Taylor, Judy Wagg, Frank Young - Breakfast Creek, Scrubber's Hump - Harry's River - Black Range - Cox's River, Galong Creek … (12 hours, 20 minutes).
Seen In Profusion -
Waratahs in Nellie's Glen and along Narrow Neck.
Wallabies or Kangaroos or Wallaroos (they hopped anyhow) by the dozen in the Galong - Black Jerry's area.
Rabbits along Cox's Ewer.
Hatswell's Taxi and Tourist Service.
For all your transport problems contact Hatswell'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.
"Round About The Lakes."
We are coming to the end of a lovely summer now - at least we ought to be since it is nearly the middle of September, so that even if the dry weather persists, which heaven forbid for reasons hereinafter stated, we cannot expect the heat to hold much longer - and it really has been phenominal for England. Following a dry, very foggy, though not too cold a winter (we only had a slight fall of snow in these parts, with below freezing temperatures for about a month) we had a rather miserable and wet Easter, since then, however, it has been just about perfect.
This summer I decided to make the effort to get out and about; to a certain extent I have succeeded. In April I rejoined the Youth Hostels Association and at the beginning of May had my first long cycling trip for many a moon. On Friday nights there is a convenient train from nearby Rochdale to York, which arrives just before closing time. It was dark when I reached York, but having memorised the street plan of the town I was quite confident of finding the hostel with little trouble, just a matter of two left turns and I would be on the main road which passes the door. Oh dear! Unfortunately I did not realise that the first left turn was immediately inside the city walls, I went on too far, ending up in a maze of one-way streets all of which seemed to have the “No Entry” sign facing me! Eventually I found a way through and got to the hostel a few minutes before 10.30 p.m., after which the weekend went quite smoothly. Saturday, morning the idea was to roam round York and collect colour slides, and despite the fact the sun was slightly temperamental and usually managed to hide behind a bank of cloud at all crucial moments, I managed to get a few shots of the old city walls, the Minster, and one or two other places which have a niche in history. After lunch I remounted the iron steed and turned westwards, into the teeth of a howling wind, for the hostel at Burley Woodhead, situated high up on the edge of Ilkley Moor with a grand view right across Wharfedale. Sunday morning did not look too promising, but the rain which was falling at breakfast time ceased just as I was leaving, after a few miles the clouds parted, and then just as I got to Bolton Abbey the sun came down in force, giving a golden opportunity to take photos. After being snap-happy in the vicinity of said Abbey and further up the Dale at the Strid, I set off homewards, and was very tired by the time I got back, having cycled just over 100 miles.
A Friday night in June again saw me on the train for York, but this time my route was to take me to Ripon and Fountains Abbey, thence up Wensleydale to the hostel at Aysgarth Falls, from where I intended to “drop over” into Swaledale to Richmond, to take some shots of the old castle there. However, although it was fine practically the whole of the weekend the lighting was very poor for Kodachrome, and again the And was-blowing gustily. At Fountains Abbey I managed to take a few slides, not too brilliant, but the idea of Swaledale was abandoned next morning, the clouds were low and black and there was a head wind which would be encountered all the way down the Vale of York making cycling very much a hard labour, so I set off back to that city by the shortest possible route. It was just as well, my legs were very weary by the time I reached the station, and the extra 30 miles to Richmond would have been more than the last straw.
Whit Monday is a public holiday in this country, but for some reason - local custom - in this part of Lancashire work goes on as usual on that day and in lieu the following Friday is observed. My sister and family, plus a crowd from the yachting club, were all heading for Ullswater for the long weekend, they left Thursday evening but had no room weight-wise for the dog and me. Their menagerie consists of a small caravan, yacht and canoe, with the extra few “tons” which Cobber and I would have contributed they would not have had enough horse-power to get over Shap. We went by train very early next morning, and as we were in Penrith by 9.45 a.m. didn't lose much time. The weekend passed lazily, it was so much easier to laze in the sun beside the lake than exert myself, nevertheless one attempt was made to go for a good long walk. Along the top of the ridge to the east of Ullswater is an old Roman road leading to a mountain called “High Street” , I decided to have a shot at getting there. However I spent too much time following my nose and took too long to find the track, then it was a dry ridge and the poor dog was soon puffing like a train climbing a steep gradient and panting for water, so when I discovered a broken blister on my heel it was a good excuse to drop down into Martindale and amble back along the Lake to the camp, then for the rest of the weekend I was content to lie at the water's edge or paddle around in my niece's canoe.
Lancashire cotton towns take it in turns to close down for their annual holidays, having what are known as “Wakes” weeks, though fortunately in recent years the week has lengthened to a fortnight, thank goodness! Bury always has the first two complete weeks in July, thus on the 4th of that month Cobber and I were again heading for the Lake District, this time for the Langdale Valley where we stayed at the Old Hotel, Dungeon Ghyll, a really excellent pub right at the foot of the Langdale Pikes. My sister drove us up, a great boon since it solved the problem of transporting the dog's 3' x 2'6“ “basket” , and she stayed with us for the first weekend. During the ensuing ten days I had a concentrated innings of walking, it would have been a grand to have had a kindred spirit from S.B.W. along with me, but the dog made quite a good substitute and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves walking by the Lakes and over the mountains in near perfect Kodachromatic weather! There were a few dull fine days when I still took photos willy-nilly (just in case next time I get there the conditions are even worse) and all in all I managed to get through three reels of film with 37 shots a time.
A few days stand out as being the best in a wonderful holiday. The first day was actually none too bright, which was a shame really for my sister had a new fast (40 Weston) Agfa colour film in her camera, I had normal Kodachrome in mine and we wanted to take photos side by side to be able to compare the merits and de-merits of the two types at a later date - and as soon as she started for home the sun came through! On the Monday Cobber and I set off for Blea Tarn, from where one could take dozens of photos looking back across the little lake to the Pikes. The Langdale Pikes, a group of five peaks, crop up again and again in photos of the area, for although they are almost a disappointment to climb they make an impressive mass seen from any angle and they stand out like beacons. From Blea Tarn we continued down the road through quiet Little Langdale and wended our way to Tarn Hows, a lovely spot between Hawkshead and Coniston. Tarn Hosws was originally a swampy area, but many years ago a small inconspicuous dam was constructed at the outlet; it raised the water level only slightly but has created a place of unsurpassed beauty. It was necessary to put a real brake on the taking of photos whilst there or it would have been possible to use up a whole reel of film. From there we ambled along quiet side roads and came down to Skelwith Force, took a few more photos, then waited for the bus to take us along the 4 1/2 miles of road back to the hotel. In the morning I'd had “elevenses” sitting by the side of the road, when I arose it was to find a sticky mass of tar adhering to my posterior - on the bus a very weary Cobber clambered on to my knee, his feet were thick with tar which was deposited on the front of me - such is the tale of a brand new pair of shorts being completely ruined, and I had a long job working with a jar of vaseline to get all the tar from his paws before it hardened up.
Tuesday the sun was again brilliant, the mercury soaring, took a bus nearly into Ambleside and than a path along by Rydal Water and Grasmere into Grasmere village. There a lady in a shop was telling me about broadcasts from the R.S.P.C.A. which advised owners of snub-nosed dogs to keep them in out of the heat as quite a few were expiring in the high temperatures. Consequently, with the welfare of my own snub-nose beast at heart I went all the way back to Dungeon Ghyll by bus.
Many years ago, in the dim days of youth, I'd spent a weekend in the Langdale Valley with a school party, during which we'd climbed Bowfell, up via Rossett Ghyll and down via The Band, the ascent had stuck in my mind as being an almost impossible climb and the descent was memorable for the number of twisted ankles, but despite such horrible memories I decided to have a go and what a chuckle I had to myself when I “bounced” to the top, it is just as easy as, say, Govett's Leap, and nowhere near as long. It was quite amusing to watch Cobber's antics in such rocky places as Rossett Ghyll, for, having no rubbers or nails in his “boots” he would slip and skid all over the joint, and then look at you with such a queer expression on his winkled Boxer face, but he was a game little beast all the way through, though each evening he went out like a light on the floor of the resident's bar!
Dog and I were invited for a day out in a car on the Friday, two girls staying there had a Morris Minor tourer and for their last day intended to go to Wastwater. Again we went up to Blea Tarn, then over Wrynose Pass to the head of the Duddon Valley. From that point over into Eskdale goes the old Roman road, Hardknott Pass, which has now been surfaced for vehicles, but after the difficulty of making the steep climb up Wrynose in a small car Ludrey did not feel like facing the even steeper Hardknott (1 in 3 in spots) and she decided to go the long way round, down the Duddon Valley, round into Eskdale, round again to Wasdale. It was a lovely run and we could see right over to the central Scafell group, took a few photos but missed out on many many more as I didn't feel I could keep asking them to stop too often just for my benefit especially as neither of them were camera fiends. From Eskdale we went round into Wasdale and right to the foot of Styhead Pass, then back to the side of Wastwater where we stopped to brew. Cobber had a wonderful time paddling at the edge of the lake, but he has a phobia where water is concerned and will not go out of his depth - you can throw a stick into water just two or three inches out of his depth, he will stand and cry at it, but go after it, not on his life!
The next day my sister was coming up, hoping to get some more Agfa slides and to take the dog home after dinner. It was a beaut morning whilst I was waiting for her and my niece but in the early afternoon the clouds began to gather putting photography right out of the question, and just after tea the rains came. It pelted down all night and right through Sunday, and I was glad to have got rid of the dog for though animals are welcomed at the Old Hotel they do ask you not to take them into the lounges. Had he still been with me I guess it would have meant spending the time supping in the bar! Instead I sat in the lounge knitting and chatting, watching the heavy squalls chasing one after another across the face of Pike O'Blisco on the other side of the valley, the stream in front of the hotel which had been bone dry was soon racing through nearly four feet deep. Monday morning dawned no better but by middy hopes had risen and for my last day it dawned fine and bright. Once again harnessed to a Paddymade pack I set off for Rossett Ghyll en route for the rooftop of England, Scafell Pike, a mere 3210 feet, but it is a reasonable climb really when starting from the Old Hotel which is only just about 300 feet above sea level. Not having met many other walkers abroad during the previous week it came as quite a surprise to find a goodly collection of people on the way up and on the summit, it was almost as bad as Blackpool sands on Bank Holiday! The day was amazingly clear, we could see right over Morecambe Bay to the south, and northwards across the Solway Firth to the Galloway Hills in Scotland, nearer, to the west, the atomic power station at Winscale was belching white smoke into the atmosphere. Going back to the hotel I joined up with two other guests and we decided to change our route and go over Esk Pike and Bowfell, then down the Band, that latter is a long ridge leading down to the head of the Great Langdale coming out within a hundred yards of the hotel. I was trying to hurry and get back for afternoon tea, but within cooee of the place the brake linings gave out in my knees and I had to sit down to let them recover, so instead of cakes and a cuppa we revived ourselves on a pint shandy when we hit the bar.
Next day home, back to old smokey, and it really is old smokey here, but on the way back I cantered up Orrest Head near Windermere railway station for a last look at the mountains. It was rather sad leaving them, but all being well it won't be long before I get back, albeit for a short weekend, as we intend to go up for a night at the beginning of October.
The enjoyment of this lovely weather is rather blighted now by an extremely serious shortage of water, and the way the barometer is at present it does not look as though we will ever have rain again. Bury is an old mill town, and as such still possesses many rows of tiny dwellings which were flung up without bathrooms or any form of modern sanitation. During recent years owners of these abodes have been encouraged to install such facilities, and in the vast building programmes which have been carried out postwar they have been automatically included, but has the Irwell Valley Water Board increased its water storage capacity by one half pint in the same number of years? Not on your life, they just seem to have relied on the abnormal series of wet summers to keep its supplies going. Total storage capacity for the eight towns which are served by the board is only 136 days, but after a dry winter we commenced this summer with only 79 days' supply, there has been a negligible rainfall since, result, we now have 16 days or so left, and that only because Manchester has helped out with several hundred thousand gallons daily. You can imagine what the main topic of conversation is these days, and just how bad tempered the citizens are feeling because of restrictions. They began early in June with a ban on watering of gardens, washing down cars, etc but now we are asked to have no baths, save all washing water for the flushing of toilets, do not use washing machines, etc. etc., and if the supply gives out altogether, heaven help us. I'm just waiting for that weekend in the Lakes so that I can soak in a good deep bath!
Soon after the holiday I had a short hostel trip to Chester, the Saturday was stinking hot with all the tar on the roads melted, the Sunday was, of all things, wet, the last drop of rain we've seen. During August I got nowhere as my sister and family went on their holidays and I had to stay around the homestead; this month we've had a visit from one of our relations, now my father has gone to stay with my brother for two or three weeks and I cannot leave the dog! Winter is only just around the corner, with its short days and long dark evenings, possibly fog (although we had enough of that last year to last a lifetime) and maybe buckets of snow during January and February, but if next year is anything like this one I shall hope to get out and about again fairly frequently.
Sanitarium Health Food Shop and Vegetarian Cafe.
At Home: We have a complete range of Christmas Cake ingredients - also cakes and very suitable presents such as boxed glace fruits, nuts in packets and jars, fruit juices.
In Camp:P Everything in the non-perishable class for the camper at Christmas - nut-meat, dried fruits, nuts, biscuits, breakfast foods, non-fat dried milk, tinned fruits.
Our new special “Bix” sweetened wheatmeal biscuits! Try them!
13 Hunter St. Sydney. BW1725.
"What Was In The Billy, Mike?"
We all admit that if you go bushwalking you are a little peculiar - but if you go on a trip led by Snow Brown you are insane. “What walk is going this weekend?” I enquired innocently. “Oooh! Snow' s trip down the Wolgan. Are you coming?” said Heather Joyce enthusiastica11y.
Unmoved, I asked, “What's the country like? Who is going?”
“It's beautiful country, I'm sure you would enjoy it” Jess Martin volunteered.
Heather thought, “Well, there will be the Stitts, Snow, Mike Peryman, Hooper, myself - oh, and Evelyn Esgate and several others I believe.”
The “others” couldn't make it any worse. Fancy walking with that notorious mob. Then I thought of Jess Martin's reply, shuddered at Heather's and pictured “Its beautiful country” again.
Friday night with four rucksacks for company, Heather, Hoop and Mike in the boot, we headed for Newnes. When driving into the Wolgan turn left immediately after crossing the first cattle grid. Failing to do this switch off the motor and relax as gravity will govern further speed and direction. The vanguard of the party was located about 1 a.m. and after several futile attempts to wake Snow we retired.
Six thirty found Mike searching unsuccessfully for water, Snow trying to rouse the Stitts, Miss Esgate and myself exchanging insults and the remainder quietly preparing to move. Trust Snow to camp five miles from water. After twenty minutes deliberation on the part of the leader he declared water was essential and advocated moving to Newnes which was rather belated as the party were already moving.
Breakfast over, we walked down the river and rambled around the ruins, which we found most interesting, until about midday. The weather was overcast and Snow suggested that we move on and have lunch when it rained and this we dutifully did. By three it had cleared so we proceeded to the Annie Rowan and Wolgan junction. This valley is quite spectacular with very impressive cliffs, one of which appears concave. The campsite was excellent and Hoop and Pete Stitt took care of the fire which in turn took care of us.
On Sunday morning Snow decided to try Annie Rowan's Creek but those who knew him wisely dissented. Six of us accompanied him to see that he came to no harm and although he maintained that the right hand cliffs would not “go” he led off in that direction. It was essential for Bill Ketas to leave that night but as the going became more difficult he began to doubt his chances so he sprained Gwen Seach's ankle by pushing her over and then volunteered to return with her.
Half a mile further upstream a likely route was noticed on the left face and we crossed to attempt it. We were going well when Evelyn gave a scream from above and we took cover from the expected avalanche but she had only encountered a snake which maintained its self respect and did not bite her. Pity. Mike followed Snow up a broad slot and over a chockstone and I approached likewise. Now I don't know whether I'm powerful, or whether the kick Mike gave that stone did it, but when I applied my weight to it I found myself in its crushing embrace. So there we were: the stone keen to reach the bottom of the gorge and I just as keen to reach the top. Mike came back and asked was I O.K. - as Evelyn wasn't near I told him - and he pulled me out.
A scramble to the top, a short break, an orange and we moved on over open, flat ridges. In an attempt to reach the Newnes side of the creek Evelyn climbed to within 10' of the creek only to be recalled when we realised Peter Roberts was too ill to follow. During the lunch break we elected to make a three day weekend out of it. This may seem rather rash but as we reckoned on a possible 18 mile walk, had Peter sick and two hours of daylight left there were few other alternatives. We continued along the ridge beset by gale force winds and sleet and at dusk descended to the shelter of a cave by the creek.
Mike prepared a stew out of what food we had which was duly eaten and then put our dessert of prunes into a billy and, handing it to Snow said, “Put some water in this billy Snow”.
Snow threw the contents out, then queried, “What was in this billy, Mike?”
Mike thought he was joking, then turned the colour of his own hair and handed him a torch suggesting that it would assist him to recover the contents.
Peter, next morning, was feeling much better so after a meal of rice and apricots we moved up on to the right hand ridge, walked to the headwaters of the creek, crossed it and shortly after had the pleasure of walking on to the Newnes railway. This track, graded for a timber road, was easy going until the “glowworm tunnel” which was rather fascinating. What little food we had left was now devoured including a tin of fruit which I had somehow overlooked.
From the tunnel into Newnes was uneventful though the view was exceptional while on the railway track. Search and Rescue were on the job at Newnes in the form of Heather and Hoop with Judy Wagg for company. Snow now informed us that it was his birthday and in a moment of revelation the reason for being overdue was obvious - he had decided to celebrate his birthday walking.
Sing a song of Kowmung,
Swimming thru' the pools,
Four and twenty walkers
What delightful fools.
And when the trip is over,
The crowd began to sing
Wasn't it a dandy trip
We'll have to do agin'.
Not another singing commercial, but a suggestion for a hot summer trip again this Xmas.
This time you can astound your friends by producing a collapsible canoe (1 lb. 13 ozs.), inflate and Hey presto! you and your rucksack can be water borne with ease and comfort (no more wrapping packs in groundsheets). A serious suggestion for Kowmung and The Blockup type trips, and now available at Paddy's.
Price;.. £3. 0. 0.
Something else else new - lightweight portable gas stoves with disposable cylinders for your gas supply. Total weight 1 1/4 lbs., cylinder life up to 4 hours cooking time. New cylinders 7/11 each and staves 57/6d. A must for all campers and walkers.
Get your friends out walking.
Paddy Palling Pty Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. BM2685.
Much Ado About Nuttin'.
Puffing Billy Bunter states (October issue) that my “thesis (on food) obviously came from the very kernel of the nuts”. What did the honourable gentleman mean?
The name nub is popularly given to all those fruits which have the seed enclosed in a bony, woody, or leathery pericarp.
The name also refers to the part that threads on to a screwed rod or bolt. A “tough nut to crack” is a term used for a difficult problem to be solved. A nut, referring to a human being, is a person who takes a keen delight in expressing an opinion, with little or no notice taken by those who are supposed to be listening. A nut can also be used in describing a person whose mentality is regarded to be below normal.
Puffing Billy Bunter may have cause to show a certain contempt for my thesis, intimating it came from the kernel of a nut. Very few people possess a certificate claiming the virtues of intelligence. We all claim the right of common sense even though there is no proof by certificate. Such a certificate I do not hold nor has any other Bushwalker bothered to make application to my knowledge.
But I am certain I could never be offered a well prepared steak just to satisfy a hungry ego. Puffing Billy Bunter would have no compunction but to accept a given steak. More often than enough his expectations would fail to fulfil the objective resulting in a grave disappointment that would bear him no avail. Even though interest may be taken in other people's camp fire kitchens it is necessary that a greater interest be taken in one's own. A sound policy is to be wise and independent and not to rely on the sharing of other people's meals.
Bush Baths - Good, Bad & Indifferent.
Arriving at the Pompalona Hut on the Milford Track not a shower was to be available for an hour or two, so Gwen and I decided to take the plunge and bath in the river, as we were very dirty. So after vigorous soaping, in we went to come up with a gasp all ready to rush out. But the river had other ideas. Having got us in its clutches it was not releasing us so easily, and we were carried down some distance narrowly avoiding rocks and boulders, before we were able to extricate our very chilled selves. However, after vigorous towelling, the resultant glow restored our equanimity.
Another bath that stands out in my memory was after a very fast trip to the Esperance Hut on the way to the Homer Saddle. The track was six to twelve inches deep in mud and at first we were being very careful balancing on tufts and skirting the worst of the mud but we soon gave that up after the first mile. Needless to say we arrived looking like the proverbial mudlark. The others decided that a wash would do, but I found a waterfall dropping from a glacier and in spite of the admonitions of the guide in regard to contracting pneumonia etc. I had my bath, but there were several gasps as this one was many degrees icier than the last. However I arrived back triumphantly, and believe it or not glowing, and continued the climb over the Grave Talbot Pass without even a sniffle much less pneumonia, confounding the guide with his dread prognostications.
My next efforts towards the God of cleanliness was rather disastrous. We were on a trek from Rakia to the Glaciers via Lake Coleridge, Lyndon and Otira Gorge, and having had snow storms on the way, of course no baths. Arriving at Lake Lyndon on a lovely day we felt we were well overdue for a bath. The setting was idyllic; glorious mountains surrounding us, the golden rays of the sun dancing on the water, birds pouring forth their song, everything set for a delectable relaxation in the lake. Did I mention birds? Herein lay my downfall, and shortlived joy… Floating dreamily in the limpid waters, swoop came a Kea, and off went my watch, which I had left on my clothes, to its nest. And this was wartime when such things as watches were very hard to come by. Having been away from N.Z. for a long time, I had completely forgotten about these notoriously destructive thieves.
Going up the Tasman Glacier to the Malte Brun Hut for some climbing, I decided to perform my ablutions before we left the glacier, as it would be the last chance as at the hut we would have to melt snow for water and this would not allow of much washing. Again with loud expostulations from the guide I immersed myself in a pool amidst the ice. My! My! I really felt as though I was frozen solid. It was a case of in and out; and in spite of cleanliness being next to godliness I would never repeat that experience again. It was delayed glow this time as it was only after climbing some hundreds of feet that I at last thawed out.
Now to the most delectable bath I ever had. The Welcome Hut was the scene of this glorious immersion. After climbing the Copland Pass in a howling gale, clinging to the narrow ledges by our eyebrows, creeping along a snow bridge over a deep crevasse, fording many rushing torrents and completing the rest of the journey in pouring rain up to our knees in water, I was able to plunge my weary body into a hot pool of all unexpected things in this snow country. Oh! what joy it was to wallow in this heavenly warmth. But! there is always a but; on emerging battalions of sandflies attacked me from every direction. No more dallying! Grasping my towel and my clothes I fled to the hut.
|November 13-14-15||Wentworth Falls - Kedumba Creek - Cox River - McMahon's Lookout - Kings Tableland - Wentworth Falls. Long in miles but mostly easy going. Walk out into Kedumba by full moon on Friday night, have a long spine bash on Saturday and a longer road bash (bush road) on Sunday. Good views from McMahon's. Maps: General - Tourist map of Blue Mountains & Burragorang; Detail - Military Sheet Jenolan. Leader: Jim Brown B0543, Ext. 299 (B).|
|November 14-15||Leumeah - Bushwalkers Basin - Kalabucca Pool - Leumah. Easy Walking. Swimming. Map: Camden Military. Leader: Jack Perry.|
|November 15||Otford - Burning Palms - Garie - Bus to Waterfall. Pleasant easy walking, coastal views. Maps: Tourist Map of Port Hacking District; Port Hacking Military. Leader: Edna Garrad BU2250 (H)|
|November 20-21-22||Fraser Park - Pirates Cave - Birdie Creek. Private Transport to Fraser Park on Friday night. Saturday walk to cave and return. Drive (or walk) to Birdie Creek and camp. Take movie of shipwreck on beach. Map: Gosford and Norahville Military. Leader: Jim Hooper XM6001.|
|November 22||Campbelltown - O'Hare' s Creek - Firewatch Lookout - Temerity Creek - O'Hare's - Canpbelltown Pleasant creek and ridge walking. Swimming. Tea in the bush. Back in the city about 9 p.m. Map: Camden Military. Leader: Kevin Ardill.|
|November 27-28-29||Gosford - Bus to Little Beach - Gosford. Private Transport will probably be arranged. Camp at Little Beach, in Bouddi National Park. Fishing and Swimming. Map: Gosford and Norahville Military. Leader: Frank Young LW2284.|
|November 28-29||Kiama - along coast to Minnaraurra and Shellharbour (Beachwalking and surfing). Guaranteed no lousy mountain views. Plenty of sea, surf and photography. Map: Kiama Military Sheet. Leader: Frank Ashdown B0259 Ext.313 (B).|
|November 29||Waterfall - Burning Palms - Garie - bus to Waterfall. Easy walking, all downhill. Coastal views, good swimming - bus uphill. Maps: Tourist Map of Port Hacking District; Port Hacking Military. Leader: Jack Gentle XM6121.|
|December 4-5-6||Katoomba - Nellie' s Glen - Cox's River - Megalong Junction - Katoomba. Camp at the foot of the Glen on Friday night. Track walk to Cox's River. Camp on river. Scramble up Megalong Creek then track walk out. Maps: General - Tourist Map of Blue Mountains & Burragorang; Detail - Katoomba Military. Leader: Molly Rodgers JX3106.|
|December 6||Kiddies' Xmas Party. See Notice Page 2. Leader: Clem Hallstrom LB6495.|
|December 12-13||Waterfall - Era - Waterfall. For a Spinebash Supreme. Relax on Era's green and pleasant sward. Surfing, fishing, excellent weather guaranteed. Maps: Tourist Map Port Hacking District; Port Hacking Military. Leader: Bruce McInnes.|
|December 13||Turramurra - Bus to Bobbin Head - Cowan Creek - Boat Cruise. A delightful day's cruising on picturesque Cowan Creek. Lunch on an unspoilt, secluded beach, protected by man-eating sharks. Map: Broken Bay Military. Leader: Brian Harvey. JW1462. BU1611. (B).|
If you are going walking at Christmas...
Or at any other time, for that matter, and you want details of trips and walking areas, refer to the
Magazine Information Bureau.
otherwise known as The Index. This was put together by Jim Brown and printed in September (238) and October(239) 1954. References are made to articles and trip stories which contain details of route, distances, times and nature of country.
For example, if you're interested in the Kowmung for a Christmas swimming trip, information can be found in No's. 7, 8, 11, 24, 25, 27, 50, 51, 62, 71, 166, 215, 219, 221, 267 and 292.
There's an equal number of references to the Kosciusko area which deserves to be more popular as a Christmas trip. (Ever been along the main range? Tate, Gungartin, Dicky Cooper, Valentine Falls? If not you're missing something!)
A copy of the Index is held in the Map Cabinet for reference. For past copies of the Magazine see the Librarian.
The Index has now been brought up to date by Frank Rigby.
Index To Walking Areas Described In "The Sydney Bushwalker".
July, 1955 to June, 1959 (inclusive). No. 248 to No. 294 (inclusive).
|Bendethra Cars Area||270, 271, 272|
|Broken Rock Trig.||284|
|Buller, Mt. (Victorian Alps||286|
|Cairns - Cooktown Area (Queensland||262|
|Castle Area, The||248, 253, 273, 293, 294|
|Chudleigh Lakes (Tasmania)||257|
|Colo River||250, 286, 289|
|Cradle Mt. - Lake St.Clair National Park (Tasmania)||252, 255, 256, 257, 259|
|Gulf Country (Queensland||276|
|Hasting Caves (Tasmania)||252|
|Jerrara Creek||287, 288|
|Kowmung River||267, 292|
|Nandwar Mts.||267, 268|
|New England National Park||254|
|Oberon Stock Route||279|
|Paralyser, Mt.||260, 261, 284|
|Shoalhaven River||258, 277, 294|
|Sonder, Mt. (Central Australia||264|
|Stirling Ranges (West Australia||259|
|Tallatarang, Mt.||274, 276|
|Tasmania, South-West||269, 279, 280, 282, 285, 287, 291|
Iceland is a truly amazing country. The people are wonderful and the scenery spectacular. It has one of the highest standards of living in Europe, and not only in physical possessions, though things are about three times as expensive as anywhere else. The people are more or less on the same social level and they have the oldest parliament in the world, dating from 930 A.D.
The 170,000 inhabitants own 17,000 cars of all makes and types from all countries of the world. This is the main form of transport as the buses are not very frequent. You could not pick out any particular person as a typical Icelander as, although largely Scandanavian of origin there seems to be a wide variety of types and everything from black to blonde hair. There are large quantities of wonderful looking children, no doubt because of the long dark winter, and they help a lot on the farms in the summer hay making. I saw boys of about 12 driving tractors.
The roads which are nearly all gravel are complete with corrugations and pot holes and very similar to Australian roads. The houses are nearly all very modern, particularly in the cities like Reykjavik, which is very modern (population 70,000). Concrete, faced and painted, is used almost exclusively throughout; this I was told was because of earthquakes and the fact that there are no natural building timber forests. They have a style of architecture all their own, 2 storey houses and flats being predominant. There is a cement making plant at Akranes on the west coast although they have to bring the limestone in from overseas. There is no shortage of gravel for roads or building as almost all the coastal sections are gravels, with the volcanic sections more in the middle (roughly).
There is not as much thermal and volcanic activity as I expected as you have to go quite long distances to see anything working, and then the area of activity is usually fairly small. Not like New Zealand. There are the remains, however, of very large areas which were once very active. They don't have to drill very far usually to get hot water and steam, which is used in the houses mainly for heating. In Reykjavik they do have to go fairly deep, about 300 to 400 metres, but this is easier than bringing it many miles across country in concrete ducts as was once done.
The thermal steam seems to be fairly pure and there is not a great deal of encrustation around the springs. Less than in New Zealand. Also, there is very little build up in pipes so this isn't a problem. However, none of the steam is used to generate electricity as it is not rated as pure enough for this, causing corrosion in the turbines. They have a great hydro-electric potential so there is no problem here and even remote farms have electricity and 'phones.
The thermal steam also is used to heat glass houses in which are grown tomatoes, grapes and bananas etc. These glass houses don't stand up to the earthquakes which are fortunately rare.
There are very large areas of beautiful luscious grass land - very rich. This is mainly used to graze sheep and cows. The sheep are of a type which were brought over by the original settlers. The cows are for milk and cream which is very good and plentiful. The sheep are used for wool and neat. Hay is grown in large quantities to feed the animals in winter but most of the killing for meat is done in autumn and the meat frozen. In this way less animals have to be fed during winter.
I arrived by 'plane in Reykjavik the capital, and stayed in the Youth Hostel which is in the school. From here I headed along the south coast and then inland Gullfoss and Geysir.
The day at Gullfoss was perfect weather and my gosh it is spectacular, about three times bigger than I expected. It must be about 300 to 400 yards wide with two main falls. The lower being over the side into a deep gorge generating large quantities of mist and a beaut rainbow. The quantity of water is terrific. The spray from the lower fall caused beautiful green grass to grow in the foreground which really set the fall off.
Geysir hot springs were at first disappointing in that it was smaller than expected, about an acre, with steam vents and pools of bubbling greeny-blue clear water. While we were there, however, a bus party tipped a whole box of soap down Gaysir the main big spout from which all other take their name. For some years now it has been virtually dormant though at one time it used to go up regularly every twenty minutes. These days you are very lucky if you see it work. We were lucky. About 2 1/2 hours after they put the soap in up it went and this was spectacular. It runs to about 150 to 180 feet high, about as high as the A.W.A. building, and about 8 to 10 feet in diameter at the base. It really was a sight worth seeing.
From Reykjavik again I headed north, hitchhiking. The people are very good for stopping and I had many interesting rides. Very many of the people speak English, particularly in the towns which is a big help as the native Icelandic tongue is very difficult. However with the aid of a book I made out O.K. Basically its the same language that came over with the original settlers 1100 years ago and varies only from the original in about the same way that present English varies from that of Shakespeare's day.
The last lift I got into Alsureryi (second city of Iceland) is the sort of thing that could only happen in Iceland. It was raining, it was cold. I had walked about 12 miles because of lack of cars. It was late and I didn't stop to eat in case I missed a lift. Along comes a big red American Chev. car (complete with heater and radio playing good music). An Icelandic taxi. He stops and gives me a lift for free 200 miles right to the camping ground in Alsureryi. Fabulous!
From Alsureryi I went further East by bus to Lake Myvatu, where I stayed a while. It is the centre of some comparatively recent volcanic activity although all that is now left are hot springs and sulphur vents.
The lava plain in the foreground is a fantastic scene, just like a very choppy sea which has been frozen still. Further out on the field where it was cooler and slower are giant bubbles of frozen rock which have risen up from the molten lava, burst and then petrified. The surrounding hills other than the volcanoes are of sedimentary river gravels thousands of feet thick. Through this has come the hot steam and boiling water and the sulphur vents. The countryside is a blaze of coloured rocks of every colour in the rainbow and in these steaming hills, completely devoid of vegetation. Its rather like the area around Queenstown. in Tasmania. Nearer the lake which is some way from the steaming hills, there is of course plenty of vegetation, and masses of wild flowers of types I've never seen before.
After a diet of dehi veg. and rice for a week (as these are some of the few foods which are even vaguely reasonable in price) I went the whole hog and had a meal at the Hotel (in the attic of which was the Youth Hostel). It may be classed as a typical Hotel meal in Iceland. They start off with “Smoor Brad” which are thin slices of buttered bread, white and dark brown, with all sorts of fancy little things to put on them. These things are brought on a separate dish and you make them up to suit yourself. There's egg, tomato, lettuce, lamb, a type of liver sausage, cucumber and some fish which looked like pieces of glace apricot but was very nice. This is served with a big jug of milk and a glass. If its a very good meal, soup, usually tomato with noodles in it, is also served.
The main part of the meal is brought on another big dish from which you help yourself. Tonight it was lake trout, really beautifully done with boiled potatoes, and plenty of butter. You finish off with a pot of coffee from which you can get 2 or 3 cups each. This cost 15/- Aust. and was about three-quarters the normal price because we didn't have soup or any fancy doings. Things are very expensive here. For the people it is O.K. because they have very high wages.