Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
Postal Address: Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W. 2001.
Meetings at the Club Rooms on Wednesday evenings after 7.30 p.m.
Enquiries regarding the Club - Mrs. Marcia Shappert, Te1. 30-2028.
|Spiro Ketas, 104/10 Wylde Street, Pott's Point, 2011. Te1.357-1381 (Home)
|Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118.
In This Issue:
|The June General Meeting
|Rambling in Rhodesia
|A State of Euphoria
|The Six Foot Track
|Letters from Dorothy and Alan Pike
|Walks Secretary's Notes for August
|Proposed Constitutional Amendments
The June General Meeting.
by Jim Brown.
We were not a numerous gathering in June - about 25 present at the outset, when new member David Gleeson was welcomed - and not many more at a later time. Over all it was a very quiet little meeting, and apart from the Walks Report, would have survived barely 10 minutes.
Minutes of the May business meeting were quickly disposed of - with no questions arising therefrom; and Correspondence contained a letter from Colin Ferguson, thanking those present for assistance given when he was injured in a fall on Glenbrook Creek, and hoping he hadn't caused too much inconvenience! I doubt if any walker worth his or her salt would call such an incident “inconvenient”, or think of anything except helping the victim. Also mentioned in Correspondence was the resignation of long-standing members Jean and Tom Moppett.
The Treasury was showing the beneficial effects of the new year's income, increasing the working capital from $536 to $77l in May. The Federation affairs for May had been reported at the previous meeting and we were already through to Walking activities, beginning with Bob Younger's Budawangs tour on Mothers Day weekend, complete with 2 mothers (not to mention 2 daughters, one son, and an unspecified number of fathers to a total of 24). Fine clear weather and good views were reported.
On the same weekend Alan Round inherited a trip to Mount Solitary originally set down to be led by Roger Gowing. From Joe Marton's report, the trip was revised to include a Chinese cafe, Narrow Neck, Cedar Creek, Ruined Castle and a Chinese cafe, but not Solitary. Sunday was Gladys Roberts' Cowan Creek stroll with a party of about 12 - reported as uneventful apart from noting the removal of various signposts which used to mark some walking trails near Bobbin Head.
Barry Wallace had about a dozen people in the Kanangra country on the ensuing weekend, and a few navigational problems caused the party to push through waist-high nettles at one stage in the Gingra Creek side valleys. The other weekend trip was to have been Frank Taeker's Grose River exploit, but no information as to how it went was available. Wilf's day walk in the Bundanoon area was postponed into June, but the other two day walks proceeded: there were 18 on Bill Hall's trip to Bola Heights, and no events of significance were reported; and your reporter's Blue Labyrinth journey attracted 16, who looked like having to get down a cliff at one stage - happily a short retracing of steps put the party back where it should have been.
So to the final weekend in May, when Geoff Mattingly and team of 5 were in the Nattai, where it was found the earth shake of several months ago had deposited a good lump of Russell's Needle down into a ravine. Going in Rocky Waterholes Creek proved to be slow and hard in the upper reaches. Meanwhile, back at Coolana, Dot Butler and about 20 of all ages and sizes were planting some 200 trees, while the Water Board's axemen had been busily cutting out trees up to the storage level. On the Saturday Paddy Pallin's annual orienteering contest involved a crossing of Flat Top Creek in a gorge-like section out towards Mount Hay. A C.M.W. team including Phil Butt romped in as winners, and Wilf and friend occupied third place. Sunday's jaunt was Meryl Watman's Uloola walk, with about 20 starters and again “no events of moment”.
The new programme commenced with Bob Younger and party in Martin's Creek, where Bob wrenched a fetlock on some slippery boulders and retreated by a bush road, while Dennis Brown conducted the party out via Starlight's Track. They even found and destroyed an uncrossed cheque for $200 plus, found lying on the path. Sunday's trip by Bill Hall in the Myuna Creek country topped the attendance tally with 29, even if the day was otherwise uneventful.
So to the Holiday weekend, with Laurie Quaken's party of 7 tackling the Kanangra - Cloudmaker - Paralyser ridges, arriving back at Kanangra about 5 p.m. on the Monday. Doone Wyborn's party of 11 were around and about Watson's Crags, sporting in the snow and, when that was too slushy, glissading down a 500 ft. steeply inclined water tunnel (without the water). There were also two day walks on the Sunday, one being Wilf's deferred Exeter - Bundanoon prowl, exploring an old coal-mine tramway, noting where local inhabitants had bull-dozed an area of Morton National Park, and admiring some fine lookouts over Bundanoon gorge, although the tracks leading to them are now largely overgrown. The other trip was by Sam Hinde, party of 4, on Woronora River: as Sam put it, safe drinking water and proximity to Sydney make this an attractive area which is not often covered these days - as a result the going was scratchy in places.
We11, now the President called for General Business and there wasn't any. A few announcements about coming events were made and we went off the air at 9.10 p.m.
Rambling In Rhodesia.
by Hec Carruthers.
The two elephants on the hill turned, lifted their trunks and sounded a shrill warning. They trumpeted a second time then lumbered down the hill towards us. We looked around for some way of eluding these two menacing monsters. Beside us was a crocodile infested swamp which offered no sanctuary. We could not outrun these fast approaching animals; the only thing we could shoot them with was a camera. Fortunately for us the grass was about three feet high at this spot so we crouched down and trusted to providence. Once we hid in the grass the elephants lost sight of us and being to windward they had no scent to guide them. We heaved a big sigh of relief as they lumbered past without being able to trample us into the ground. We lay concealed for several minutes while the elephants ambled around the area as though still looking for us. At last it was safe for us to depart which we did with caution and haste.
I was on a film assignment in Rhodesia, being escorted by an experienced guide. His job was to take me to some of the remote areas where I could film some interesting wild animals. Our location was on the mighty Kariba lake, the second largest man-made lake in the world. The dam at Kariba impounds almost two hundred miles of the Zambesi River and provides the power that turns the huge turbines in a hydroelectric station. Primarily constructed for the production of electricity, Kariba has became a vast playground for boating enthusiasts. Tucked away in a small corner is a tiny island on which is established a safari camp where I spent a few nights far away from civilization in the remote regions of Africa.
I arrived at this island on board a large launch and was greeted by a character who I called Robinson Crusoe. Complete with his man Friday he had established a small camp to cater for tourists interested in something different. Large tents, covered with grass thatching, provided the accommodation in this primitive but comfortable camp. The guide's real name was Jeff. He was a very competent bushman and knew the country like a postman knows his beat.
I was transferred to a catamaran for a run around the foreshores in the search for game. Well away from tourist areas we twisted our way amongst the thousands of dead trees that are scattered throughout the area. We sighted buffaloes and water bucks but were not able to get close enough for any effective filming. At last we were rewarded when we sighted two elephants grazing on a nearby hill. Leaving the boat we proceeded on foot to creep up as close as possible. The elephants seemed oblivious to our presence so we decided to cross their pad and climb up a small hill much closer to them. Whether it was the whirring noise from the camera or the reflections I do not know but suddenly the two beasts were letting us know that they resented our presence in their stamping ground.
This was only one of the many interesting episodes that made my visit to Rhodesia an unforgettable and thrilling experience. There is no need to run risks such as this incident as travellers can thrill at the sight of herds of animals in the safety of Kombi vans with competent guides and drivers. Like most bushwalkers I preferred the rugged kind of life where one can get away from conventional activity and enjoy being able to use one's own legs for motive power. Of course, this has its drawbacks in the dry grass country. After only a few minutes tramping my socks looked like porcupines with the thousands of spiky grass seeds gathered on the way.
I was most reluctant to leave this island and Robinson Crusoe but there were many other interesting sights waiting to be seen, the most important the mighty Victoria Falls. For one and a quarter miles the waters of the Zambesi thunder into a narrow gorge sending up a huge volume of spray that saturates the ground over a large area. A flight over this region presents a truly wondrous sight and is a must to all tourists that do not have weak stomachs.
A visit to the Wankie National Park gave me a chance to see hundreds of elephants with their babies. On a number of occasions the driver of the Kombi had to stop while they crossed the road in front of us. It was during my visit to the park that I met a few Australian travellers who had come up from South Africa. In this extensive park it is possible to see a large variety of animals especially in the mornings and evenings. Waterholes (pans) have been excavated at strategic spots to encourage the animals to come and drink where viewing platforms have been built for the tourists. In the confines of the park there are three camps where the travellers can spend the night in well built huts or in their own caravans. Unlike Australia it is not safe to camp out in the bush in small tents as they do not afford much protection from elephants and lions. As a matter of fact walking around this country can be a dangerous pastime. The walkers in Rhodesia confine their main activities to the areas which are free from wild animals.
The Zambesi river has always had an exciting name in both history and geography books. Naturally, I was looking forward to seeing this mighty river in its lower reaches below the Kariba dam. My chance came when I set off on a safari to a place called Mana Pools. After travelling for many miles along a dusty gravel road which cut through thick vegetation our Land Rover brought us safely to the more open river flats where we saw our first elephants. Our camp was situated on a steep bank about twenty feet above the river and between two large trees, one of them a thorn tree. This thorn tree was a vicious thing as I discovered when I chopped off a few lower branches to provide shelter from the fierce heat at midday. Inside the tent the heat was unbearable but under the thorn tree we enjoyed a relatively cool breeze off the river.
Although the weather was extremely hot in this area there was so much interest aroused in the surroundings that the heat was regarded as part of the atmosphere of the Zambesi valley. Besides the heat we had to contend with a real pest, the tse-tse fly. About the size of a bee these determined insects attacked in swarms and were very hard to ward off as they had a strategic method of attack. Unknown to them Rhodesia had just found out about Aeroguard. To the surprise of the Rhodesians, humans and insects alike, this spray repelled the attacking hordes and we were able to Avagoodweekend. It was at Mana Pools that we saw the culling of impala. At frequent intervals these animals have to be thinned out to prevent the depletion of grass and herbage. They are driven into shutes and then transported to other areas where they are welcome.
Camping in this region can be exciting as well as hazardous. At night time we could hear elephants feeding a few yards from our tent and now and again could hear the peculiar grunting noise of a lion. Needless to say, but our escort slept with a loaded rifle and revolver under his camp mattress. He did not get very much sleep at night; maybe he knew what could happen especially as a lion had attacked a man a few weeks previously while he was asleep in a hut. Being ignorant of the dangers I slept soundly. My philosophy was that I may as well be eaten asleep as awake. After a few nights of being lion bait we folded our tents like the Arabs and noisily roared away - in our Land Rover.
The most picturesque part of Rhodesia is in the Eastern Highlands where the mountains rise to eight thousand feet and present a delightful climate similar to our Snowy Mountains. It was here that I called into an unusual farm. Perched almost seven thousand feet above sea level I discovered a little bit of Australia. At a farm called Banyan Downs an Australian had developed a small sheep farm where three hundred Corriedales roamed around amongst gum trees. Those sheep were the descendants of a stud brought from Australia many years before plus another stud that had travelled half way around the world before being acquired by Peter Storrey who originally hailed from Geelong. I was very interested in this farm as the native boys tended the sheep and shore them with the old fashioned shears. The wool was all scoured and carded on the farm and then woven into mats and car seats. The dyes used in the processing wore all made from local plants and created very artistic effects. This farm was situated on a ridge overlooking the mountains of Mozambique, the Portuguese state, and presented an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour with the occasional swirl of mist blanketing the area.
As I left this region of peace and tranquility I heard a whispering amongst the soughing pines. I felt a sorrow to leave such a beautiful place and as I walked for the last time amongst those stately trees I felt their needles falling like tears on my head.
After two months of wandering around this fascinating country I was most reluctant to leave. I am now intending to return later this year on another photographic safari this time arranged by South African Airways. If any members are interested in joining me on this interesting trip I would like to hear from them.
Lightweight bushwalking and camping gear.
H Frame Packs - The Mountaineer De-Luxe.
This capacious pack can comfortably carry 70 lbs or more. The bag is made from tough lightweight terylene cotton, proofed fabric with special P.V.C. reinforced base. Bag size 20“ x 17” x9“ and has proofed nylon extension throat complete with double draw cord for easy positive closure. The large protective flap has full sized zip pocket of waterproof nylon. It has liberal sized outside pocket. The whole bag is quickly and easily detached from the frame to form a 3' sleeping bag cover for cold, wet conditions. The frame is specially designed for comfortable load carrying with complete nylon web back harness and chrome tanned leather shoulder straps and three inch breeching strap for long hard wear. Weight 6 lbs.
Bunyip Rucksack. This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Useful day pack. Weight 14 ozs.
Senior Rucksack. A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2 lbs
Bushman Rucksack. Have sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30 lbs. 2 pocket model 1 1/4 lbs. 3 pocket model 1 1/2 lbs.
Pioneer Rucksack is an extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40 lbs of camp gear. Weight 2 1/4 lbs.
Hooded bag. Extra well filled. Very compact. Approx 3 3/4 lbs.
Super warm box quilted. Added leg room. Approx 4 1/2 lbs.
Super Light Model.
Half the weight and packed size of regular bags. 9” x 5 1/2“ dia. 2 lbs.
Everything for the bushwalker, from blankets and air mattresses, stretchers, boots, compasses, maps, books, stoves and lamps to cooking ware and freeze dried and dehydrated foods.
69 Liverpool St., Sydney. 26-2686, 61-7215.
A State Of Euphoria.
by Don Matthews.
It was near midnight and we had assembled at the Megalong Creek camping area, far enough upstream to escape the odour of tar from the roadworks nearby. Wood wasn't exactly plentiful, but I managed to find enough to get a blaze going, and ceremoniously ushered in the weekend, and Bill Burke's Splendour Rock walk.
At that moment a light drizzle descended upon us. With a defiant gesture I threw a few more twigs on the fire and dared Hughie to do his worst. This was safe enough because I knew that if the weather turned crook we would have a good excuse to camp in the cave at Mobb's swamp. Cosy places, caves.
The morning was one of those misty muffled ones and it was a delight to stroll down Carlons Creek with only the occasional nettle to disturb one's equilibrium. The party assembled at Breakfast Creek. Above us was the Black Horse ridge. I'd been up it on a walking trial once, without a pack. This time it seemed somewhat more vertical, but the sight of the mist rising from Breakfast Creek offered an excuse for frequent stops and made it bearable.
At the top of the main climb an unusual and touching ceremony was enacted. The Smokers' Anonymous section of the S.B.W., with a membership of one, held its inaugural (and possibly its final) meeting. The chairman and only member, who must of course remain anonymous, was puffing and perspiring, but not noticably moreso than others of the party. From his pocket he slowly pulled out a packet of cigarettes. Then he lit a match. “That's strange,” I thought, “they usually take them out of the packet first.” Then he put the match to the packet. Nothing happened except that the match burnt out. The smoker's brow furrowed. Then, cursing under his breath, he emptied out the fags and slowly and deliberately dismembered them, one by one.
During this performance the other members of the party ware making facetious remarks about tea leaves and newspaper, and recalling the antics of an ex-president who once lost his last cigarette down a narrow rock fissure in the Budawangs. The butt of our jokes remained impassive, and it was obvious that we were dealing with no ordinary smoker, or ex-smoker? I felt a trifle abashed by this spectacle of self-denial and discipline. What unnecessary luxury could I give up? I was travelling extremely lightweight, and suddenly it struck me that the eating of peanut butter sandwiches for lunch was in itself a form of penance. I reckoned that I would suffer sufficiently as it was.
The route around the west side of Warrigal to Mobbs used to be a scrub bash, but now a serpentine track has been blazed with metal markers and the going is much easier and quicker. The cave was a comfortable spot for lunch, and for our afternoon exercise we skipped out to Splendour Rock under a leaden sky and sat taking in the familiar landmarks until the afternoon chill sent us scurrying back to the comforts of the cave.
One of the advantages of a cave is that you can observe the culinary habits of the party more readily. It's all very compact. Ruth and Bill and I were more or less middle of the road. Dot tended toward the aboriginal, coaxing some flavour back into precooked chops by warming them over the fire on a twig. Les was muttering incantations over one of those complete dehydrated brews which defy description and digestion. Adrienne and Geoff were obviously Cordon Bleu. As far as I could make out they were vying to make the tastiest brew from identical raw materials. Their comments about the results were too technical for me to follow, but they certainly polished off the finished products with relish; adverbally speaking.
This indeed was bliss. A gurgling stream at the doorstep, plenty of wood, and the threat of rain to make it all the more snug.
One of the pleasures of this trip used to be the navigating of Blue Dog Range, but the phantom track blazer has struck again and there's no mental effort needed. By Sunday morning the weather had cleared and we lingered in the sunshine at Knights Deck and gazed into the depths below. Down at the junction the Cox and Breakfast Creek were in moderate flow. The water was inviting and not too cold, and the senior members of the party took to it for what probably would be their last voluntary swim for a while.
I dawdled up Breakfast Creek. Admittedly my knees needed oiling and I couldn't have gone much faster, but it was mighty pleasant ambling along, taking imaginary photos to fix the mental images.
Just before the Carlon's Creek junction the party stopped for a breather. I pushed through the nettles to the old camp site on the pool a little further up Breakfast Creek. Dot was close behind. Sure enough, the pool was as inviting as over. In fact, it was irresistible, so we had another last voluntary swim and then strode invigorated back to the nettles of Carlon's Creek.
By the time we reached Carlon's I was in such a relaxed state, despite my creaking knee joints, that I offered no resistance when the convoy stopped for apple pie and cream at the Megalong tea shop.
That's euphoria for you!
The club secretary has received a letter advising that the Mt. Victoria Taxi Service has changed hands. The new owner, Mrs. Merrick, can be contacted by phone - STD 87,1280.
The Six Foot Track.
From C.M.W. Magazine, March April May 1972.
After the Blue Mountains were crossed, the west of the Divide was flooded with farmers, settlers, seekers of fortune, convicts (free and not so free) and by those who were just interested in seeing that which had been barred to them for 25 years. What they saw and what they discovered is now a common day occurrence made easily accessible by modern transport. This item deals with the effort made to shorten the access to one of these discoveries.
When the Jenolan Caves were publicly discovered in 1841, it was the start of a very profitable tourist trade. But with all things it started off small and gradually grew. The usual route was out via Tarana and Oberon, which proved very long especially for those travellers from Sydney - a trip lasting about 5 or 6 days. In an attempt to ease the time taken some hotelkeepers at Mt. Victoria constructed a buggy track to within 2 miles of the caves, a distance of about 44 miles (decreasing the previous route by about 46 miles).
A surveyor W. M. Cooper was commissioned to find out a shorter route. Setting out on foot, he marked out a track, 26 1/2 miles long from the Great Western Hotel, Katoomba, to the Caves. Initially employed to find a route, he ended by making a track. Trees were blazed and white calico with black figures (1 to 105) were attached to the trees. Completed in April 1884, it took 12 hours by foot, and when the horse track was completed, it was expected to take 5 hours to visit the caves.
From the Explorers' Tree (l 1/2 miles from the hotel at Katoomba, all further mileages in brackets to be read as from the hotel at Katoomba). It followed a cart track left, then left again 2 miles from Katoomba to Megalong Cleft. Then down the incline (Nelly's Glen) to the bottom, then 3-4 miles to Megalong Station and some huts (only occasionally occupied - as far as I know those huts have disappeared). The track then followed a fence from the SE corner post for approximately 1 mile to the SW corner of Megalong Creek (3/4 miles), it then sidled left to a gradual descent for 3 1/2 miles to the crossing of the Cox and Gibralter Creek. Half mile downstream was the hut of Peter Reilly, a free settler. Peter was quite a story teller and often made travellers welcome. (Peter Reilly is one of the main characters in the book “Green Hills and Cullenbenbong” by B. O'Reilly).
The track then goes up Gibraltar Creek, crossing it three times before sidling up the right hand bank - involves two sharp pinches and (at 12 1/2 miles) to a low saddle across the Mini Mini Range, then down to Little River (13 1/4 miles) and a small flat. Followed the left bank for l 1/2 miles and crossed it to climb Black Range, 1 1/2 miles to the top (15 1/4 miles) where an old cart track was followed (used formerly to carry bark to Hartley). It follows a spur almost south to join the Mt. Victoria buggy track (Jenolan Caves Road).
Finally the Government granted £2500 to construct a horse track and to build a zig-zag down Megalong Cleft. Its name was taken from the width of the track.
Letters From Dorothy And Alan Pike.
Baghdad, Iraq. 27.3.73.
Well, we've almost finished with Iraq. It's been a terrific experience. The people are fantastic. Irrespective of their walk of life, they can't do enough to help us. In Baghdad we are staying at the Granada Hotel - a strange place. The lounge is always full of Arab gentlemen, drinking tea and talking and sometimes exchanging obviously large amounts of cash, as they play with their strings of beads. This is where we met Mr. Farouk and his uncle. Mr. Farouk spoke good English, and he and Uncle took us to Mosul where they live. At Mosul we stayed one night with each family - meals and everything. Uncle was a merchant and Mr. Farouk some sort of policeman. After a few days in Mosul, Dot and I decided to go to Hatra to see some ruins. Well, we got onto a “country bus”, a rickety contraption which was basically a 25-year old truck, and with a crowd of village people set off for Hatra, about 70 miles away, the children giving us seeds to chew, which we repaid with chewing gum. We stopped at several villages on the way, very poor places, the houses built of sun-dried mud, with a few sheep and goats wandering around. It took four hours of bouncing around to reach Hatra. The ruins are great - capital of an early Arab kingdom about 2000 years old - old temples crumbling away, and the remains of the houses (Dot had a “bath” in a 2000 year old stone bath - we think it was a bath) and only a few tourists there to spoil it. They were on a bus from Poland we think. It's amazing, there are practically no tourists in this country. We stayed at the hotel in Hatra, and that night we were the only guests in the place.
Next morning we wanted to go lack to Mosul, so the local service station manager took us around the village, asking the three car owners in the place if they could take us back to Mosul (the bus didn't go till late afternoon). Well, all the cars were under repair at the time, but there was a jeep station wagon, very battered with three wheels, which appeared to be a possibility if they could get another wheel. So we went back to the hotel and soon received word that the wagon was ready.
Well off we went at about 20 mph (downhill), Dot and I plus 7 old Arab men, a peasant man with his wife and child, a basket of eggs, a gallon of yoghurt, various bags of something or other and a sheep. We got as far as the main road when the wheel they had put on with so much effort, came off with a terrific jolt. The sheep trod in the eggs and the yoghurt got all over my pack. However no-one was particularly worried apart from the driver who thought he would not get paid apparently (no-one could speak English). There was no hope of fixing the wheel, the axle had completely broken.
We got to Mosul in a vehicle which carried sheep on the roof and passengers and sheep inside; the driver had to have a photo taken of his bus before he'd take us. We got back to Baghdad that night, rather tired. Next day visited Samarra (interesting old mosques) and when we came back, there in the hotel lounge was Uncle. It appears we had left earlier than he thought we would, so he came down to Baghdad by aeroplane to see us. That night he came up to our room with a bottle of arak (a strong drink) and a bag of oranges and we had a little party. Uncle couldn't speak English, so the communication was all done with drawings.
Well, we've been to Babylon and Ninovah, (missed out on Ur) Basra and Ctessiphon and Samarra, Hatra and Mosul, and seen many interesting people. Tomorrow we make arrangements to go to Lebanon. We'll probably leave here on Thursday.
Well - we've made it to Lebanon. Beyrout is very westernised, tall buildings, streets crammed with cadillacs, and a few miles away people are living under sheets of rusty iron. Today we went up to Baalbek to see the Roman ruins. It's so fantastic it can't be described. I hope the photos come out.
Yesterday we went to Byblos, an ancient city of great variety of ruins from temples of 3,000 B.C. to Roman and Crusader buildings. It's supposed to be the oldest known continuously inhabited city, and it's not surprising considering that it is beautifully situated on the Mediterranean shores with the mountains behind. At present the site is dominated by a huge Crusader castle, built from older buildings including granite columns (from Roman times) stuck in the base as a re-inforcement. Today we went to Bet-Eddine, a palace of 19th century Arab style about 2000 feet up in steep mountains. Also saw Sidon and Tyre, again ancient coastal cities.
We leave for Cairo by plane tomorrow. We'll be in Egypt two to three weeks and then hope to get back here to travel another few weeks up the Turkish coast to Istanbul, calling in at Crete and Rhodes on the way.
Tasagu (near Mersin); southern coast of Turkey. 15.4.73.
After seeing Egypt and all its fantastic antiquities in fine cool weather we flew back to Beirut to find that we were marching up the main street along with a huge student demonstration (very orderly and no police). That evening we met an Australian man (expatriate 5 years) who told us of the Israeli landing and shoot-up in Beirut (one street from our hotel) which occurred the previous day. No doubt the news has reached you.
Anyway, next day we wanted to go and revisit Baalbek before going to Turkey, but we found on reaching the Turkey Bus Station that the only bus that week was going in 5 minutes, so after a rush back to the hotel and a pack-up we were on the bus. Little did we know that the bus would be held up for a total of 5 hours and 5 luggage checks at the Lebanese, Syrian and Turkish borders. The other passengers didn't seem to mind as they were quite happy to play energetic games of handball with customs officers and army men etc. while they waited. The hold-up was partly due to the trouble in Beirut and as a result we were both closely scrutinised and one woman was actually sent back for having a faulty passport.
Well, we arrived in Turkey late at night and the whole bus-load stopped at the first hotel we came to. It was rather bad but only cost 50 cents so we couldn't complain. The people on the 'bus consisted of Lebanese, Turks, Egyptians, mainly young men, very nice. They all thought the trip a great joke. Next morning we continued on, stopping for breakfast at Iskanderun, where a young fellow took us to his beautiful little flat overlooking the bay and gave us breakfast. Later in the morning we came to Adana, where Dot and I left the bus. As soon as we got off the bus we were invited into an electric motor repairshop. One of the men could speak English, so all work stopped, and we drank cups of tea. Then they took us by car to the bank so we could get some Turkish money, then they gave us lunch, then they took us to see the local dam, in an ambulance (they had been repairing the siren - so gave it plenty of testing on the way).
Next day we continued around the coast to a place called Tasagu (we had. been told it was good for swimming). As soon as we got off the bus we met a young man who owned a camping place a few miles away. He invited us to go there so off we went, on the back of motor-bikes this time, loaded with bread, meat, fish etc. for the camping area. It turned out to be a fantastic little place, in a sheltered bay, with a beach of white pebbles, the hilly shores covered with pine-trees and in the distance an old castle on the point. The water was reasonably warm and we couldn't have asked for more.
Also he was a fantastic cook, and we were the only people staying there. He spoke good English, and we enjoyed his company. On the last night there a group of his friends came from Mersin (nearest city) and barbecued a goat on a spit over the fire. We were invited to join in. The goat was tasty but a bit tough. I don't think any of them really liked goat, but it had something to do with being “wild men”. Apparently it's something traditional. They danced around the fire and acted the fool, and we all had great time.
Well, we left the camping place and stopped a night at Alanya next morning - saw its ancient city built on a hillside with stone walls all around - people still living there and using the water-tanks built by the Romans, then on to Side, another ancient Roman city - really fantastic. We'll tell you about it later.
Alan and Dorothy.
Walks Secretary's Notes For August.
by Wilf Hilder.
|Bank Holiday 3, 4-6
|Uncle Dave Rostron is leading this medium to hard ski tour from Guthega with a base camp in the snow at the treeline on Mt. Twynam. Day tours on the Main Range with the glorious scenery of the Alps. Please book early - experienced skiers only.
|An easy walk from Cowan to Brooklyn with Sam Hinde waving the S.B.W. banner. Tracks out of Cowan and into Brooklyn with a little rockhopping and light scrub in between. Excellent views along the Hawkesbury foreshores.
|There's still gold in them thar hills! Gold snow Wilf hopes for his Kiandra to Tabletop historical and hard ski tour. After a steep climb out of Kiandra the going is relatively undulating with another steep climb onto Tabletop. Nine Mile diggings with the famous open cut is one of the points of special interest. Another point of interest will be finding Broken Dam Hut - please bring plenty of humble pie. Early bookings are essential as is snow camping gear.
|This Sunday test walk Waterfall to Audley is being led by Bill Hall. An interesting traverse of a pretty section of Royal National Park. Tracks for about half the distance. Special Excursion tickets to Waterfall.
|Neville Lupton's Yerranderie Peak test walk is sure to be a winner. Excellent scenery from the trig after a steep scramble up the pass. Historic ruins and old mines are plentiful at Yerranderie - bring your colour camera. Tracks for about half the distance with some light scrub.
|This scenic walk along Cowan Creek is led by Gladys Roberts from Wahroonga to Mt. Kuringgai. Good tracks all the way, with some roads at Bobbin Head. Special Excursion tickets to Mt. Kuringgai.
|David Gleeson leads this hard ski tour to Mt. Twynam and The Sentinel with a snow camp near Carruthers Peak. Fabulous scenery on the Main Range of the Alps after a steep climb up from “der Shnowy Ribber”. Quite a bit of climbing on skis on this trip. Early booking is essential.
|The Budawangs with Alastair Battye what a great way to spend a weekend. Base camp in Monolith Valley with tremendous views from all the adjacent peaks. Tracks all the way in this popular area. Best to book in early for your transport.
|Joadja about time we had a look see at Joadja again. Marion Lloyd leads this interesting tour of this ruined mining town with its inclined tramways, old retorts, etc. and even a light railway to Mittagong. In view of the distance from Sydney, a fairly early start is the order of the day. As Joadja is gradually being restored there is an entry fee of sixty cents a head, but that includes a leaflet with a sketch map.
|Last walk on a lean winter walks programme is Meryl Watman's Waterfall to Engadine walk along the Uloola track and Peach Trees trig. Beautiful early wildflowers make this a very pretty walk indeed along well defined tracks. Special Excursion tickets to Waterfall.
Ten days to go! Only ten more days to get your walk on the Spring Walks Programme - September, October, November, '73. The new programme can only be as good as you make it - Wilf is waiting to hear from YOU! Remember - no walks - no programme.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments.
Members are reminded that if they wish to propose any constitutional amendments for consideration at the Half Yearly General Meeting to be held in September, details (including name of proposer and seconder) should be given to the Secretary in writing no later than the General Meeting to be held on August 8th.
Members who have not yet paid their annual subscriptions are urged to do so promptly, as they are liable to be crossed off the list of members if their subscriptions are still unpaid by the Half-Yearly General Meeting in September.
The rates are:
|$1.00 plus $1.50 for magazine if required.
Subscriptions may be paid to Marcia Shappert, John Holly or Gladys Roberts in the clubrooms or may be posted to:-
The Treasurer, The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O. Sydney. 2001.
Cheques, money orders or postal notes should be made payable to “The Sydney Bush Walkers”.