Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p.m. the Wireless Institute building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the club should be referred to Mrs. Marcia Shappert - Telephone 30.2028.
|Editors||Spiro Ketas, 104/10 Wylde St. Potts Point. Tel. 357.1381. Neville Page, 14 Brucedale Ave. Epping. Tel. 86.3739.|
|Business Mgr.||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Cr. Carlingford. Tel 871.1207.|
Drawing by Dot Butler, The Bushwalker. 1937.
|The Devil's Wilderness||Hans Stichter||3|
|Federation Notes||Jim Vatiliotis||5|
|How Sand Ski-ing Was Born||Len Scotland||7|
|The Sand Ski Club||Geoff Wagg||9|
|Dot Butler's Cartoon Page||10|
|The January General Meeting||Jim Brown||11|
|One Month Without Husband and Children, or the S.B.W. India Trip||Marcia Shappert||13|
|Walks Notes||Bob Hodgson||17|
|The S.B.W. Reunion||19|
The conservation cause has once again hit the headlines, this time in the financial pages of our daily press. Reason for the publicity is that a takeover offer has been made to all shareholders of Associated Portland Cement Company Ltd. who own less than twenty shares. The offer is $4.00 per share, which is considerably higher than the current price on the Stock Exchange.
The reason why this company has more than the usual number of small shareholders (mainly one share per person) is that a few years ago a group of dedicated conservationists calling themselves the Colong Committee encouraged their supporters to take up a share each. This manoeuvre was intended to bring before the company, its other shareholders, and the public at large, a voice of protest at proposals by the company to rip up Mount Armour and turn it into cement.
Quite a number of S.B.W. members bought A.P.C.M, shares and would by now have received the offer documents. Some of you might be wondering what action should be taken. On this point the Colong Committee has made a recommendation. It is recommended that you accept the offer by completing and returning the transfer form; AND, you endorse your $4.00 cheque over to the Colong Committee by way of a donation. If you have already cashed your cheque, why not send them the $4.00 anyway. In this way you can give further tangible support to this excellent organization.
Their address is:
The Colong Committee, 18 Argyle Street, Sydney, N.S.W. 2000.
We owe a lot to the Colong Committee. Many people at the time thought that Colong was a lost cause, and there was no point in fighting. But the Colong Committee thought differently. They mustered support, they fought the fight, and they won. Help them now to carry the fight a bit further, on new issues and new causes.
The Devil's Wilderness.
By Hans Stichter.
Five of us had decided to accompany Joe Marton Over Christmas on a glorious four-day walk covering the entire length Of the Grose River from Hartley Vale to Richmond.
The party consisting of Victor Lewin, Hans Stichter, Gary Morphett, Chris Kirkpatrick, Diana Lynn and Sally Burke, unfortunately had to do without the presence of Joe Marton as the result of an industrial accident on the morning of departure, resulting in one broken and badly swollen thumb. Yes, some of us thought that this shouldn't have deterred a bushwalker from leading, but on reaching Richmond on the fourth night, we were sure that had he come, it would have been a most uncomfortable trip.
The group departed, with their new leader Victor Lewin, from Sydney on the 6.00 p.m. train from Central, uncertain as to whether the driver would in fact stop at Hartley Vale station. To those who haven't been to Hartley Vale station, it consists of one two-carriage unattended platform, very overgrown by weeds and bushes and of a fire-place which no doubt walkers have made use of in previous years. Having conveyed our intention to the guard, he assured us he would inform the driver. However, on reaching Hartley Vale, we noticed that the train was definitely not slowing down. Could it be that the driver lacked the Christmas Spirit as tonight was Christmas Eve? Much to our surprise, he did manage to stop, and with a mighty cheer of “Merry Christmas” and “Thank you”, the six of us scrambled through the fog and drizzle to make our first camp in the surrounding bush on the adjacent ridge to the station.
It was an 8.00 a.m. start the following morning with the intention of following the Engineer's Track down to the Grose, a track which we had been told could be quite difficult to locate. We did find the track but found the lawyer vine much too thick to make our way through, and thus headed down to Surveyor's Creek. On reaching the Upper Grose it was decided to continue rook-hopping rather than follow the banks which at this stage were becoming extremely steep.
The junction of Victoria Falls Creek and the Grose was reached approx 2.00 p.m. and the party was quite shocked to see that the whole area had been unnecessarily cleared for a new camping area. Trees had been cut down and left to lie in all directions, and it was apparent that someone entrusted to clear this area had in fact gone 'berserk' with the cutting saw. I believe that this matter has been brought up at a Federation meeting and that further action will be taken.
That night was spent on the outskirts of Blue Gum Forest, which due to camping restrictions, was entirely devoid of persons. At this point, Chris (having muscle trouble) decided that rather than slow the party down, he would pull out via Perry's Lookdown in the morning.
From this point onwards the Grose canyon gradually narrows and the next two days walking covers some very beautiful terrain. However, the scrub becomes extremely thick and overgrown and at many places the track was covered by slides and fallen trees. The track shown on the various maps is in fact unrecognisable for most of the way, which made the progress of the party very slow. Camp was made early at approximately 5.30 p.m. to take advantage of a campsite just east of Kolonga Walls large enough to accommodate the party. Campsites on the lower Grose are a rarity - only two or three were sighted together with some dusty overhangs. In this area a party larger than ours would probably have had difficulty in pitching more than three or four tents.
We had so far been very fortunate with ideal walking weather - overcast and some light spots of rain - as was the following morning.
Map reading at this stage seemed unnecessary as it was only a matter of following the river. However, when we found that we were in fact a few miles further back than we had predicted, it was decided to pay more attention to our maps so as to ensure our trip would in fact only take the planned four days.
The whole day was spent walking approximately 8-9 miles through some of the thickest scrub of the whole Grose i.e. “The Devil's Wilderness”.
Possibly the most amusing incident that day was the confrontation of a bull with both Victor and Gary. Having walked around a large boulder, Victor and Gary (Gary carrying a high frame RED pack) surprised the bull which immediately made its presence known. Gary's immediate action was to go uphill and Victor decided to avoid the bull by standing behind a narrow tree. However, thinking the bull was going to the left of the tree, Victor made a dash to the opposite side only to find the bull doing the same. It was a case of grabbing “the bull by the horns”. We are pleased to say that both are still alive.
On-reaching Linden Greek, we found that approximately mile upstream was an ideal campsite opposite a natural amphitheatre. Our final night was a welcome one and saw the entire party in their sleeping bags quite early.
Our thought now was to come to the end of the Grose canyon. Whilst its beauty is endless, so seems the distance to be covered and the thick scrub along the way. The final day saw us homeward bound, the silence and serenity of the Grose river being broken only by the none-too-common sound of trail bikes.
The final three miles to Yarramundi was along a track leading from a gauging station situated below Vale Lookout. This track led us through the property of an old fellow who, along with his dog eager to take a piece out of our legs, told us to get off his property. We didn't feel like arguing as to whether it was private property or not, and made a detour and continued on. Orchards along the way provided us with oranges to quench our thirst as we hadn't had fresh water for some hours.
This trip was now over except for the 4 - 5 mile walk into Richmond, road-bashing the whole way. It was suggested that we take a 20-minute break in another orchard to clear our shoes of the gravel and sand which had accumulated that afternoon. We had just commenced walking again when a car stopped behind. us. It was Chris who had quite thoughtfully come to pick us up and had brought along bottles of soft drink, chocolates and sweets. Only those who have been on such a trip would know what those little goodies meant to us. A Chinese meal at Richmond and the final drive to Parramatta saw the end to the trip through “The Devil's Wilderness”.
We were fortunate that it had been overcast the entire length of the trip. As it was, we didn't have any time for swimming, and the whole party agreed that it is probably not a trip for summer months even though we were all appreciative that we had done the trip at least once.
by Jim Vatiliotis.
The Federation Reunion will be held on 3rd/4th April. Details will be published in the next Federation newsletter.
A trip to the Border Ranges area (near Queensland border) is being planned for Easter. Details have not yet been worked out but if anyone is interested, please contact the club's federation delegates.
Camping permits are now required for the Blue Gum Forest/Upper Grose Valley area. Federation has decided that although we are generally not in favour of permit systems, we will accept the system where it is necessary for the preservation of the area.
Soil conservation work is being carried out in the Mt. Twynum/Mt. Anderson area and a bulldozer has been used to clear an access track. It is hoped that the whole area, including the track, will eventually be restored.
During the Christmas holidays the road between Charlotte's Pass and Rawson Pass near Kosciusko was closed to private cars and a shuttle bus service was operated. This section of the road may be closed permanently.
Wanted To Buy.
1 Paddy Pallin Mountaineer pack.
1 Superdown medium size full-zipper sleeping bag.
Please phone Alan Noble Tel. 59-6061
Lightweight bushwalking and camping gear.
Don't be lumbered with a winter bag in summer. Our new 'Superlight' summer weight bags are nearly half the packed size and weight (2lbs) of our regular sleeping bags. Nylon covering, superdown filled. Packs into 9“ length x 5 1/2” die. Can also be used during winter as an “inner-bag”.
Kiandra model: Pillow flap, hooded bag. Well filled. Compact, warm and lightweight. Excellent for warmer summer nights and times when carrying weight can be reduced. Approx 3 3/4lbs.
Hotham model: Superwarm hooded bag made for cold sleepers and high altitudes. 'Box quilted' with no 'through' stitching. All bags can be fitted with zippers and draught resisting overlaps. Weight 4 1/2lbs.
Bunyip Rucksack: This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Useful day pack. Weight 14ozs.
Senior Rucksack: A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight l 1/2lbs.
Bushman Rucksack: Has sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30lbs. 2 pocket model 1 1/4lbs. 3 pocket model 1 1/2lbs.
Pioneer Rucksack: Extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40Ibs of camp gear. Weight 2 1/4lbs.
'A' Tents: One, two or three man. From 2 1/2 to 3 3/4lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors. No walls.
Wall Tents: Two, three or four man. From 3 1/2 to 4 1/2lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors.
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.
How Sand Ski-ing Was Born.
by Len Scotland.
After a few annual holidays skiing at Kosciusko I realised we were not going to improve unless we could practice somehow in Sydney. I noticed the sand drifts across the road at Brighton-le-Sands were similar to the drifts of snow at “Kosci” so I bought a pair of skis from a pawn shop in William Street. He wanted £3.10.0 - after long haggling (I ran out of time as I had to go back to work) I got them for £1. 2. 6d.
Frank found Wally Reids in Woolloomooloo who had a coir-mat-covered “Slippery Dip”. It was hard to fall on, very tiring on the ankles as the edges wouldn't be able to dig in, and rope burns when one fell.
Bert Whinier made a rough pair of skis and went to Centennial Park where he had a down-hill run under the pine trees. He told us to come as he had made a good run by collecting the pine needles from all around and putting them in the right place. Unfortunately before we could arrange to go Bert ruefully informed us that the mounted Park Ranger had discovered Bert on the “practice slope” and ordered him off. Bert pointed out he was doing no harm, but that was it.
I told Bert I had ideas about sand for practice. He promptly found a slope in the gully behind Bronte Beach. Bill, Frank, Bert and myself spent a few Sundays on this slope and it was good until the Old Lady discovered us. She complained so much of her (unfounded) fears that her house would collapse that we had to give it up.
Next I discovered a hill where the neighbours would not complain behind the Randwick Cemetery. We went there until we wanted bigger hills and someone suggested Cronulla.
We took the tram to La Perouse and a small launch across to Kurnell. This was before the Refinery was built there. Bert and his family had camped there the night before and when he met us at the wharf he told us of skiing on the ice-covered grass early that morning. We soon set off for a traverse of the hills to Cronulla, looking and skiing all the biggest hills on the way. We spent a very enjoyable day finishing in the moonlight.
One of the highest and steepest slopes was where the sand-mining was going on. It was good at first until the small boys discovered us. Then carloads of people came and it was a spectator sport. The boys soon found out we didn't appreciate them running across the slope (it spoilt the speed) also they would play “chicken” and run across just as we were to start down.
Then Frank discovered a hill at the Cronulla end (near Wunda Beach). The cars couldn't drive there so we had more peace.
Gordon Ballard heard about us and wanted some movies of it. He bought a pair of bamboo skis from Wally Reid for the sand skiing. They were marked “Bambu-Sha”, made in China I believe, although they may have been made in Japan. They were fast on the sand and lasted longer between waxing.
Re waxing. Bert had an idea to use old gramophone records. He tried to dissolve them in all kinds of liquid - petrol, turps, kero - told him metho would do it. The only one he hadn't tried.
We were using parafin wax put on with a hot iron, but it didn't last long enough. Then Bert discovered a hard yellow wax “Cerecine” which lasted much longer. It wasn't easy to get. Everyone was looking for suitable waxes in large enough quantities. Another wax I think we used was Canauba or Kanauba. I found a place in Waverley where we obtained quite a bit.
Our packs were quite heavy with irons and wax but we enjoyed it. We were not cold in the winter and were as brown as berries and the training meant we were able to do long trips at “Kosci” without getting tired, so we enjoyed our skiing holiday to the full.
I think everyone would benefit by a few weeks training before they went to the snow. On the sand you can practice snow plow, side slip, stem turns, cristy, herringbone climbing and side step climbing, and even (if you want to) Telemark turns. We estimate one got speeds of thirty miles per hour.
The highest sand hills in the world are said to be at Frazer Island. I wonder what it would be like there?
(Editor's Note: Sand skiing became a popular diversion, pasttime, sport, preoccupation what have you during the 1950's. It was also about this time that those brilliant architects of chronic opera were doing some of their best. The song on the opposite page, written by Geoff Wagg, is one person's view of the activity.)
The Sand Ski Club.
Words by Geoff Wagg. Tune - The Crocodile.
As I sat one day and thought to myself, to myself one day I thought
That skiing on sand must surely be the Cinderella of sport,
And noble pastime though it is, 'tis known to very few,
So I think we ought to start a club to bring this game its due.
Chorus: Yes, we will start a sand ski club, with members full of grit,
With sand in the eye,
And a mouth so dry
They cannot raise a spit!
Now if we're going to start this club we'll need to have some sand,
Which isn't the sort of kind of thing that comes very easy to hand,
But I've found some down on Botany Bay, so what we ought to do
Is write to the council and ask them if they'll sell us a dune or two.
Oh! this must be an active club, with men of serious vein,
So we'll toughen up every other weekend with a run through the Nullabor Plain,
With plans in view for a Christmas trip to ski the far Sahara,
Though I've heard reports that the Gobi Desert is much superi-ara.
Now I've only one thing more to say and after that I'll stop.
When our mountains have all worn away then climbing them will flop,
And skiing on sand as a national sport will have to play a part,
But unless we start a club ere long, we might have lost the art!
Come To The Reunion.
See page 19 for directions on how to get there.
Dot Butler's Cartoon Page
[Cartoon of a bull coming up to two bushwalkers disguised in a cow suit. In the background is a sign saying “Walkers Prohibited”.]
“You and your bright idea for sneaking through unnoticed!!”
(Editors' Note: Lots more cartoons are required for future issues. Commit your sense of humour to paper and send in your contributions soon.)
January General Meeting.
by Jim Brown.
“Happy New Year” said President Barry Wallace as introductory to the January meeting. He voiced apologies from office bearers Helen Gray, Spiro Hajinakitas and Frank Roberts, and said we had no new members to welcome, it being thought that the January meeting was not a propitious one for admissions. Briskly we dealt with December's minutes, with nothing arising, and from correspondence we learned:-
(a) River Canoe Club had invited us to attend the official opening of their new Club Room at Tempe at 2.0 p.m., Saturday, February 28th (it may be recalled the old club house on the same site was burned down by vandals in August 1973).
(b) Spiro had proposed a minor constitutional amendment for consideration at the Annual Meeting in March.
© National Parks and Wildlife Service has closed Blue Gum Forest to camping from 1st December last for an unspecified period. Three alternative sites in the Upper Grose valley are available for camping provided permits are obtained from the Service's Blackheath office.
(d) Cosmorama Press, Helensburgh, is producing Vol. 2 of its booklet “A Guide to Bushwalking” and invites contributions of material.
Having decided to do nothing as a Club about item (a), we went on to the Financial Statement, which showed a small rise to a total of $1541 in working funds at the close of December.
At this stage, as the Walks Secretary was out sailing on the Harbour, the normal progression of events got somewhat inverted, and at one stage there was an announcement for the benefit of day walkers that the Sunday morning train to Goulburn now departs Sydney at 8.05 a.m., about 1/2 hour earlier than previously.
Federation's Newsletter was mentioned, and after a request for a summary of its contents, Barry explained it consisted of 5 pages of close typescript, but the main features were:-
(1) A representative will work with the Australian Standards Association on uniform track signs.
(2) Negotiations are taking place with the Water Board about access by walkers to certain parts of the Burragorang catchment, such as Jooriland.
(3) The Tasmanian Govt. is contributing towards construction by Tasair of an airstrip on Port Davey - walkers are asked to boycott Tasair.
(4) Search & Rescue seeking closer co-operation with Police and Parks Wildlife Service.
(5) Various conservation bodies would appreciate advice from walkers as to changes in roads and structures adjacent to Parkland reserves.
(6) The military firing range at Tianjara has amended its boundary to a line west of the Newhaven Gap road.
(7) At Easter a group of conservationists will organise air travel to and from the disputed National Park area on the Queensland border.
(8) Further campaigning against deliberate burning off practices is being undertaken.
At this stage Barry decided to start on the Walks Report, but Bob Hodgson arrived one weekend later (i.e. after doings on one weekend had been covered).
On the 12/14 December, Barbara Evans' party of 13 went to a leisurely camp in the Wolgan valley and visited the Glow Worm Tunnel. The weather was hot, but the ferny glen just below the tunnel proved comfortable. It was still too warm on Sunday to take much interest in the ruins. The day walk, Victor Lewin's trip in Govett's Leap Creek, had 14 starters and the upper reaches of the creek were very interesting, but the slow going approaching the main waterfall prevented the party getting right up to its base.
Hans Stichter's Upper Cox's River trip on December 20-21 had 10 in attendance. Wild life sighted included a couple of dingos on the Cox and to fill in time some of the party penetrated a distance up Jenolan River canyon. There were two events on the Sunday, one being Roy Braithwaite's Cowan-Brooklyn jaunt, on which high tide at Porto Bay added to the length of the first stage: according to the member who reported, it seemed well up to test walk standard, especially as the party was kept moving from about 9.30 a.m. at Cowan until 3.15 p.m. when a belated lunch break was held at the old railway dam. Gordon Broome reported that Wilf Hilder had 8 folk on his map reading excursion on the West Head peninsular, where very heavy scrub was encountered. Gordon held the view that such instruction was most valuable to would-be bush navigators.
Next programmed attraction was the 4-day Christmas trip all the way down the Grose. Leader Joe Marton managed to shatter his thumb at work a day or so before Christmas and Victor Lewin inherited the trip which started with 69 one of whom withdrew at Blue Gum. A lengthy verbal report was given, describing how there was some doubt whether the train would stop at Hartley Vale (it is no longer an official station). It did, and on Christmas Day the party went into the top of Grose Valley via The Engineers Track, finding some prickly going in lawyer vine when the track petered out. They camped near Blue Gum about 7.0 p.m. and next day, after Victor had done a little unintended bull-dogging, ended below Kolongo Walls. The third day took them to Linden Creek and on the last day, after lunch near Burralow Creek, and a dispute with a landowner who wouldn't let them cross his property, they fetched up at an orange orchard by the Nepean and were given a lift by No.6, who had defected at Blue Gum 3 days before. Evidently going on the Grose has become slower and harder in recent years (an opinion shared by your reporter) and Victor suggested 5 days would give a more restful journey.
Alan Pike's Christmas trip to the Wollondilly was altered when the leader couldn't go, but a party of four spent a leisurely three days near Shawney's Creek, where the owner of a small piece of river frontage indicated other campers were unwelcome.
The final weekend to be considered was 9-11 Jan. Oliver Crawford's Budawangs trip had been postponed one week, but there were 38 in all on the two day walks: 27 to Marley with Kath Brown on an uneventful trip, while Hans Stichter had 11 on his Blue Gum jaunt, and again nothing unusual happened.
Then the usual announcements and the meeting gently ebbed away at 9.20 p.m.
One Month Without Husband And Children Or The S.B.W.India Trip.
by Marcia Shappert.
Last year, when Craig went to Bali for a month with the S.B.W., it was with the understanding that I could go away this year. So the first few months of '75 were spent having pleasant dreams as to where I should go. Peter Scandrett, who was on the Bali trip, said he would go too. After lots of dreaming and lots of phone calls to price my dream, I finally settled on India. It's a land of contrasts, the best and worst of everything, and it's a completely different culture than anything I had seen before. (Let's face it, Australia isn't that different from the U.S.). Also, you can travel pretty inexpensively in India.
The decision was made. Now to get some others to go with Peter and myself. We put an ad in the S.B.W. magazine and waited for things to happen. Heather Williams, Wayne Steel, Len Newland and Steve Harvey were all interested.
By this time it was August and we had to decide just what we wanted to see. I bought a book called “India on $5 and $10 a Day”, read it through twice, then made up an itinerary of what I'd like to do. We had two planning meetings. Wayne insisted we go to Delhi - “After all,” he said, “it's the capital of India!” I thought it would be nice to include Nepal and Sri Lanka. When the travel agents heard our itinerary they gulped and said, “We'll see what we can do!”
Late in November Denise Brown and Neil Brown (no relation) decided to join us. Steve could get a better deal through the Uni, so decided to meet up with us at Varanasi. Peter, meanwhile, had come down with glandular fever and made a wise decision to pass this one up. Louise Rowen also wrote from Khancoban to say she'd come.
As the original trip was my idea and I had more spare time, being “only a housewife”, I did most of the organizing, seeing the travel agents (accompanied by 2-yr old Jenny, which didn't make things any easier) and in general co-ordinated things, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The itinerary was set, Kathmandu, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra with a side trip to Fetaphur Sikri, Delhi, Jaipur, Bombay, the caves Ellora and Ajunta near Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Madras, then a week in Sri Lanka. It sounded like too much, but we didn't want to miss anything. The date was set for departure, December 13th. Now all I had to do was get all my injections and make arrangements for my husband to care for our children, P.J. 6 and Jenny 2! How do you prepare a man for a month alone with his children?
Dec. 13th arrived and I didn't get the floors scrubbed. Craig said, “Don't worry, honey, I'll do them.” I had prepared a few meals, now safely in the freezer, but the heat wave in those few days before we left sapped me of all my energy and I didn't do as much as I wanted.
We met at the airport. It was nice to meet Louise at last, we had corresponded, but this was the first “face to face”. I had a few anxious moments when it was time to board the plane and I still hadn't seen Wayne. He couldn't miss this flight! But all was well, he had checked in early and was having a few beers - what else?
The flight to Singapore seemed longer than its 8 hours. We were so anxious to get started. We had a few hours there, then flew to Bangkok. We had decided to sleep at the airport, not bothering with a hotel for the short time we were there. Not much sleep was had, but enough. At any rate, we finally arrived in Kathmandu at 11 a.m., having set our watches back several times. Neil was our official timekeeper of Sydney time. He could always be relied upon to let us know it was 2.30 a.m., or whatever, in Sydney.
At the Kathmandu Airport I struck up a conversation with an American girl, named Judy (never did find out her last name). She shared a cab with us into the city and ended up sharing our room and fun for the next two days.
I've never seen anything quite like Kathmandu. Narrow, narrow streets with cubby-hole type shops abutting right onto the streets, selling the most interesting things. We dropped our packs at the hotel and went out for a walk. So much to see. We only went a few blocks when four of us got separated from the other four. As through the whole trip, we did a lot of walking and rubber-necking. Such a colorful place. A woman my age with her feet tattooed to her ankles, beautiful but filthy children, kids barely 6 carrying another child on their hips, cars and bikes everywhere - all honking horns.
We had dinner at a hotel and saw some folk dancers, but we were so, tired we left early to try to catch up on some of the sleep we had lost.
The next morning we rented bicycles and pedalled out to the Monkey Temple, 2500 years old. That a fun way to see the countryside. I hadn't been on a bike for years, but after a bit of wobbling, I got the 'feel' of it again.
The temple looked beautiful perched on top of a high hill, with its golden top shimmering in the sunlight. In fact, it looked a lot better from far away, as Heather said is usually the case. It was interesting to watch the people pray. They walk along spinning the row of prayer wheels. There were lots of monkeys about. They are held sacred by the people, so are fed and never harmed. Thus they have survived hundreds of years at the temple, even though there are none in the surrounding countryside.
I watched one woman sorting various grains, spreading them all out to dry in the sun. It was her child's job to keep dogs, ducks, sheep, monkeys, etc. from wandering over the grains.
I took a picture of a group of children using their bowel movements for play-dough.
We then cycled to the opposite side of Kathmandu and another temple where we saw a cremation. It seems such a sensible way to dispose of the dead. When the body is completely burned, they just sweep everything into the river.
The next morning we were up at 3.30 a.m. for our 1/2 hr. ride to see the sun rise over the Himalayas. We arrived at first light. There were several small children to greet us, asking for money. It was very cold and they were dressed in cotton things with a shawl wrapped around them. Just as the sun was coming up, a heavy fog came in and blotted out the whole thing. We saw it for about 3-4 seconds. I did manage to get one picture. As it got lighter, we saw the terraced mountains, green and lush. Really worth the trip.
The ride back was very interesting. Along the roadside were houses with thatched roofs, women washing clothes at the well, brickmakers, lots of children, none of whom were wearing pants. Life went on as it must have 100 years ago.
We would have loved to stay much longer but we were due in Varanasi, so we bid adieu to Kathmandu and caught an afternoon flight out.
When we got off the plane we were greeted with beautiful flower leis. As it turned out, that week was Saty Celebration Week, for S.E. Asia Tourist Development. All sorts of special things going on.
We were met by various men, all asking us to go to their hotel. Finally went with a fellow named Christopher Sing to the River View Hotel. It had been built in the early 1900's for a British nun. It was a lovely place with 30' ceilings in the living room where two huge chandeliers hung. They must have been really beautiful once, but now were used by the local birds as their favourite perch.
The next morning we took a sunrise tour by boat on the Ganges. Even at this early hour people were everywhere, bathing, washing clothes, praying, doing yoga, and flying kites. We saw another cremation. We walked through very narrow lanes with people selling anything and everything. I saw a boy with a string tied around the middle of a rat, leading it down the lane. I guess you have to have some sort of pet.
While trying to find a bank to cash travellers cheques, we wandered down one side street. It was very narrow with shops right up to the street. This street sold all types of material. We later learned that each street specializes in some particular item, such as bronze ware, shirts, jewellery, etc. It was so fascinating just to wander and watch people. It was the best bazaar we saw while in India. Too bad we didn't realise it at the time.
We finally did find the bank we were looking for. There was a guard out front with a shotgun to protect the place. However, we were too late to cash a cheque, so I borrowed money from Wayne and Neil to buy some beautiful silk velvet from a little shop on the street. What a buy at $1.70 per metre! We spent the whole next morning trying to get money, finally succeeding. I thought Aussies were slow!
To be continued…
Walks Secretary's Notes For March.
by Bob Hodgson.
|March 5, 6, 7||What a great walk to start Autumn. Roy Higginbottom is your leader on this walk packed with interest and fabulous scenery into the backdrops of Kanangra. A good solid walk for the prospective of above average fitness.|
|March 5, 6, 7||After being thwarted in an attempt to white-ant a previous programmed trip into his Kowmung li-lo trip David Rostron has taken the only action left, he has put it on the programme. A quick flop down Cambage into the Kowmung, then drift lazily down the river.|
|March 6, 7||Don't forget George Gray, he will need some helpers down at Coolana in preparation for the great Re-union.|
|Sunday 7||A typically delightful Kath Brown stroll to Burning Palms is the perfect remedy for the frustrations and tensions of the rest of the week.|
|March 13,14||The S.B.W. Re-union at Coolana, Kangaroo Valley. See the special notes in this magazine. But don't miss it.|
|March 19,20,21||We're going to tread a lot of new ground this weekend. Peter Scandrett and Peter Miller have teamed up for a bit of exploratory walking around Lockleys Pylon and Mt. Hay. Should be very interesting to be with them when they find it. They are taking ropes.|
|Saturday 20||Your friendly Walks Secretary is going to lead another in the series of “Grate” Saturday day walks, this time from Mountain Lagoon to the Colo. 50-50 tracks and scrub, but well worth the effort.|
|Sunday 21||A little-trodden area of West Head is Alastair Battye's formula for today. Great views from Wallaroo, then the fascination of Cowan Creek from Hallett's Beach.|
|Sunday 21||Downhill most of the way and quite a lot of it in Hans Beck's Sassafras Gully walk. Lots of scenery and greenery.|
|March 26,27,28||Gold-panning is Neville Page's excuse for this idle weekend on the Capertee.|
|March 26,27,28||Wilf Hilder is back to prove he has not lost any of his old touch with a wow of a walk down to and then down the Shoalhaven River, with a hurried inspection of the “unique” wineglass tor out of Tolwong on the way back. A really spectacular gorge with walking to match.|
|Sunday 28||Bill Hall will be doing a little rock-hopping by the sea on his Otford, Burning Palms trip. Forever fascinating are the only words I can think of to describe this area.|
Social Notes For March.
by Spiro Hajinakitas.
On 17th March Helen, Frank and Owen will be presenting their Burma, Thailand and Nepal night. Then on 24th Ninnie Schmidt of the Amateur Photographers Association will be giving a lecture on “Hints on Photography”, and on 31st a film titled “Overland to England” from Treasure Tours will be shown.
As a non-typing, non-shorthand, non-city-visiting secretary, I'd like to thank those typists, short handers, and mail and magazine-wrapper collectors who almost made me redundant these last 2 years. Firstly, my thanks to Heather Finch who, on a few hours notice, typed the 1976 list of members (while 8 months pregnant, with an 18 months old daughter, holding a job, keeping house, and having a wine bottling orgy in her home at the same time). Thanks to Heather Williams and Shirley Dean for all their work on the last 2 annual reports; to Ray Hookway and Frank Taeker who regularly collected mail and magazine wrappers; to Margaret Reid and Neville Page for taking over these jobs on occasions; to Peter Scandrett and Frank again for duplicating; to Margaret Richards and Lesley Page for their work as Assistant Secretaries. Last but never least Kath Brown, for reminders and help over the last 2 years.
Do you own a share in Associated Portland Cement Company Limited? If so, help the Colong Committee. Turn to the Editorial on page 2 and read how you can.
The 1976 S.B.W. Reunion.
Here is you personal guide on how to get there.
Turn off the main road where the signpost points to Mount Scanci, The Coolana entrance is about 4 miles from this turnoff, which itself is on the Nowra side of the Hampden Bridge. Driving along this road you will pass Chakola and Werona on the right. When you reach a “No Through Road” sign, you are at the Coolana entrance, on the right. (See map below). Take care in driving down the access road as it deteriorates rather dramatically the further you go. S.B.W. pointers will be displayed all the way from the main turnoff.
All past, present, and prospective members are welcome to attend.
Should you require transport to Coolana, contact George or Helen Gray, telephone 86-6263. If you'd like to help with preparations for the reunion, Joint Convenors Spiro Hajinakitas and Peter Scandrett would love to hear from you.