Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p.m. at the Wireless Institute building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Mrs. Marcia Shappert - telephone 30.2028.
|Editors||Dorothy Pike - 53 Wyralla Ave, Epping, 2121. Telephone 861352.|
|Owen Marks - In the clubrooms. Telephone 30.1327.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke - 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871.1827|
|Typist||Kath Brown, Telephone 812675.|
|Duplicator Operator||Peter Scandrett, Telephone 848.0045.|
|The February General Meeting||Barry Wallace||2|
|S.B.W. Office Bearers - 1978||3|
|The Bush Walker||Dorothy Lawry||5|
|Our New Committee||Helen Gray||6|
|Reflections of a Climber||Dot Butler||8|
|Indian Interlude||Owen Marks||12|
|Walk Notes||Len Newland||15|
The February General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at 8.30 pm with the President in the chair. There were no apologies. Our only new member for the night, Christine Underwood, was duly welcomed with applause, handshake and constitution. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received, with no business arising.
Apart from various magazines the incoming correspondence consisted of a request from the N.S.W. Department of Services for a copy of our Annual Report and Financial Statement, advice from our landlord, the W.I.A., that a coin-operated coffee machine at the rear of the hall was available for our use, and a copy of the minutes of the January Federation Meeting.
The only outgoing correspondence was the letter to our new member.
For those who believe in that sort of thing the Treasurer's Report ran as follows: Opening Balance $1346.33, Incomings $627.36, Expenditure $245.71, Closing Balance $1727.98.
Dot Butler regaled the meeting with the minutes of the most recent Coolana Committee Meeting, and then went on to present viewpoints from various legal-eagles on the proposal to form a limited private company in which to vest ownership of Coolana. Watch this space for future developments!
The Walks Report came, and as is the way of things, went. Amen!
We then somehow or other ran a brief commercial about Federation seeking starters for a Walk Against Want, and acknowledged the presence of a visitor or observer from the Scouting Movement. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice.
Then it was on to General Business with Rod Peters presenting the results of his obviously extensive investigation of the world of slide projectors. All of which was presented in tabular form to confuse or delight as is one's bent in matters tabular.
After a period of debate the meeting decided that the club should purchase a Voigtlander projector together with spares and accessories at around $300.00.
Then it was just a matter of announcements and Helen declared the meeting closed at 9.37 pm…. but she didn't gong the gong.
I wonder what she meant by that.
S.B.W. Office Bearers - 1978.
The following office-bearers and committee members were elected at the S.B.W. Annual General Meeting held an Wednesday, 8th March, 1978:-
|Vice-Presidents||Bob Hodgson*, John Redfern*|
|Assistant Secretary||Sheila Binns*|
|Walks Secretary||Spiro Hajinakitas*|
|Social Secretary||Christine Austin*|
|Assistant Social Secretary||Belinda McKenzie|
|Membership Secretary||John Redfern*|
|Assistant Membership Secretaries||Barbara Evans, Michael Short|
|Committee Members||Marcia Shappert*, Barbara Bruce*, Peter Miller*, Hans Stichter*|
|Federation Delegates||Len Newland*, Paul Mawhinney*, John Fox, Tony Marshall|
Substitution Federation Delegate|Michael Short|
|Conservation Secretary||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor||Helen Gray|
|Magazine Business Manager||Bill Burke|
|Duplicator Operator||Bob Duncan|
|Keeper of Maps & Timetables||John Holly|
|Equipment Hire||John Fox|
|Search & Rescue Contacts||Marcia Shappert, Ray Hookway, Don Finch|
|Trustees||Heather White, Bill Burke, Gordon Redmond|
|Coolana Management Committee||Dot Butler, Barry Wallace, Brian Hart, John Redfern, George Gray, Owen Marks, Bill Burke, Peter Scandrett|
|Kosciusko Huts Association Delegate||Christine Austin|
* Indicates members of the Committee.
Teh Bush Walker.
(In the track of Rupert Brook)
by Dorothy Lawry, 1935
I have been so keen a walker; filled my lung
So deeply with the fragrance of the gums,
Their tang, their scent, their aromatic breath,
Their life invigorating, and pungent death.
These are mere words! They lack the power, the strength
To lift the head, each step give added length
As do the mighty trees in vibrant life.
Yet, ere the City's grim and noisy strife
Drowns all, I would shut out the noise awhile
So peace can be remembered with a smile
That smooths the furrowed brow, and finds again
Friends and brothers in one's fellow men.
Why do we fight, who are crowded here, hemmed in
By walls, machinery, and ceaseless din?
Components these of madness and despair!
Speed is a cage - we are all imprisoned there;
A curse - and we live beneath it, you and I;
The goal itself - so we rush, and slave, and die.
Yet, by the walker's road, I can escape,
And change, and almost take another shape,
And so keep sanity still, and came to peace,
Wide-spread, serene, where jealousies cease,
And simple things give pleasure; wants are few -
To soothe jangled nerves, strength renew,
Out in the empty lands, gazing or glancing…
These I recall: Blue wavelets, sunlit, dancing,
Chased by a breeze; a beach of golden sand;
An eagle above me soaring; the wide land
Beneath my feet; and rest after a climb;
Oranges; and full many a view sublime;
A scarce-seen, leafy path beneath tall trees;
And trees themselves, that sway to every breeze,
Standing straight and stately, friended or alone.
Then, the fine friendliness of birds, full-grown,
Knowing not man; and the liquid notes
Of lyre-birds; butcher-birds; a song that floats
Joyous and free, through sundrenched air, the calm
Serenity that is the Mountain's charm;
The homeliness of a little fire, with tent close by,
Then hot food, and fresh tea; a darkening sky;
The comfort and joy of the big camp-fire;
Flames leaping, while the fairy sparks fly higher
Into the night, and the cold dark… Comrades
And gay laughter, and song, and talk: Great Shades,
And pleasing thoughts of lesser men are here;
Thoughts of our own; voices beautiful, or queer;
Frogs in chorus, too - on bracken beds
We sink to sleep, and the silence spreads;
Night sounds, and silvery shafts of moonlight
Slanting through trees add magic to the night;
Fast-driving clouds, hiding the moon; the grey
Coldness of dawn; bird-calls greeting day;
Wind; and sunshine; deep pools in creeks;
Lapstones; and long, steep ridges, crowned with peaks;
The range-filled view; and trailing smoke of a train; -
All these have brought me joy, and will again
Whenever I escape, by secret thought,
Or with my rucksack, from the city. There's naught
Can keep me from them while I've strength to walk!
Yet do I leave them, join in the fuss and talk,
Fight the old fight for bread, enslaved by goods,
And insatiate appetites, timid moods.
Oh, why do I yield, when, out there, freedom waits,
And all that's left of leisure, that creates
Beauty's reflection… And the great god, Pan,
Retires, and watches, waits, withdraws, as man
Destroys the face of the earth, and kills, and burns
His source of food, and dies. Then Nature returns.
O! dear, green earth: O! mountains, deep within
Your hearts the bushland keep! May we who win
To peace, and living Beauty, there enshrined,
Guard them, and thee, forever, from mankind!
Our New Committee.
by Helen Gray.
Many readers are unable to be fully involved in the Club but are none the less interested in the Club and the people who run it. Here is a brief introduction to the new Committee.
Fazeley Read (President):
Is a New Zealander from a farming district near Dunedin. She first joined a walking club when she went to London to live, where she found city life claustrophobic. After five years in that club she came to Sydney and joined S.B.W. Fazeley was elected to Committee the same night she became a member. After two years in that job she became Membership Secretary for two more years, and is now President.
John Redfern(Vice-President & Membership Secretary):
Joined five years ago and like Fazeley, has been working for the Club since joining. He has been a committee member, a consistent leader of walks and a worker at Coolana. John became Membership Secretary as well as Vice-President so as to be fully occupied, knowing that most vice-presidential jobs would be capably handled by -
Bob Hodgson (Vice-President):
Another who has worked on Committee since joining. He was Walks Secretary for two years and Vice-President for the next two. Bob leads many walks and is a keen sailor, canoeist and skier too.
Alastair Battye (Secretary):
Has been on Committee and been a Vice-President for the past two year's. He is an ideal choice for Secretary, a job made easier by -
Sheila Binns (Assistant Secretary):
Sheila became Treasurer the night she joined the Club 25 years ago. Since then she has been on Committee every year except for those when she returned to her native England. If Sheila should leave us, the Club would be in chaos for months!
Neil Brown (Treasurer):
Is an accountant who has already had a year in the job. Although he hails from Stanwell Tops he none the less comes to the clubrooms every Wednesday.
Spiro Hajinakitas (Walks Secretary):
As Bill Ketas, he joined the Club in 1959. Spiro has been a Committee Member, Vice-President, President, Editor and for the last two years, Secretary. He is, like Sheila, undoubtedly one of the hardest-working members of the Club.
Christine Austin (Kirkby) (Social Secretary):
Chris has been a member for about seven years, although having S.B.W. parents she has been around the Club since babyhood. She has been on Committee as well as being Social Secretary last year. Chris is a strong walker and skier.
Marcia Shappert (Committee Member):
Is the American voice who answers the S.B.W. phone number. She is also a Search & Rescue contact and has previously been Social Secretary and Treasurer.
Barbara Bruce (Committee Member):
Comes from Sutherland way but still manages to attend Club meetings as well as going on walks. Barbara is well known as a leader of songs at re-unions.
Peter Miller (Committee Member):
Peter goes on many walks and is a most consistent walks leader, so is known to many members. He also is the organiser of the “Dinner Before the Meeting” group.
Hans Stichter (Committee Member):
Is another who took on a Committee job almost as soon as he joined in 1975, and has been working and walking ever since.
Helen Gray (Editor):
That's me. I'm not on Committee but I'm giving myself a free plug. I've been in the Club since 1959 (I joined the same night as Spiro, in fact!) If I don't get enough material for the magazine I shall be forced to start reminiscing about my last 19 years in S.B.W. So - start writing, all you walkers!
Reflections Of A Climber.
by Dot Butler
(Reprinted from the Sydney Rock Climbers magazine “Thrutch”, 1967)
Note: Dot's maiden name was “English”.
I was born a climber, as all children are, but whereas 9 million, 999 thousand, 999 out of 10 million have the climbing urge suppressed by fearful mothers, mine did nothing to discourage her children. It was no uncommon sight for the disapproving neighbours to see all or any of the five English children ranging in age from two upwards, blodaining along the tips of the paling fences, clambering over the roof of the two-story terrace houses, or shinning up the big backyard trees, a gently-nurtured little Momma doing her best to follow up behind “just to keep an eye on the baby.” It soon became evident to her that the lease proficient climber was herself so she wisely retired and left us to it.
We lived our young lives in the Western suburbs. It was the horse and cart age, I was 7 before I saw my first motor car and 13 before I had my first ride in one. The rabbit-0 and clothes-prop merchants called their wares through the slow suburban streets; the lamplighter came along at dusk with his ladder, put it up against the lamp-posts, and a slowly growing line of soft yellow lights marked his progress.
We had no money and took it for granted that the fun we had, we had to make for ourselves. Climbing became our driving urge. Wiry and barefoot (none of us owned shoes till we went to high school), we ranged over our local territory, racing like a pack of young baboons up and down and over everything, both man-made and natural, that offered the slightest scope for getting off the horizontal. We could race to the top of the tallest pine tree in 10 seconds flat and descend in an almost straight drop, just checking at each branch as we shot through. The palms of our hands were so horny from swinging around on our home-made gym equipment (rusty waterpiping from the tip) that we could climb a telephone pole, go hand over hand along the wire and come down the next pole. (Don't ask me why we weren't electrocuted.)
Sundays, our pockets full of loquats and green quinces, we would trail off through the sheep paddocks which in those days occupied a good part of the southern side of Homebush, through the marsh and ti-trees of Potts Bush, to the Chullora Railway yards. Just as the Sydney Rock Climbers haunt the Blue Mountains rook faces, so this place was our favourite testing ground. The prize was the great crane whose week-day job was to lift locomotives around. On Sundays it sat there, huge and unused. We would make a swift sortie from the railway cutting, up the arm, slide down the wire cable and away before the caretaker spotted us and grabbed up his saltpetre gun. You can see that the race was to the swift. The railway yards possessed a great clay embankment, now removed. The civic fathers who tidy up their suburbs so that there are no wild challenges for the young climber are doing the present generation a great disservice. America is already in the sad position of being so scraped, scoured, sprayed, bulldozed and flattened that the only way for the urban young to let off steam is to gang up and go out and bash someone up. Let's hope our own land will not follow suit.
In the railway yards I tried out my first experiment in artificial climbing. This revolved round a sawn-off screwdriver. It had a smooth, wooden handle, sympathetic to the grip. From the base of the clay cliff we would eye off a feasible route, then make a long run and get as high as we could with the impetus. The first pitch was invariably done in a state of swift excitement. The screwdriver would be plunged in with a mighty swing, the bare feet would rapidly excavate a toehold in the dry clay, and the climb was well started. So we ticked off all the mighty climbs close to home - sandstone quarries, clay pits, brick-kiln chimneys (up their dark inside, where the littlest brother had difficulty getting started as his legs would barely stretch across), the outside of buildings, down wells, up posts and poles and pipes, trees and wires and cables. It was a glorious childhood.
By the time the two big brothers had reached high school age we were ready for more distant fields - a twopenny tram ride out to Bondi and the thrill of climbing the cliffs at Ben Buckler and jumping into the sea. It used to get very rough at times but that only added to the excitement. It was a lonely, unfrequented end of the beach. Generally we would have it to ourselves, but sometimes there would be a group of youths, with one wild-eyed beautiful girl among them, all diving and swimming in the bombora as naked as the day they were born. The story was she was a University student who suffered an attack of encephalitis which left her slightly crazy. She was Bee Miles. A recent newspaper picture of her in an Old Women's Home - a fat, lethargic, tamed old woman of 60 - was enough to make one weep for what destructive Time can do.
Gradually the English family's climbing team disintegrated. The brothers migrated to tennis, racing motor-cars and canoeing respectively, the elder sister went away to the country, school teaching, and two years after leaving school, I joined the Bushwalkers. It was like a hand fitting into a glove that was exactly made for it; bushwalking and I were made for each other. For twelve years I never missed a week-end in the bush.
There was a pack of us numbering ten or a dozen. These were the “Tigers”, who eventually developed into the Rock-climbing Section of the S.B.W. All, without exception, were outstanding for speed and endurance. The leader was Gordon Smith (“Smithy”), a Big Ben Bolt type, big and quiet, powerful but modest. He worked at the Treasury and to save money walked sixteen miles to and from work each day. He held marathon cross-country walking records. To keep up with his 5-mile an hour pace through the bush I used to run. From then on I ran everywhere and didn't stop till I was married and having my first baby.
There was Max Gentle. He was a builder. When his profession was hit by the Depression Max got on his pushbike and cycled up to Townsville looking for work, through millions of acres of prickly pear and a puncture every couple of miles from the thorns.
Jack Debert, instigator of the S.B.W.s in 1927 was also one of the mob. The Depression drove him down to Burragorang Valley where he ran a pig farm and as each new batch of piglets arrived they were named after bushwalker girls. Pig farming brought in no money so Debert used to walk up to Yerranderie each week to collect the Dole.
There was Alex Colley who did his first three week bushwalk alone on 28 lbs of unpolished rice - because it was cheap (only 5d. a lb). “Little Alex” lived almost exclusively on unpolished rice and oatmeal while the Depression lasted. The bushwalkers assigned him a crest in Heraldry a (collie) Dog Rampant on a Steak Dormant on a Field of Unpolished Rice.
I had my first job as a physiotherapist at the Children's Hospital at Collaroy and used to ride the pushbike 150 miles a week between home and work and the University. In two years I had cycled 25,000 miles, or once around the world.
Other tough ones in the Tigers were Bert Whillier, Tim Coffey, Bill Hall, Dave Stead, Hilma Galliott, Jess Martin, Bill McCosker and. Bill Mullins the poet. Permanently resident in Bill's pack was a book of poetry and a bottle partly full of Rhinegold with which we would drink the success of a climb and leave the bottle as a memento on the summit.
One of the leading characters in the bushwalkers at that time was Marie Byles, Australia's first woman lawyer and also the country's first mountaineer. She was a friend of Dr. Eric Dark and in 1936 they organised a trip to the Warrumbungles and invited me along. This was my first introduction to technical climbing. Accustomed to rushing up and over rock faces barefoot and unroped, jumping for likely-looking holds, swinging about on scant bits of vegetation growing out of cliffs, it was a new (and somewhat painful) experience to be tied on to a restraining rope, hooked over impeding belays, obliged to “stop and make sure two holds are secure before relinquishing the third”. I got very restive under all this restraint and wondered how anyone could want to take all the joy out of climbing in this leaden-footed manner. I was highly suspicious of my partner on the rope when he contemplated a difficult pitch if he falls I am pulled off with him. I would have made a good team mate to Dr. Dark's friend, Salmon, and his Queenslanders who scorned the use of rope, not because I thought it sissy but because I thought it damned dangerous when shared with another climber. So much for independence. By the time I had spent ten days climbing in the Warrumbungles with that superb and exacting teacher, Eric Dark, I was quite reconciled to using a rope, and even thought it rather fun.
After we had climbed the hitherto unclimbed Crater Bluff and returned to Sydney, Marie sent in an account of our success to the leading Sydney newspaper which came up with the paragraph that Miss Byles was amazed at the skill and agility show by one, Dot English, and now that she had proved herself on this first-grade climb she was going to form a Rock Climbing Section of the Sydney Bushwalkers. This was news to me, but I was quite happy to oblige Marie. Consequently I worded the Tigers, Marie donated us a practically brand new climbing rope with a red and blue stripe woven through it, and there we were, as you might say, founded.
The year was 1936.
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” x 9“ 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 6lbs.
This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Usefull day pack. Weight 14o zs.
A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2 lbs.
Has 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.
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.
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
by Owen Marks.
If you're sick and tired of the hurly and burly of Australian civilization and are yearning for the primitive, the exotic even, there is no place on earth quite like India. Indeed, to those that know me, I am quite an Indiophile and I am not ashamed to say it; but what happens when you are in India and are getting tired of all those 1000 year old temples, marble mosques in their hundreds built by the Mughals, the funeral pyres with accompanying processions in the streets that wind their way through the shopping centres, the body quite exposed covered with marigolds. What happens when the Himalayas make you yawn, when the Taj Mahal means another 1/4 mile walk, well, if that happens, the only thing to do is head for Goa. Nothing quite like Goa.
To readers of the “Times of India” with a circulation of millions, Goa means alcohol and nude hippies on the beaches. To hippies it means primitive unspoilt beaches with palms sheltering the thatched huts. To the Beautiful People from Italy it means sumptuous hotels built a la Portuguese Fort style miles from anywhere and isolated from anything local. To me it meant a chance to see Portuguese Architecture and to give me a break from India.
Goa as you all know was put on the map by Vasco da Gama in 1524, but it was discovered by Alfonso d'Aibuquerque in 1510 who was blown off course and when he saw anything good and worthwhile he had to have it. The Portuguese had it until 1961 when it was “liberated” by the Indian Government and it is now a state like any other. I suppose the poor people couldn't care less who misrules it, but the Indian Government built a bridge over the river in front of the capital and a more visible proof couldn't be provided by big brother.
The capital, Panjim (or Panaji sometimes, I couldn't find out why the other name), is a delightful place to stay and not out on the far distant beaches where there are no local (read “cheap”) restaurants or even buses. The city is built on the junction of a minor creek and the Mandovi River, but there is a mountain ridge leading right to the point so the township is built all around the headland. There are little squares tucked in the funniest of places with ridiculous statues. (I remember seeing one of a hypnotist with fingers outstretched pointing into the eyes of a swooning maiden on his knees. According to the inscription he lived and practiced here in the 16th century.) All the architecture is just lovely and all Portuguese. Yellow or cream whitewashed walls with doors and windows outlined in white with wooden verandahs and tiled roofs that brought back memories of the Moorish times.
- There is a local saying - throw a stone anywhere in Goa and it will hit a church or grog shop, I'd say that to be lies. In all probability you'd hit only grog shops. In all that heat why they insist on local Fenny (cocoanut jungle juice) or the whiskies and brandies is a miracle. Beer flows out your ears in only one day. So hot and the local water you know!!!
Hotels are quite cheap - from a 60 cent room to luxurious air-conditioned $7 and all the same. A bed in a spartan room with a toilet adjoining with a revolving fan. Restaurants are everywhere, on the squares are nice ones specializing in Goanese cooking, by the water front are other styles and by the markets are Indian ones. All cheap and good.
It isn't a bit like India either. At night you can walk along the streets and not see a soul walking, and what is more, there are no bundles (humans sleeping in a sarong over them) on the footpaths to step over. And above all there is peace.
At the entrance to the harbour is an old fort, Aguada. Arches, walls all built in lava and covered by bouganvillia in apricot, gold, purple and all the colours in between. The ancient windows still have iron bars. No wonder! The faces at the windows had little pointed hats on, because they were prisoners. The place is a prison and one of the major sights of Goa.
The history of Goa is mixed up. From 1580 to 1640 it was absorbed into Spain. The Dutch tried to grab it, the English in 1800 and again in 1808 when Portugal invaded France. I tried to find someone to talk Portuguese; in vain. “All the education was in English because the Portuguese never gave us any and there was no opportunity here, only in India.” I don't know if it's true. Everyone is called Da Silva or Fernandes but they never speak Portuguese. All the white Portuguese went home and there is nothing left except street signs and public monuments.
Up the river 5 miles or so is the ruined city of Old Goa. A truly magnificent collection of churches and convents and all in a magnificent state of preservation. The most famous is the one containing the remains of Francis Xavier. Started in 1510 and completed in 1594 with a solid gold altar with a side chapel in marble that has an ornate marble podium with inlaid scenes of his Saintliness' life. On the top is a silver casket with a glass window that goes all round and inside can be seen the remains of St. Francis. He's not all there. A finger was pinched and placed in Spain and some early Pope ordered an arm cut off and brought to Rome. All the rest is on view. Skull and bones all decaying with leather-like skin peeling off and all lit by a naked electric bulb. The poor chap who once bound his own legs so tight that the swellings covered the actual ropes died in China and his body, after being buried somewhere, was then exhumed and taken to Malacca in Malaya. (I slept outside his tomb there in 1961.) I don't know when he was shipped to Goa.
Adjoining the Basilica is a handsome facaded building that was once the headquarters of the Missionary Jesuits before they were suppressed in 1750 or thereabouts. Across the main road that cuts right through Old Goa you can walk through a lovely paved park with a statue of Portugal's greatest poet who I had never heard of - Camoens. Have you? The poor chap fell in love with an Indian princess and wrote love poems that are still sung by troubadors if ever you came across them.
Then you come onto two glorious piles practically back to back. One is an old convent that has been converted from a mosque to a wonder of wonders. All silent now, the floor all gravestones and altars all gold-covered wood peeling and fading fast. The other pile is St. Catherine's Cathedral, 250 ft long, 180 ft wide and a facade 116 ft high. So dark and cool in here that you'd hardly imagine that outside is the tropics. Another wonder of wonders, joy of joys, 14 altars along both sides and one has a miraculous cross that shows a figure of Jesus, but only if you photograph it or something.
Across the park lies the ruins of the Inquisitional Palace and the square was the site of Autos-da-fe. Christians burning Christians must have made the Hindus laugh. There is a museum in another perfectly preserved convent which is terribly interesting if you wish to enjoy the life-sized portrait of every Governor of the State of Goa. Old Goa is a dream.
There is also a nunnery as well as two convents. One has a weeping cross. Every Easter the wound bleeds from his wooden chest. I walked and walked and climbed and climbed to see this, but the balcony where the statue is hanging from overlooks a 400 year old perfectly preserved nunnery and there were about 15 nuns praying. You can go back into time except that the nuns are black.
Down by the river beside another church that has a well under the altar which experts assume must have been a Hindu altar at one stage, there is an arch over the road that all Viceroys arrived at and walked under. On the arch is sculptured the figure of a saint; his foot is on the neck of the heathen and the sword in his right hand is pointing towards India. Alas all is vanity; all transient. The Christians now number 37% and when the Central Indian Government brings in the roads that they are building in a flurry the Hindus will absorb them all in 100 years. And Goa will crumble away.
Along the coast wind narrow roads with palms growing along the rice paddies in rows like soldiers. Every so often a sign would say “To the beach 1/2 km”. The beaches that the jet-setters came all the way to see are pretty miserable considering all the fuss that is made. Five Europeans sunning themselves with one or two swimming and hundreds of Indians in saris and dhotis walking along the shore staring at the hippies. They aren't really, but anybody with a swim suit on is considered a possibility. The bus I was on actually came to a beach for the sunsetting when along came a Swedish Siren topless. The entire bus was happy; they had seen a nude hippie. So was I.
That's about all I can report on. A few hints if anyone is going there in the next few months. The five hour bus trip from Panjim to Hubli in India where the connecting link with the rest of the country begins, takes 8 hours. Similarly the 12 hour trip to Bombay takes 18 hours. A cheap hotel is Kismet Lodge and a good quiet one is Keni's. Both in Panjim. A good restaurant is La Cappucina. Kingfisher beer is the best, and cashews are cheap but fattening also. Local buses go everywhere and are cheap. You can see everything in Goa in 5 days although 2 days would be enough. I spent 2 days there and I am now an authority on the subject. There is no special time to visit as it is always hot and steamy, but there could be no one who would not have a most wonderful holiday in this European corner of India.
by Len Newland.
As the retiring Walks Secretary (retired by the time this is read), may I take the opportunity to say what a pleasure it has been wringing necks and twisting limbs to fill the Club walks programme. Actually, the people in this Club are a really nice bunch, and I'm glad to say, enthusiastic enough to keep walks up to the programme. And speaking of programmes, here's the one (in a nutshell) for April.
March 31, April 1, 2: Hans Beck's trip at Carlon's Farm in the western mountains, including Blackhorse Range, Splendour Rock, Yellow Pup and Konangaroo. Phone 6691155 (B).
April 7, 8, 9: Carlon's Farm again, this time going to Knight's Deck, and this time led by Bill Burke, phone 871120 (H).
April 15, 16: Katoomba, and out to Medlow Gap, Merrimerrigal and Splendour Rock. Your leader is John Fox, phones 6665471 (B) and 7094448 (H).
Sunday 23 April: Bladkheath: Govett's Leap to Bluegum Forest, with Neil Brown. Phone 042 / 941376 (H).
Sunday 23 April: Closer to Sydney in the Royal National Park - Lilyvale to Bundeena via coastal track. Leader - Roy Braithwaite, Phone 445211 (H).
April 28, 29, 30: Yours truly goes to the western mountains to defeat the ridge between Newnes and Glen Davis, starting and finishing at Newnes. Phone 432419 (B).
Sunday 30 April: The only other walk this weekend is from Bundeena to Heathcote via Flat Rock Creek in the Royal National Park. Ferry from Cronulla. Leader is Errol Sheedy on phone 5296301 (H).
April 1, 2: Lucky fellow! David Cotton gets advertising in two consecutive magazines. Darkes Forest.
April 8, 9: Another Blackheath Grose Valley trip. This time a slower walk, and your leader this time is Barbara Evans, phone 313482 (H).
April 13, 14, 15, 16: Noting that this walk includes the full Friday, you will be pleased at this opportunity to see the Monolith Valley in the Budawangs. The leader is Rod Peters, on phone 6230171 (B).
April 21, 22, 23, 24, 25: Another longer-than-normal weekend trip, this time David Rostron's Snowball trip. Phone 4517943.
Sunday 2 April: Elaine Zieren marches from Heathcote to beautiful Lake Eckersley. Phone 934830(H).
Sunday 2 April: A harder walk which the Committee has decided can be counted as a Test Walk. However, you must swim. John Fox leads… Mt.Wilson/Wollongambe River. Phones 6665471(B), 7094448 (H).
Sunday 9 April: This one is so easy that Len Scotland and I will lean on each other's shoulder in leading Heathcote - Escarpment Track - Head of Navigation - Heathcote. See Len in the clubroom, or call me on phone 432419 (B).
Sunday 16 April: Heathcote again, this time to Woronora River. Leading is Bill Hall, on phone 575145 (H).
by Christine Austin.
April 12 - Several years ago Jim Brown (not our Club member) showed some really dramatic and impressive films of underwater scenes. This time he will show an underwater film from the Lord Howe Island region.
April 26 - Len Newland spent some time recently in the New Guinea Central Highlands. His slides will certainly be interesting and show the contrast between the walking country in New Guinea and that around New South Wales.
Can you imagine…
Barry Wallace with odd socks
Hans Stichter lost for words
Frank Taeker in a hurry
Owen Marks in glowing health
George Gray reading a novel
Don Finch on a diet
__OR_ Spiro getting married?????