Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
Established June 1931
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Ann Ravn, Telephone 798,8607.
|Editor||Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping, 2121. Telephone 86,6263.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871,1207.|
|Duplicator Operator||Phil Butt.|
|There's a Cool Change Coming||Spiro Hajinakitas||3|
|The Walk That Never Was||Bill Gamble||5|
|Three Months' Long Service Leave||Evelyn Walker||7|
|November General Meeting||Jim Brown||11|
|Advertisement - Eastwood Camping Centre||10|
|Letter to the Editor||Bill Gamble||14|
|The Coolana Hootenanny||15|
|Social Notes||Peter Miller||15|
|Bunging-on a Gorgeous Walk||Colin Barnes||16|
At the September General Meeting, which co-incided with the school holidays (and hence with walking and skiing holidays for many) none of those who had worked on the building of the “Coolana” hut were present. Yet a motion was passed that the mattresses in the hut be removed. Dot Butler heard of this a week or so after the meeting and spoke to the mover of the motion and asked if the matter could be reconsidered (to be told “You can always have the motion recinded”) yet the mattresses were still removed after her request.
These mattresses had been in the hut since its building days. The workers found that they enjoyed a bit of comfort after a day of digging or carrying or hammering, sawing, concreting, painting or whatever. They also had so much equipment - not to mention materials - to be carried up and down from the cars, that carrying a li-lo or such a luxury was “not on”. On the hut completion the mattresses remained and were put into good use. 90 year-old Mr. Davison, who surveyed our land and gave other valuable assistance (including a generous donation) was able to visit the hut because we could provide a bed for him. Likewise, another elderly member who gave financial assistance, Marie Byles, was able to stay there too. At reunions and barn-dances it was nice to have seating in the hut, and many a happy group has slept around the fireplace on cold and misty winter nights. Now, without consulting the Coolana Committee or the owners, the mattresses are gone.
Since when has the club taken on the policy of destroying other's property? I had large cushions made from wool bales (a type which is now unavailable). If the club decided the hut had to be kept bare, then of course I would have removed them and returned them to our weekender at Woodhill where they originally came from. Now I'm told that, without consulting any of the owners, the cushions and mattresses (which everyone called “Dot's Mattress”, so its owner was known!) have been destroyed.
The damage is done, but let's hope more consideration is shown to others, and their property, in the future.
Jim Vatiliotis, our Walks' Secretary, will be out of town for a while from 20th January. As the walks' programme for the next quarter goes before committee in the first week in February, Jim would like all walks on the programme before January 20th. However, if you should have a last-minute walk to add, Jim Percy is the man to contact.
Jim Vatiliotis - 'Phone 534 3865
Jim Percy - 'Phone 520 9861
There's A Cool Change Coming.
by Spiro Hajinakitas.
Trip Route - Carlon's Farm, Breakfast Creek, Cox's River, Mt. Jenolan, Guouogang, Nooroo Gable, Kanangra River, Cox's River, Carlon's Farm. Date: 12/13th September, 1981. Leader: Alan Pike.
“There's only four people coming on the trip, Spiro,” Alan Pike informed me on the Wednesday before the weekend of the walk. “We might as well meet at my place at 7.30; we'll go in one car”. At eight o'clock that Friday we set off in my car. Bob Milne's car being out of service after someone released his handbrake outside his place whilst he was unloading and it ended up against a brick wall, Alan's car would be handy for Dot to use during his absence and Brian Hart's beloved old Beetle, although much loved, cannot be trusted to venture too far from home. The temperature that day had reached 32°C but the man on the radio clearly stated that there was a cool change due to hit Sydney and the surrounding area at 9 o'clock.
We arrived at Carlon's Farm at about 10 o'clock and after paying Bert our parking fee, we set off into the full moonlit night. “It's still warm, chaps,” Alan said, “I suppose he meant that the cool change was coming at 9 o'clock in the morning, eh?” Yes, we agreed and followed Alan as he headed off illuminating the way with his large Vulcan torch. “First thing I'll do when we reach the Cox's, is to make a cup of tea,” Alan again. “It's essential to relax before going to bed otherwise one doesn't sleep properly.” Sure enough, whilst we busied ourselves putting up our tent flys, Alan put on the billy, got out his pipe, sat down in front of the fire and relaxed. Brian salvaged some boiling water to make a separate cup of tea, he likes it weak but not quite as weak as Fazeley, whose definition of tea is suspect - anyway, back to the story. We drank our tea and Alan passed around some biscuits and I think it was about 1.00 am when we went to bed.
Next morning we left camp at 7.00 am and walked down the river for three-quarters of an hour or so until we reached Gasper's Ridge. We took some dreaded Cox's water with us to make teas for lunch as we would not be down to water level again until late afternoon. The 3,000 ft climb up to Jenolan was indeed a pleasant one if a little hot, but we looked forward to the predicated cool change at 9 o'clock. We didn't rush things, in fact Brian is a great believer in having a short breather every hour or so and by the time we got to Queahgong it was time for lunch. After lunch we continued along Krungle Bungle to Hawkfell Point and up to the trig point on Guouogang. Although not the highest spot in the Blue Mountains, at 4,232 feet altitude, it must rank as the highest mountain that bushwalkers climb in the area.
We browsed through the log book and relaxed in the sun for a while before heading off down Nooroo Gable. It was the first time that I had gone down Nooroo Gable as on other trips up to Guouogang we had climbed up Nooroo Gable. Eventually Kanangra River was reached and the very cold water soon cooled us down. Hundreds of tall yellow daisies dotted the banks of the river as we made our way to the junction of Kanangra Creek. On the very large clear grassy flat we pitched our tent flys. I can remember when I first joined the Club, how we minimised on tent carrying by squeezing as many in a tent as possible, usually by “abdulling” the tent, but these days lightweight tent flys are in everyone's pack.
After dinner we were all a bit tired, so an early night was the order of the day and we awoke to another fine clear sunny day. Still no sign of the cool change. By eight o'clock we were ready to move off. We were in no hurry as a relatively easy day lay ahead - we had our “hard” day yesterday. No climbing at all to-day, except for the last pull up Carlon's Creek to Carlon's Farm. The walk down Kanangra Creek to our first stop at Konangaroo was most enjoyable in ideal spring conditions. The Cox's River glistened in the sunlight and its gentle bends and banks created a feeling of peace and harmony. Quite a few wild ducks were enjoying themselves on the river and we disturbed a small family of ducklings on the river bank that quickly scurried off into the foliage.
Near Gasper's we met a party from the “Span” Club who were doing a Three Peaks trip. They were cooling off in the river before going up Carlon's Head to Narrow Neck and back to Katoomba. We did not envy them all that much as by now it was very warm. Off again along the river, leaving them to cool off we bid them farewell and continued on our way. I know Brian prefers ridge climbing and walking to river walking which usually offers less change in scenery, but frequent stops and a long cool lunch break, helped to sway him a little. Whilst we were having lunch the party of Three Peakers hurried past on the opposite bank, so intent with the task on hand that they did not notice our group.
Lunch dispensed with, we continued again along the river and enjoyed another little rest at the Breakfast Creek junction whilst Alan looked for his Vulcan torch. After a few false alarms, he finally located it, shoved it into his pack and led us on. Breakfast Creek was quite dry in parts and we thought back to Friday night when Bert Carlon told us that his father used to say that you get a drought every forty years, but the drought lasts for ten years.
Back at Carlon's Farm we bought some cool drinks, chatted with Norma Carlon and looked at an old photograph of the S.B.W. “Tiger” walkers taken in 1936. It was taken prior to a long hard trip and we easily picked out Dot Butler, Alex Colley and Gordon Smith amongst the large group.
At last the time came to leave the picturesque Megalong Valley, and to the many fond memories of the trip, we were treated to the glorious sight of the setting sun striking the walls of Narrow Neck illuminating them in a golden glow.
On the drive back to Katoomba the usual debate as to where we would eat took place. We decided on a Chinese meal for a change, as we, by this time, had given up hope for a cool change in the weather.
The Walk That Never Was.
by Bill Gamble.
Ian Debert's walk on the weekend of 10-11 October, 1981, went but it did not go as planned. According to the programme, it was supposed to have been -
Carlons - Galong Creek - Cox's River - Little River - Cox's River - Breakfast Creek - Carlons. (Map: Jenolan 1:31680 - 25 km, Medium)
In the event, it went something like this.
Sometime after midnight on Friday, 9 October, the early starters arrived at Carlons 'fresh' from the Bushwalkers' Ball at Ashfield Town Hall - Stan Madden and Bill Gamble around 2.30 am, and Joy Hynes, Ian Debert and Keith Docherty around 3.30 am. Others in the party arrived at less god-forsaken times between 8 - 9.30 am on the Saturday morning - firstly, Bob Gulson and Lorraine Bloomfield and then, in quick succession, Don and Jenny Cornell, Jim and Ann Percy, Deidre Brady and John Newman. There were 12A people in the party, 13 having been declared unlucky by a suspicious member of the party.
The first deviation from the programme was Ian's decision to take the party down Breakfast Creek rather than Galang Creek. A couple of reasons recalled are - Galong Creek is easier to ascend than descend; and Little River, the proposed campsite, is now fenced and the owner is unhappy about bushwalkers on his property.
After paying our parking dues at the shop, we ambled up to Carlon Saddle in warm, humid conditions. The writer, for some inexplicable flight of fancy, then led a rush down Carlon Creek from the Saddle. At Breakfast Creek he regained his senses and thereupon retired to a median position for the remainder of the walk. Beside a clear pool, a leisurely teabreak was had, indicative of an easy-paced day overall.
The fast pack - Don, Jenny, Stan, John and Keith - reached the Cox's River about 10 minutes ahead of the others and had water on the fire for a brew and their gear off for a pre-luncheon immersion in the Cox's. They were joined by others, but not all accepted the river's chilly embrace - they preferred to count and/or swat as many of the flies as possible. Some would be swallowed or spat out before the weekend was over.
Basking in the warm sun, girt-full of lethargy, the party watched its plans to walk leisurely upstream to a campsite at the confluence of the Jenolan River slip into the hands of about 25 youthful bushwalkers from Goulburn High School on a Duke of Edinburgh Award activity. The youth of Goulburn (who, perhaps, made most of us feel our age a little as they passed) were unimpressed by John's protestations about 'pinching' our campsite and to beware of the 'nudist convention' being held there!
Ian's thoughts of a Sunday morning walk up Jenolan River to the lower canyon section receded as we walked through the busy Jenolan River campsite and on to what turned out to be (by consensus) one of the most comfortable campsites encountered in this stretch of the Cox's - it was about 10 minutes downstream from Flaggi Clear on the true right, on a long level bench a couple of metres above the river. Soon after 4.00 pm, in misty conditions tents were up, an excellent cooking fire laid down for the evening meal and plenty of tea brewing.
The evening's activities around the campfire (from which singing was a notable absentee) were, in addition to much eating and drinking, full of outrageous conversation, aided and abetted by the joker in the pack, John Newman. Good-humoured chiacking was a feature of the weekend and a prospective in the party, Diedre Brady, accepted a generous helping with good grace. The lack of beauty sleep the previous night and the aftermath of the Ball thinned the ranks around the campfire quite early; although Don, Jenny and Stan talked late about car-camping trips to northern Australia before the restful murmur of the Cox's prevailed.
Our perennial early morning streaker, Keith, jogged at dawn upstream to Flaggi Clear and returned well in time to light a good cooking fire before anyone else was prepared to join him (flies excepted).
It was well after 9.00 am before we ambled upstream to Flaggi Clear, and then up and over the saddle behind Galong Hill to descend on to the rock slabs of Little River for lunch. Fencing work in progress at the back of Flaggi Clear will soon add to the existing difficulties of crossing this barbed wire entanglement. The rain which had held off (save for the lightest of misty drizzle the previous evening already mentioned) now looked more threatening, with thunder-caps building overhead. A shower ended our second extended lunchbreak and swimming activities about 1.45 pm. We headed dawn Little River by various routes involving blackberry patches, barbed wire fences and water crossings to reach the Cox's about 3,00 pm.
Humidity, flies and a warm sun suggested a hot slog up Galong Creek to Carlons. However, the thundercaps again building overhead had something else in mind; and Don knew it as he urged us on. Wet rocks in Galong Creek are not exactly easy graft.
Well into Galong Creek, a short-lived thurdershower and the return of the sun tricked 9 of the party to stop for a brew and to allow the rock to dry. Don, Jenny, Keith and John forged ahead, covering the full length of Galong Creek in spite of difficult conditions (and a few awkward moments, including an apparently undignified slide by John) and heavy rain which dogged them towards the end. With the fire well and truly extinguished by the resumption of heavy rain and added hail, the large tail end of the party headed upstream scrambling over the slick rocks with extreme care. The normal route to pass one of the falls was abandoned for a high traverse in scrub rather than continue on wet rock, and then converted, following a quick reassessment of the position, into a scramble up to the ridge by 6.00 pm, a walk to Carlon Saddle on farm roads and a descent to the carpark by 6.45 pm.
Thus, the walk ended rather differently from the plans of its promoter. And that is what lifted it from a leisurely weekend in good company to include an example of how quickly a weather change can disrupt even an unexceptional walking route. Our exit from Carlons was highlighted by heavy rain, a spectacular electrical storm and patches of thick mist.
After hot chocolate and a satisfying meal at Aroneys in Katoomba, we went our ways.
Three Months' Long Service Leave.
by Evelyn Walker.
With three months' long service leave up my sleeve there seemed no point in making a bolt for Britain, even though that was where I wished to spend most of the time, and I decided to fulfil a desire felt on an earlier visit to Athens to see a Greek island, then wander a little through Europe and enjoy the luxury of having plenty of time.
The funny little bus pulled and groaned its way through depressed-looking hamlets on its way from Rhodes airport to the city at the northern tip of the island. Inquiry on arrival revealed confusion concerning the whereabouts of the little hotel, but I eventually tracked it down in Plastira Street, which led up from Mandraki Port.
This port was the old harbour for many centuries. At its northern end the narrow exit is guarded by a stag on one side and a hind on the other, where the huge feet of the Colossus of Rhodes were once planted. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, this huge copper statue of a man reached 34 metres, and the little sailing boats ducked between his legs into the safety of the harbour. Unfortunately it was destroyed by a great earthquake in 27 BC and the pieces remained under the sea for centuries until they were raised and sold by Arabs to a Saracen, and carried off on 900 camels.
During the Roman and Hellenistic periods Rhodes had a flourishing system of commerce and sea trade, which brought many riches and much culture to the island. Many Romans completed their education there, at a school of rhetoric founded by a famous Athenian orator and at the gymnasium where a student of Socrates taught. Ptolemy was buried here.
Overlooking the commercial harbour in the next bay to Mandraki is a huge Mediaeval fortress. The walls, topped with battlements and strengthened with towers, surround the old city of Rhodes. In 1306 the Knights of St. John bought the island, renovated the walls and built the castle which is still nearly intact and contains many rooms with beautiful mosaic floors raided from the island of Kos. The Knights remained until conquered in the sixteenth century by the Turks, who in their turn were thrown out in 1912.
The old city is fascinating to explore. It's good to get off the main tourist streets, filled though they are with shops offering clothing, pottery, paintings, postcards, food and many other delights, and find one's way into the narrow back lanes, mostly cobbled and overarched, which wind between narrow old houses and lure you on round one corner after another. Here there are children playing; there a church dating from the fourteenth or fifteenth century. Further on the sound of Greek music is heard and draws one to a narrow shop hardly two metres wide but stacked high with records and tapes. A compulsory stop to chat to the very handsome young owner who says he spends many evenings playing traditional music with his friends - on the instruments, of course, not on tapes. There followed a half hour savouring some of the works of Theodorakis and others.
Further on, a small table and a couple of stools are set up on the pavement and men settle down for a good game of cards, encouraged by interested onlookers. More corners, more narrow, dark houses, arches, motor bikes, children, cycles leaning against unpainted walls, and the soft fragrance of lemon blossom. How I'd have liked to be invited in to one of the nicer houses to get a good look at the pretty little courtyards one could occasionally glimpse!
Back in the tourist area near the castle I stopped at one of the many shops offering creamy blouses and colourful dresses - all fun to try on and reasonably cheap, but hard to choose between.
In the evening the old City was nearly deserted. In the new area I was again drawn by some marvellous Greek music billowing from a taverna. I glanced in. A narrow room only about eight feet wide, of which half was taken up by the bar, was filled with several young men and a few women, and plucking up courage I went in and bought a drink, sinking into the background as far as possible in so narrow a place, and luxuriating in the very Greek ambience. The barman, of some 30 years, seemed to know most of his customers well and the conversation flowed freely. He brought me a second drink and when I protested that I had no money to pay for it told me that one of the girls had bought it for me. I wished that I'd been able to return the courtesy. It was a very pleasant evening and contrasted strongly with one in Athens four years earlier where, even with another woman, we were constantly approached by men while strolling round the Plaka area in the evening. The freedom and friendliness of Rhodes were refreshing.
I had hoped to make a quick trip to Turkey but, although the mainland is only nine miles away and within full view, there is no harbour in reach of a day trip. So I turned my attention to Symi (rhyming with Jimmie). A small inter-island steamer carried surprisingly few passengers - nearly all locals - round a headland and into a bay of pale turquoise water where a very small circular quay provided a mooring. The hills rose on three sides, at first gently and then sharply to the tops. The lower slopes were dotted with numerous houses, mostly painted white, although ochre was also a popular colour, and several were unpainted and derelict. It seemed that no one felt it necessary to demolish old houses. Just let them tumble down and build elsewhere, and meanwhile the chickens can live in then.
A domed pale ochre church high up seemed worth investigating and I started up some wide steps and along a path which became a goat track and finally disappeared, and I finished up in someone's garden. No one seemed concerned. The only way up was to scramble over a rough drystone wall topped with a rickety white fence and climb the steep slope between the houses, the grass around me dotted with poppies, dandelions and daisies. Here and there goats were grazing, their bells tinkling in time to their movements. Obviously this wasn't the locals' method of going to church, despite the deceptive invitation of the wide steps. The church was unfortunately closed but outside was an area paved with stones, the cement between being painted the popular white. The view over the bay and village needed a few minutes to take in savour.
And there, of course, was the road! A concrete strip wide enough to allow cars to pass wound up from the bay in a huge sweep out of sight and continued in a leisurely manner down the other side of the ridge. But how the villagers without cars made the climb was not clear - but not worth exploring.
I continued along the road, past drystone walls, some of which had their final two layers cemented to keep them stable. However I soon fauna the advantage of keeping the walls flexible. A boy of perhaps 12 years was driving a few cattle ahead of me until he reached the field which was his turnoff. He then removed the stones, drove the cattle down the bank and then carefully rebuilt the wall. Very versatile. As I passed the houses I was greeted with calls of hallo from a few men and women and it was really pleasant to be able to call back without fear of being followed.
A Greek girl with an Australian accent chatted to me and advised me to have lunch at a relative's place on the quay - and was the red mullet good. Caught that morning no doubt by the small fishing fleet anchored close by. The bay seemed to be teeming with fish, visible in the transparent turquoise water which looked quite drinkable. The peacefulness was almost tangible.
The sun was warm enough for bare arms and I even saw a tourist sunning himself in a bathing costume - and yet the tourists were so few. April seems an ideal time to visit Greece.
With a few minutes to spare before the boat left I decided to visit some of the tiny shops on the quay where I had earIier admired some very pretty ceramics and pottery. Alas! The shops had closed at two o'clock. How could I forget! So I boarded the little steamer, and there was the man in his bathing suit stretched out on a seat, soaking up every last ray of sunshine.
One of the passengers was a waiter. He told me that hotel staff are employed long hours during the summer and the government pays them a wage for the other five months to keep them on the island. When I asked him if he got bored in the winter he laughed. There were his friends - Greek music to share - he was doing tame writing - and how could anyone who loved Greece live anywhere else?
To be continued…
Christmas - New Year Walking Trip - Snowy Mountains.
December 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, January 1 and 2.
Main Range - Mt. Kosciusko - Jagungal
Charlottes Pass - Mt. Stilwell - North Rams Head - Mt. Kosciusko - Lake Albina - Mt. Twynam - Mt. Tate - Rolling Grounds - Dicky Cooper Bogong - Grey Mare Hut - Strumbo Range - Mt. Jagungal - Bull's Peaks - Cup and Saucer Hill - Mawson's Hut - Kerrie's Ridge - Whites River Hut - Pounds Creek - Blue Lake - Charlotte's Pass.
Map: Kosciusko 1:100,000. Medium / Hard - Seven days total - 112 km.
Leaders: Jim Percy 520,9861(H) 699,0044 (B). Barrie Murdoch 498,7834 (H), 232,2644 (B)
November General Meeting.
by Jim Brown.
It was November 11, a day that has achieved some prominence in world affairs and particularly in Australian matters since the hanging of Ned Kelly about 100 years ago, but except for the fact that the meeting went on for an hour - slightly longer than usual - it was uneventfull enough. Commencing at the rather advanced time of 8.30, we welcomed two new enlistments, Joan Cooper and Brian Bolton; the President called for two un-badged admissions from October - still not to hand - and we got down to Minutes, with nowt arising.
Correspondence, in addition to the usual notifications and circulars, contained the Club's letter to member Bill Hall, expressing appreciation of- his long-term work for Heathcote National Park, and a letter from Federation, outlining the threats posed by mining and other commercial activity to the Wollemi National Park. From this item two resolutions were adopted - that the Conservation Secretary write the Minister for Planning and Environment emphasising the need for planned protection for the Newnes Plateau; that the letter be published in the (November) magazine to allow individual members to write in similar vein.
The Treasurer's Report told us there had been a substantial increase in the Club's day-to-day funds during October, no doubt from late-arriving subscriptions, to give a closing balance of $2252, while the Coolana account held $605. Federation Report included comment on two recent Search & Rescue activities, one bringing out 45 searchers looking for a light aircraft believed to have crashed in the Williams River (Barrington) country, and another with S & R people seeking a woman missing in the West Head area. The two teams were stated to have done an excellent job in scrub thick enough to stop a wombat - apparently it was thick enough to deter some other searchers. The Convener has voiced the opinion that trained S & R personnel should be willing to undertake searches if requested, even if the missing people are not on a walking trip.
Also deriving from the Federation Report, we heard that the Annual Ball produced a healthy profit of $1,400, and that Federation's 1982 Reunion would be held in the Long Nose Point area (Middle Shoalhaven River) on March 12/13. This date, nominated by the member Club which had undertaken to organise the event, conflicts with the S.B.W. Reunion, and it was voted that we request a change of date by Federation, as the mid-March date has been observed by our Club for the best part of 50 years.
The recital of walks activities began with the Finch/Hajinakitas car swap in the Budawangs on October 16/18. According to the two leaders they had quite different weather conditions, although it was agreed that they met and exchanged car keys in a cave near Mount Fletcher on the Saturday night. A total of 18 (nine in the wet group and nine in the dry) took part. Meanwhile George Walton took a team of 13 over the Nattai, catching a little of the leftover rain from the damp party in the Budawangs. As to the day walks, Ray Braithwaite said it was really WET, and in company with his only starter, another old hand member Don Matthews, they did a modified version of his Cowan to Brooklyn trip to avoid too much soggy scrub. No information was available about the other day walk in the Blue Gum area.
Over the following weekend, a bicycle trip in the Newnes country was cancelled, but it was known Barry Wallace's Bonnum Pic walk proceeded with five folk. Jim Percy's day walk on the Woronora was a natter of pluses and minuses, with the party fluctuating between 22 and 25, but went to plan; and Gordon Lee claimed that Jim Laing's trip via Walls Pass was a rugged day, some of the party, which included two or three prospective members, being unenthusiastic about the descent of the pass on chains.
Petrol shortages caused the cancellation of two of the trips set down for the weekend 23/25 October, including the overnight Kanangra walk and the day walk to Mount Solitary. Hans Stichter pushed ahead with his Upper Cox's River project, and had 12 people. It was good, he said, to see Megalong Valley so fresh and green again, and most of the streams flowing well. During Saturday night's rain the river rose some eight inches. Eleven people were on Kath Brown's Benowie Track walk, which went to plan, and encountered some steady rain over the last hour.
For the final weekend under review, the two overnight trips were cancelled or deferred to allow for the Barn Dance at Coolana, where some 58 people assembled. The urban type day walk apparently did not go, but Roy Braithwate started his day walk from Bundeena with 15, of whom two defected at Marley, but four others who had joined a later ferry overtook the party at lunch at Deer Pool.
Coming to General Business, Conservation Secretary Alex Colley said he had received a declaration from the Tasmanian Wilderness Society, opposing any further intrusion of industry or development into the South-west Wilderness area. We voted that Alex express our endorsement, and also agreed that our members would sign a petition addressed to the Federal Senate on the same issue.
The question was raised whether it had been practicable to proceed with any action over the discharge of firearms by a property owner near a walking party on the Upper Cox River. Alex Colley suggested that he write to the National Parks and Wild Life Service, seeking their guidance as to the status of the river banks, and asking that they consider negotiating with land owners for definition of walking trails or acquisition of key sections as National Park. This was agreed to, and in turn gave rise to further discussion as to the rights and responsibilities of walking parties crossing private property. At one stage it was proposed that we seek an opinion from the Club's Hon. Solicitor, and it was also mentioned that the Federation Newsletter several months ago contained an article on the matter of trespass as it related to walking parties, but the material published had been rather inconclusive. The motion to obtain a legal opinion was withdrawn after several speakers, particularly Don Finch and Hans Stichter, took the line that a friendly and reasonable approach to land-owners generally produced good results, especially if the country people could be contacted in advance by telephone about coming trips. Don undertook to enquire into the situation in the Megalong/Little River area and see if an accommodation could be arrived at.
Harking back to the earlier debate on South-west Tasmania, Spiro proposed that the Club donate $200 towards the funds of the Wilderness Society, and this was carried. Then the time was 9.35, and as the evening drew to a close, there were the normal trip announcements, and it was finish… finish… finish… for another month.
by Barrie Murdoch.
The car stopped across the street from the Restaurant. “Come on Jack” I said “not far to go now. I'll open the car door for you”. I got out and as I opened the rear door nearest the footpath I heard a low moan. Jack was very carefully sliding his buttocks along the rear seat towards the door. He then turned so that he faced the open door and with great deliberation he held his right leg with both hands just above the knee. Slowly he lifted his right leg and placed his right foot in the gutter.
After some seconds contemplating the position of his right foot Jack repeated the lifting process with his left leg until at last his left foot lay beside his right. Then he leant against the door frame and gradually raised himself to an upright position. “Crikey Jack” I said “They'll shut the place before, we get inside at this rate.” Jack made no reply, but supporting himself with his hands on any horizontal surface provided by the car, he inched himself round the boot so that he had an unrestricted view of the Restaurant across the road. “You'll never make it, Jack. We'll get something from the Restaurant and bring it out to you” someone offered. “I've got this far. I won't stop now” said Jack harshly and he launched himself into an agonized totter across the road.
Climbing the kerbstone was difficult but when Jack saw that there were two steps up to the Restaurant he recoiled. After examining the steps for a minute Jack formed a plan of ascent and grabbing the door handle he hauled himself up and into the Restaurant. From the door it was a comparatively simple task for Jack to move to the table, resting on various tables and chairs as he did so.
Alter a beer Jack seemed to take heart. He received calmly witticisms about motorized roller skates, restaurant traymobiles and the positions described in the St.John's Ambulance Book for the carrying of patients. He was not amused by the proposed means of extricating him from the Restaurant in the event of fire.
After an enjoyable meal we decided to reduce Jack's pain somewhat by bringing the car round to the kerb nearer the Restaurant. Jack had things worked out better for getting out of the Restaurant and into the car. His time for the hobble from dinner table to car seat was 7 minutes 35 seconds.
Jack was not drunk; he had not been involved in a fight or a car accident; he was not suffering from any debilitating disease. He was merely experiencing the after effects of his first overnight test walk with Sydney Bushwalkers. Yes - the facts are correct. The name Jack is not.
Letter To The Editor.
The unsigned article on the Naming of Our Planet in the October issue of S.B.W. magazine has one unforgiveable error. The next millennia begins on the 1st January 2001 NOT on 1st January 2000.
Owen Marks - World Calendar Reform Society.
Letter To The Editor.
I am sure that Ftank Rigby did not idly pick the Matukituki Valley out of a map full of New Zealand place names in order to conclude his 'stirring' article on bushwalking in that Country (October issue). The valley, through its east and west branches, leads climbers to Mt. Aspiring, towering 3027 metres above the surrounding national park bearing its name. Peter Radcliffe, the N.Z. climber/tramper, describes the valley in his book 'Land of Mountains' thus: 'From Cameron Flat, where the two branches meet, the East Matukituki lies outstretched along the Main Divide for 20 km to the north, its forested areas leading in to tremendous sheer-sided cirque walls which characterise nearly every valley head in the area. The West Matukituki curves in a giant hook around the Rob Roy cluster of peaks, tapering up towards the Bonar Glacier which skirts Aspiring itself'.
Frank will not be the only S.B.W. in New Zealand's Mt. Aspiring National Park this summer-autumn. By mid-March, 8 members will be warming to a month of tramping in the South Island with an initial 7 days' walk in the Rees-Dart watersheds of the Park. On our return, updated reports on the 'shaky isles' and the state of the weather, sandflies, keas, huts and firewood, among other things, will be submitted to you for inclusion in the magazine.
In the meantime, this expatriate N.Z.r lays in his sleeping bag dreaming of deadly snakes faster than a man can run; spiders (equally deadly) that jump 2 metres in the twinkling of an eye; leeches that bleed a man dry; flies, the size of eggs, that bite with impunity; rivers that run like creeks with water straight out of a rusty tank; and so-called mountains where the tops are covered in bush rather than snow, difficult to find and views non-existent. Need I go on before deportation!
Perhaps a compromise. If Frank doesn't dob me in to the Australian authorities, I won't report him to New Zealand Immigration.
Thanks to non-member Mary Fick for doing some last minute typing for this issue.
The Coolana-Annual-Celebration Of The Hut's Completion-Anniversary-Hootenanny.
The rain came as predicted on the Saturday morning (it was the 5th Wet one in a row) but that didn't stop 60-plus enthusiasts from taking the chance and heading for Kangaroo Valley. We were rewarded for our efforts, for the weather improved as we headed south, and not a drop fell on us all weekend.
The many children, under Dot's supervision, decorated the hut walls with bracken and balloons and streamers were hung from the rafters, while Gordon Lee practised on his violin. Another musician, Len Newland, arrived on dusk most elegantly dressed, and it was already dark when our mouth-organ-playing President arrived, wind-burnt and still salty from a day's yacht-racing on the harbour.
The music started and out of the dark came the would-be dancers from all directions - the river-people, the slope-dwellers, and the terrace-campers. The musical trio played as superbly as ever and the dancers, who generally lacked dancing skills, made up for it by their enthusiasm. This year the musicians were allowed to rest, as Ray Hookway provided tape recorder and speakers and George Gray found some old time-dance Music. (We found that the Pride of Erin and the Canadian Two-Step can be danced to any music and any rhythm.) Lack of anything to sit on around the perimeter made resting difficult, which meant many danced themselves to exhaustion and then retired comparitively early to bed, but 20 or so die-hards danced into the wee small hours, and even when they eventually retired, the tireless musicians continued to play and we went to sleep to the Strains of distant music. Beautiful.
Sunday was gloriously sunny and, reunionlike swimming or sunbaking or yarning were the order of the day.
Another mini-reunion over, and a bigger reunion to look forward to in March at our own “Coolana”.
Social Notes For January.
Wednesday, January 6 - Club closed.
Wednesday, January 20 - Film: Bhutan.
This film on an area of the Himalayas visited by few members is being made available by Australian Himalayan Expeditions. The quality of the film is very good and it should be one of the highlights of the year.
Dinner before the meeting will be held at Chehades Lebanese Restaurant, 270 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest at 6.30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 27 - Kashmir - John Noble.
John will show some of the slides he took on a recent trip to Kashmir. John is known as one of the best photographers in the club and always exhibits to a full house.
Bunging-On A Gorgeous Walk.
(Script by Colin Barnes)
(Account of walk during 4th, 5th and 6th December, 1981.)
Gathering at the usual unearthly hour one does on a Friday night, we all reported in at Long Nose Point and quietly gazed out at the ethereal moonlit panorama from the lookout before retiring to our various interpretations of 'Bed'.
We were asked to be ready to move off by 8.45 a.m. Saturday morn, but all were on the track at 7.45, only made possible by the fact that it wasn't necessary to leave early. Being summer and an early sunrise might have had something to do with it, who knows.
With Friday's news of electrical power restrictions having to be imposed because of a 'Walk-out' by Electricity Commission maintenance workers, it was unnecessary to take the dishwasher though it might have appeared that Jim Vatiliotis had most other things on board.
Out around King Pin we descended to the Shoalhaven River, joking all the way that the day's walk might be completed by lunch time. By mid-morning all joking was to cease because we were almost there and it was considered unconventional to have morning tea at the evening campsite. Unanimously, a swim-stop was declared and more popularly, a tea-break. Alas, what tea should we have, for it turns out that all six members of the party were carrying different varieties of tea. Serious discussion soon resolved an appropriate programme of 'Teas' and so we were to break into more relaxed gossip until stirred by our leader.
Early as we were, we were rather fortunately beaten to the recognised campsite at the junction of the Shoalhaven River and Bungonia Creek, finishing up at a superb stretch of Bungonia Creek some five minutes further on, offering good drinking and swimming water, flat grassy ground and plenty of firewood.
Again, Jim set the pace by walking fully clothed straight in to the water and coming out missing his glasses (I've often wondered how people who need glasses ever find them again, now I know, they keep groping round till they feel them). In a most democratic manner, it was decided to press on to Bungonia Gorge after lunch even though it was going to be hot as 'Hades' - most realised only too well that if we were to be overcome by the snooze syndrome, there'd be no hope of reaching the Gorge. It was just that hot, but maybe that's what made Jim's rockmelon SO good.
Back at camp, we were spoiled even more with further delicacies until ultimately we all succumbed to the cumulative effects of heat, exertion and feasting.
The return journey departed from the programme, by popular consent of course, instead of retracing our steps up the long incline that we had come down, we followed Barbers Creek up to a very distinctive pool and waterfall where we huddled in the shady fringe for a lunch break.
It soon became obvious why Jim was generously sharing the contents of his load, the way out was straight up.
It should be mentioned that Jim wasn't the leader, he just provided some of the entertainment, our thanks go to Fiona Moyes for her efforts in bringing it all about.