Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tops to Myall (part II)

The Ford, where we arrived at the end of Day 4, weary, irritable, and resenting the walk (and the Lions Club of tea gardens, who've clearly never walked the thing from end to end)

The creek below Munro Hut in the early morning of Day 3

Munro Hut, the delightful old hiker's hut we arrived at on Day 2 - so far, so good!

"Go 'Shtralia!", as Alan said every time he put on his hat. After crossing the Gloucester River (Day 3) in true Aussie style (well, maybe style is the wrong word...)

Day 2 of the walk was quite pleasant, 17km of bush track meandering through mostly open forest. We arrived sooner than expected at the Munro Hut, which was a lovely ramshackle shelter maintained by the Newcastle Bushwalking club. We even had time for a refreshing wash in the nearby creek - downstream of where we collected our water, obviously!

Day 3 saw us setting of in high spirits, though we'd heard it was going to be a tough day of uphill and down. Well, this was an understatement! After crossing the Gloucester River ("Go 'Shtralia!") things went steadily downhill...and then up...and up...and up. It then started to rain. We ended up pitching our tent in the pouring rain, in the middle of the track as it was too dark to keep walking. Oh yeah, and we had no water left.

Day 4 we hit the fire trail, and that was the end of pleasant bush tracks. Our spirits were low, and they got lower, as we took a wrong turn and had to face the prospect of walking an extra few kilometres just to get back to where we needed to be. One good thing about this was that we actually got to enjoy A View, something that had been denied us thus far on our walk due to tall trees and dense forest. And as we ate our lunch, we saw our saviours - a lovely retired couple who happily drove us back to where we were supposed to be. This lifted the spirits for a while, but really, we were hot, tired, sore, and getting fed up with the walk and each other - and it was only the 4th day!

By the time we hit the Ford, we'd decided to pitch our tents and take a break. We'd trudged around 15km.

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