Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tops to Myall (part III) - The Great Escape!

End of Day 7 we are rescued by "Bill Odie"...
. ..after deserting the trail due to impenetrable bushland.

Just prior to the impenetrable bushland, we had reached the happy marker indicating that we were Halfway!

Enjoying the Bulahdelah pub (day 8)

Days 5-7 were a haze of greenery and endless walking. Day 6 sticks in my mind as the day I experienced the worst blisters I have ever known. Aside from this we passed from the Barrington Tops area through the Avon State Forest, down the mountains through Craven ( a rest area and a phone box, and not much else), and into the Craven State Forest. Our campsites were characterised by the occasional nice small fire and a general lack of water. Dinners always tasted great.

Day 7 was another day, with a supposed section of the track going through private property belonging to the Johnstone Sawmill. After reaching the halfway marker and passing a red-bellied black snake sunning itself on the track, we reached a locked gate, and here the arduous journey began. At first it was a fun challenge, but soon hacking our way through lantana, having our skin torn apart on rasberry and stung by stinging nettles became quite tiresome. Eventually there was no way forward, and we had to turn around and hack our way back out. We had some lunch, and decided to make a detour along (yet more) fire trail, to meet up with the track where it crossed the road about 16km away. As the day waned and my blistered feet protested, we were still 7km from the point at which we were supposed to regain the trail. Yet as the sun set on Day 7, we were blessed by an angel in disguise - the man we call "Bill Odie" (for some reason Al thought he looked just like Bill Odie...) actually stopped (perhaps my hitchhiking thumb had a certain sense of desperation to it) and gave us a ride. Turns out he was heading straight for Bulahdela. With nary a backward glance or a thought of cheating we chorused, "To Bulahdelah!"

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