A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No.4476 G.P.O., Sydney. Phone JTA11462.
311 NOVEMBER 1960 Price 1/-
|Editor:||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills.|
|Sales and Subs.:||Eileen Taylor|
|Business Manager:||Brian Harvey|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Social Forecast||Pam Baker||2|
|At Our October Meeting||Alex Colley||2|
|Some Weekend Trips||3|
|Antarctic Mountaineering in the Pitt 's Backyard||D.Butler||4|
|Yalwal to Tallong||Reg. Meakins||5|
|Death of a Bandicoot||Clarice Morris||7|
|Pecking With the Putts||Taro||8|
|Hatswell's Tad. & Tourist Service||(Advertisement)||9|
|Federation Report||David Brown||10|
|Sanitarium Health Food||Advertisement||11|
|Practical Planning Provides Pleasant Places||M. Bacon||11|
|Day Walks||David Ingram||15|
|The Wanderings of a Bull Moose||Eric Pegrama||18|
“If a man will begin with certainties he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties”
The above might well serve as good advice for the exploration of a new area of country with the aid of a Rudolph map, or for a Walks Secretary looking for Leaders, or an Editor wondering, if he can fill the next Magazine.
One thing we can be certain of at present - walkers are walking again!
Once a leader could come in on Wednesday nights confident of a spine bash weekend. Now (unless he's made of the sternest stuff) he has to stay home and leave the phone off the hook or he'll find himself pounding across the countryside trying to catch up with sturdy prospectives.
And in the midst of this booming activity, are walkers recording these exciting moments for the enjoyment of fellow members and the interest of posterity? Not on your life. Come on, you latter day Tigers, give the Editor a break and turn a negative doubt into a positive certainty!
“Babes in the bush” Here is the opportunity to bring out that photograph that proves you were beautiful as a child. All the photos from the past will be displayed (don't worry if you weren't attractive even at an early age, as there will be no names attached) on 23rd November. Those Bushies with the longest memories or most discerning eye will then list Who's Who. There will be a small prize for the neatest, correct entry“.
This scenic slide business has come up again. I am hoping the response to the competition will be a little better in November than to that earlier in the year. Give me as many as six slides before the 16th, and you may have the honour and glory of an honourable mention by the judges, if not first prize!!!! The night of judging is 30th November.
Chrisrmas brings both presents and the Christmas Party.Everyone can come dressed in their coolest and most comfortable - it's to be a Tropical Night - bring out your old grass skirts and beachcomber outfits. The Party will be at North Sydney Council Chambers, as before; the building is handy to transport, but the hotels are not so conveniently situated, so bring along your orange juice, etc. I shall be selling the tickets within the next few weeks.
- Alex Colley.
There were no new members to welcome, but we did have a new Assistant Secretary - Helen McMaugh - who helped out at the September meeting, and was appointed Assistant Secretary at the last Committee meeting.
The minutes of the last meeting raised some debatable points. The proposal to blaze a trail along the White Dog ridge had been raised at Federation and Paul Barnes had pointed out that it was illegal, because the White Dog ridge was within two miles of stored water. Bob Duncan pointed out that it would probably not be long before there was a bull-dozed track there anyway.
Another matter left over from last meeting was the purchase of public address system for the Club room. Frank Ashdown said it was difficult to hear some of the speakers, particularly when they were not addressing the audience directly, as, for instance, when a person was showing his slides and speaking about them. Frank had posted several systems ranging in cost from £40 to £77 and considered that one which would have three speakers mounted over the screen (cost £5O) would be satisfactory. John White thought that an amplification system was not really necessary - we could hire one for the few occasions when it was really needed. Colin Putt addressed the Chairman from the far corner of the room in moderate tones and asked could he be heard? He could be heard even though he was not trying and so, he said, could anyone with ordinary lungs. The system would be just something else to play with, but it might be nice to play a tape-recording of a general meeting on every second Wednesday of the month, instead of holding a new one every time. Ron Kenneally suggested cardboard megaphones for speakers, and Bob Jones favoured ear trumpets too for the listeners. The motion for the acquisition of a sound system was then put and lost. We shall just have to get along without microphones, speaker megaphones and ear trumpets and do deep- breathing exercises instead.
The Treasurer's report revealed that our bank balance is £90, and the Social Secretary reported a most sociable month, with a theatre party, a ball and other activities. The Walk's Secretary told us that 80 members, 20 prospectives and 8 visitors had been on the track last month, about half of them at the walking trial.
Frank Young then referred to the difficulty experienced by latecomers to Club meetings in getting into the hall, let alone finding a seat, and suggested that extra seats should be put in the hall for them. It was decided that more seats should be arranged, and Frank Ashdown suggested that all who voted for the motion do the arranging.
November 11-12-13 Booledjah [Boolijah] Creek - Danjera Creek exploration (YaIwal area). A continuation of recent trips in an unspoiled area new to most walkers. Steady going, rock hopping and scrambling, creek scenery. See Leader Colin Putt re transport.
November 18-19-20 Leura - Hay Creek Canyon. (Rope work and swimimng). Said to hold more thrills than Arethusa. A trip for those with steady nerves. Leader: Evelyn Esgate.
November 25-26-27 Bungonia Jerara Creek - Bungonia Gorge - Bungonia Falls - Bungonia.
In the words of Geoff Wagg (S.B.W. Nov., December 1958) We went on up Paddy's Castle just to see what we could see. And - what there was to see! As you scramble to the top of this airy rock you find yourself surrounded, undermined by view. How can one describe such a fantastic scene. The precipitous bastions of the Castle 's own rock, the tumbling waters and sculptured stone in Bungonia far, far below and nearer, yet deeper in mystery, the dim waterfalling abyss of Jerrara itself.” See Leader George Grey re transport.
“When I look at those trees growing right from the ground, I seem to feel something mysterious which comes from the trees and from the mother earth herself. And I seem to be living in them and they in me and with me. I do not know whether this communion could be called spiritual or not. I have no time to call it anything. I am just satisfied.” – Suzuki.
- Dot Butler.
The Australian Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club, brainchild of Colin Putt, nourished to life by Dot Butler, ably supported by other members of the N.Z.A.C., came into being four years ago. The function of this section is to introduce Australian climbers to safe mountaineering on snow and ice. To this end, during the Christmas holiday period an Instruction Camp for Australian climbers is held in the New Zealand Alps, a leading mountaineer of the parent club acting as Instructor. The parent club also appoints one of its own members as Australian Representative to act as liaison officer between the Australian Section and itself. This year Bob Cawley holds this position. Bob is in the upper bracket as an explorer and mountaineer. He was the leader of the N.Z.A.C. mountaineering expedition to the Antarctic last year and has a magnificent set of colour slides of the whole adventure. Bob was in Sydney last week for a conference. Colin took the opportunity to organise a barbecue-lecture evening to enable as many people as possible to see his slides. Actually the “barbecue” was a Maori oven. In the early hours of Friday morning Colin dug a deep hole in his back lawn and heated up a load of bricks. Then the carcase of a sheep was wrapped in a shroud and buried between layers of hot bricks and bracken, together with quantities of vegetables in cloth bags, and covered with earth. At 7 o'clock in the evening the beastie was exhumed and carved up, and the 80 guests fell to. Jane and numerous tilling helpers provided a sumptuous second course of fruit salad, fruit punch, etc. - a banquet of unparalleled excellence. At 8 p m. the projector was set up on the front lawn and directed on to the side of the house. The appreciative multitude was able to live every moment of the exciting Antarctic adventure under the open sky and the southern stars. Bob is a fine lecturer and his story, spiced with wit and humour, will live in the memories of those who heard it. Leaders of the Outward Bound Movement in the audience were no doubt wishing that they could transfer their terrain from Hawkesbury River to Antarctica - after all, a good slice of it is Australian territory. The scope there for adventurous living would be terrific. By 11 p m. the party began to break up and depart for home, everyone declaring it a truly mighty evening, -which can always be expected when it is Putt organised, and many people the richer for having met such a fine chap as Bob Cawley.
Social Doings The B.P. films brought out a fairly full house on October 19th. An excellent and entertaining cartoon of the development of the motor car and its engine (….cry from the back of the hall at the end of the show “Put the first one on again;) was followed by “A Walk in the Forest”, based on a geolegical and mapping survey in New Guinea. On 26th October Professor Griffith Taylor charmed a capacity audience with an illustrated talk on his trip “South With Scott”
The walk from Yalwal to Tallong has not been done by many parties. This report of our experiences on Labour Day weekend, 1960, may help others in planning this very satisfactory trip.
Our party included Wilf, Alan, Greg, Frank, Ken, Paul and Reg.
Harrison's Transport was waiting at Bombaderry to take us the 20 miles from Nowra to Yalwal. We arrived at the creek crossing at about 11.15 pm and pitched tents on the grass beside the road. The arrangement was to arise at daybreak and try to be away each morning at least as early as 7 am. Just before retiring, one observant member noticed a bright “object” moving slowly across the sky from SW to SE. Subsequent inquiries revealed that this was “Echo 1”, the aluminium-painted balloon put into orbit by U.S.A. It is a long way from the earth and hence appears to travel much more slowly than previous satellites.
In the morning we were away by 7am as planned and proceeded up Danjera Creek. After a few miles of crossing and recrossing we reached the point where a break in the rock walls on the ridge to the right indicated that it was time to begin the climb out. Will managed to find the beginning of the rather obscure track which leads up the side of the valley and over the ridge at its lowest point. Except far a few minor deviations we were able to follow the track all the way across and down to Bunbundah Creek in the next valley. This was a nice, cool spot for a short rest and a small snack.
We left Bunbundah Creek at 10.20 am and climbed the ridge to the West. This is mostly reasonable going, except for a few patches of Burrawang palms mixed with thick scrub. Near the top there are some very large sandstone boulders and at the time of our trip these provided good displays of rock lily and Dendrobium striolatum. The journey from the top to Pt. Possibility was through delightful gardens of wild flowers just at their peak. The main colour was provided by two species of Eriostemon, Boronia pinnata, Tetratheca and swamp heaths, but there were also many specimens: of terrestrial orchids such as Thelymitra, Diuris, Caladenia and Glossodia.
We had lunch at a small creek near Point Possibility. With the bright sun shine and fine views over Ettrema Gorge there was a strong temptation to linger at this spot but to fulfil our plan it was necessary to go on. We found our way around the cliff line to the cave above Dog Leg Pass. The latter is an inconspicuous break in the cliffline, which was originally discovered by Paddy Pallin's “Old Buffers Club'. It can be negotiated without rope, but a piece of cord, about 40 feet, is necessary for lowering packs with frames, which cannot be carried through the narrow fissure between the rocks. The journey from the bottom of the walls to Cinche[Cinch] Creek is a short but rather painful process. Here the party split up according to their inclination for ridges or gullies. The latter are not quite as thick with scrub, but have many Gympie stinging trees which should be avoided.
We reached Cinche [Cinch] Creek just below the point where Dog Leg Creek enters it and rested a while on some very large boulders while the party collected together. From here to the junction with Ettrema Creek it was easy rock-hopping and we arrived in time to make a comfortable camp before dark. Alan completed his cooking rites at an unusually early hour on this occasion and we were able to settle down by 10,30 pm.
We were up and away in good time again the following morning. After crossing Ettrema Creek, we consulted the map, discussed 'What Paddy said', and then chose our ridge. This begins about 200 yards upstream from the Cinche [Cinch] Creek junction and just upstream from Talleangala [Tullyangela] Creek which enters Ettrema Creek from the other side. It is a relatively “clean” ridge and we made good time up to a rocky knob which is separated from the main walls by a high saddle. It wasn't necessary to climb this knob, but we did so, and found it well worthwhile. It is one of the finest viewpoints in the trip and the party spent a considerable time contemplating, taking photographs and building a cairn. A particularly interesting feature is the wall on the opposite side of Talleangala [Tullyangela] Creek, which shows the very folded Silurian or Devonian strata at the bottom, with the level bedding of the marine series sandstone on top.
The saddle from the rocky knob leads to an easy route through the main valley walls and a small stream here provided a good spot for a short morning rest.
Having heard tales of the nightmare scrub in these parts we planned to try to avoid some of it by travelling as far as possible along the cliff edges of Talleangala [Tullyangela] Creek gorge. However, this was soon frustrated by thickly wooded creek gullies entering the gorge so we modified our plan and set out on a compass bearing approximately N, taking advantage of any clear ground en route.
After a mile or two there appeared to be some evidence of erratic behaviour by the compasses and our subsequent progress was decided by a combination of compass directions, observations of the sun when visible, and keeping to high ground. The latter was important as we were hoping to find our way along the watershed between the creeks towards the bend where Talleangala [Tullyangela] Creek turns from flowing N. to SE. So far, the going had been quite easy and we had no complaints about the scrub.
Soon after lunch we could see that the valley on our left was rapidly becoming deeper so we decided to cross. After a short search we found a way down through the walls and up the other side. From there we set our approximately W. across fairly open swampy country with occasional patches of thick scrub. We reached the Tolwong Road at about 4pm, and travelled for about 4 miles along it to the edge of the first cleared farm land. There was a small stream here so we decided to make it our camping spot for the night. With the comfortable feeling that we now had the programme well in hand we did not hurry away the following morning. Wilf left first, being anxious to meet his old friends, the Crisps, at the farm. The remainder followed in small groups and we all met at the farm by 9a m. Later, one of the Crisp family accompanied us to a fine viewpoint on the edge of Tallowal Creek gorge where more film was expended on the rock walls and the waterfall flowing from Billy Balloos Creek into the valley.
L. Crisp then led us to a gap in the walls leading to a ridge which made a good route down to the creek. We followed down the dry bed of the creek to the Shoalhaven River, which was flowing vigorously but was not high enough to cause difficulty in travelling along its banks. A crossing was made just below Badgerys Crossing and we stopped here for a swim and lunch at 1.30 pm. This left plenty of time for the climb out and a stop at Badgerys Lookout to gaze back over the latter part of our trip. We reached Tallong Station at about 5.15 pm, changed, and ate the remainder of our rations while waiting for the 6.13 pm. train to Sydney
- Clarice Morris.
What's to become of one of our least romantic marsupials? Of that poor unfortunate pouched animal between the size of a rat and a rabbit who has all the protection in the world, on paper, because he is a rare marsupial, rare in that he is typically Australian, but in effect is badgered, and banished by bait and by burning until fear must stare him in the face at every tree stump.
I write in defence of the bandicoot, grey brown fur, pointed snout and rat-like tail, because at this moment on a block of land that backs on to this house land a bulldozer is cutting deeply into the land to make foundations for a house. The land was part of a sub-division that was opened up recently by a road being put through giving access to 24 new blocks. On the lower side of the area the twelve blocks slope down to water, romantically known as Stringy Bark Creek. The wild life of the district used to lead a happy go-lucky existence beneath the towering blue guns and turpentines, under an overmantle of clematis and sweet smellirg wattle. In the tree tops the possums slept by day and in dry grass at their feet the bandicoot made his nest soft with hair from the underside of the female's body.
When the bulldozers first moved in, one would sometimes find a bandicoot sitting up on the front lawn when returning from a night out. I have even met one scampering up the yard after cutting a dash through the back fence. Even a month ago I surprised one chap near the rhubarb patch. Of course some people don't like them digging conical holes in the lawn or burrowing under the side fence but I've always found it possible to live and let live, when one knows that primarily the bandicoot is a useful friend to have about the garden because his tastes differ from mine. He loves to eat small beetles, slaters and snails, perhaps an occasional juicy root, but taken overall, an occasional hole in the lawn is nothing to worry about. I even saw one grandfather-sized bandicoot sitting under the house nibbling the fowl's wheat, but there was plenty left over for the Chooks. What worries me now is where are these protected animals to go?
When I went down through the back fence to speak to the builders about running a fire through the undergrowth, their conservation knowledge was sadly lacking. Being particularly anxious to know whether they planned to chop down a handsome silk-oak the man said “Oh no, that's not in the way.
Even that tree near the front (a gum) we only lopped, all the branches will grow again. They look nice then”. It hadn't occurred to him that all the birds' nests were destroyed and the natural shape of the tree lost for ever. That was bad enough, but When I asked if he'd seen any bandicoots run out of the bushes when they fired them he said “Oh no only a lot of rats. A terrible lot of rats”.
All his “rats” were bandicoots. I only hope they were able to find cover on the last renaining block of land. Every time I go near the back fence now I wince. Progress is made at such a price. Even at the Zoo I've never been able to find a bandicoot. Perhaps he's a social outcast because of his party ticket association, with the tick. Wherever you have ticks there's bound to be a bandicoot because the marsupial is a host to the grass tick at one stage of its life; The bandicoot does not choose this role. It's thrust upon him. So that's why so few people rush to his defence. Anyone who knows of this association and has a pet cat or dog usually has no time for the bandicoot. Yet they all can live near if not together, just by the simple job of running over the pet each day. In fact, a cat can develop immunity to the ticks. So don't be too hard on the bandicoot. It's not his fault.
Thanks to the highly developed communication system of the avian world, I became aware of the Putt affair, or stated more subtly, a little bird told me.
So - as a non-cooker at fires in the bush I took along a nice little playlunch, billy, milk and trimmings. The fire seemed modest for a barbecue, and no tucker was in sight. I was about to put on my billy, when Colin and a pal started to dig - good boy scouts I thought - pit for scraps.
They dug and dug, and then - out came some gruesome baggy bodies, and after some surgical work on the big slab, a whopper array of mouth watering meat and veg. lay bare. All too delicious for mere words. My bleeding heart bled even mere, fcr the plight of any vegetarians present, faced with such odiferous seduction, and the primal urge of tooth and claw.
But of course, there is a way out - ask the once vegie Butlers, who recently gave a demonstration of their plateless, knifeless, forkless technique of meat assimilation. It sure takes tongues and tidal saliva to put a real policy on bones.
But back to the Putts': then came a lush array of sweets, cakes and fruit - topped off with real coffee. Malnutrition is a word that will never squeeze into a bushwalker's dictionary. (My little playlunch sulked all the way home.)
Then came the main event of the night (pardon good Tucker), the Slides of Antarctica.
With our perfect still Aussie night and the glass about 70 degrees, it was real luxury to lounge so close to that limitless ice field.
Landscapes without trees, always seem odd to me, but the warm sunshine and captured growing things of other climes are all there - in limitless tins. Possibly trees are not far away deep down in coal measures, if so - surely the earth once had a different tilt.
Hardship seams to be the rule for all concerned around there, and this gives point to the remark of Dot - that the walkers will one day go gadding down there. This makes good sense to me - before long our tigers will be bored by such trifles as century weekends and Tassy tarantula conditions.
“What scope for glorious fireless suffering lies down south, imagine an S & B affair with every crevasse for miles around to be pennywinkle picked for the lost bods, and then all the Volgarians sledding home with the meat.
The whole night was quite unlike any other slide night, and as Dot remarked - the open sky was ideal far such a show. Far a good limelight dodger, Dot always contrives to give an apt and well rounded speech when required.
Yes - it was a really good night, not only for slides and fine feasting, but talkie too.
P.S. (wherein lies the clue). I was pleased to notice a certain long missed bubbling beverage from Canberra.
And we owe a lot to the Putts for all the organising and preparation behind scenes. Long may they increase and multiply. I was very interested in the latest sample, which counts its age in days - a mere 90! And the Mac's new model boasting 120 days.
I think the babes of the Club the most, fascinatous of all - tender little shoots to grow into the sturdy limbed to carry on the great game of Bushwalking.
And came the chorus of good nights and less lights - but for me - the show went on, for I went to Central with Bill Ketas and a carload of bright sparks, highly inflammable, but quite controllable.
One alas - gave an outward bound demo., and I proved to have a reasonably good shoulder for such an outward bounder.
Aren't whiskers tickly things?
Our showfa proved quite competent in the long rainbow avenue of the Pacific Highway - sure the reds bluffed him a bit, but like all good bushwalkars he gave a ready response to the beckoning green.
On behalf of the entire digestive apparatus of the company, Cheers.
- David Brown.
Search an rescue During the long weekend in October a member of the River Canoe Club was drowned canoeing the Murrumbidgee River near Tharwa. A wreath was sent on behalf of Federation.
Federation Ball The Ball was reported as being a social and financial success. A profit of approximately £85 will boost S&R funds.
Road along White Dog It has been verified that the Water Board and the Forestry Commission intend to construct a road from Carlon's farm to the Coxs River via White Dog. The road will eventually link up with the Kedumba Pass road. Purpose of the road is the construction on the Coxs River of a Water gauging station. The water of the Warragamba Dam will not flood as high as previously predicted - Little Cedar Creek is the top flood level.
The Bushwalkers Magazine Contributions to reach the editor, Geof Wagg, by March 31st, 1961. Magazine should be on sale in May.
Road access to Bindook and Colony It was resolved to write to Mr. Lang, the owner of Bindook homestead, re his attitude to members of Federation walking in the area.
Bob Duncan led 6 on the Kowmung - Bulga Denis Canyon sidle October 21-22-23. Highlights: Rodents in the small save at Kanangra which made sleep impossible. A waterfall over the end of the cave which the leader mistook for the beginning of the Great Flood - Bob Strawberry-Jones navigated the Kowmung on a li-lo. The water was too cold for swimming. Note: Plenty of savage black snakes.
- M. Bacon
Years of planning weekend trips enabled the writer to include interesting stops on his return from London to Australia.
My trip home vas quite interesting. I arrived in Athens at dusk and it was dark when I got to the hotel. I learned that there was a performance in the Herodus Atticus Theatre which Was built in the second century. After settling in I got a taxi to the theatre, and you can imagine my delight as I paid the taxi driver and looked up, for there were the walls of the Acropolis, bathed in an amber glow from great floodlights mounted around its base. Floating on top in brilliant white was the Parthenon: probably one of the most beautiful buildings ever constructed in the world. Behind this wonderfully proportioned Temple was the deep violet of the Mediterranean sky.
I went to the window and asked for one good seat and they gave me one in the middle of the third row. I went through the archway and saw the three storied wall of the theatre softly illuminated. Under the moonlight, the forty-five tiers of marble seats set in a semi-circle, were most impressive. I sat comfortably on my cushion and in a moment the lights were dimmed and the soft moonlight flooded the theatre. The orchestra played and then, from the shadows, the spot lights came slowly on and the performance of “Oedipus Rex” began. It was written B.C. by Sophocles and played in Greek in the type of theatre for which he wrote it. It was a most moving experience. Incidentally, it was the Greek play that I know best and that I had seen performed by Sir Laurence Oliver and Dame Sybil Thorndyke, Miles Eallison and others in London.
The next day I joined a small tourist party and visited some of the historic monuments and saw the Parthenon of white marble with a faint gold patina on it, the “Temple of Athene” and the wonderful Caryatids. From the top, looked down on to the roofs of the modern houses, or at least modern a century or two ago. I also went to the museum and saw some of the old statues. There is a wonderful one of Poissedon with arm outstretched. This was found in the sea undamaged. There are two gold cups made about 4,000 years ago, one with mild bulls being tied to trees, the other with the bulls tamed working for man - vigorous pieces of work showing that the Greeks “had a way with animals” even 4,000 years ago.
Kind friends took me to their home for drinks and then we drove out to see the lights on the Acropolis and hear the story with music of the history of the temples. They were floodlit with light in an appropriate colour, to fit in with the music. Naturally, when recalling the time the Turks had stored their ammunition in the Parthenon and it exploded, the white marble was floodlit with crimson and flickering amber.
We then went on a drive by the seashore to an open air restaurant and dined on Greek food and drank Greek wines, we danced between courses. Then the floor show came on and at 2 am we decided that the party should go home as some of the members had to work the following day.
My host arranged for another friend to pick me up and take me to lunch at Sounion where we ate in the shade of the great 'Temple of Poissedon', which was built 30 years before the Parthenon. We drove back through groves of olives and acres of vineyards, arriving in Athens again in time to rest quietly under a tree in an open-air cafe discussing some of the problems that have beset mankind through the ages - I regret without resolving them. I caught the bus to the airport at 6 pm and flew off to Turkey.
Istanbul was on my list of places to visit because of the world-famed collection of Chinese porcelains. These are shown in the old kitchens of the Top Kappi Museum. There is adequate space, for the Sultan employed 1,400 cooks continuously when preparing food for palace residents and guests. However, vast as these kitchens are, the collection of Ming Chinese procelain is so large that only about one-fifth is on Show.
I visited the wonderful Aya Sophia. This was a Christian church for 600 years, a mosque 400 years, and for the last 24 years has been a museum. I went into the Blue Mosque which has wonderful designs on blue Turkish tiles, inside the upper section of the building. The whole of the floor is covered with rugs seeming to make pools of crimson, scarlet and red, which look particularly wonderful in the soft light against the blue of the tiles.
Kind friends took me to a Turkish lunch, others to a Turkish dinner with Turkish wines. On the second day I dined at restaurant almost on the Black Sea Which was built out on piers over the water. The fish had been caught no more than half an hour previously. It was served with superb sauces and preceded with a dozen varieties of hors d'oeuvres. I knew about Turkish Delight, but nobody had told me about the Turkish cuisine being so interesting and good.
I visited one of the Byzantine churches that was alleged to have some of the finest old mosiacs in the world. This does net surprise me for they were exceedingly beautiful and wonderfully preserved. Much of the preserving was due to the building being turned into a Mosque and the mosiacs covered with whitewash, and so were the frescoed wails. The Byzantine institute in America has paid for the cleaning and restoring of these wonderful works. This is still going on.
I was booked at the Hilton Hotel for one night but found it was necessary to arrive one night earlier. I assumed that I would have accommodation at the same hotel, but the Hilton was booked out, so I went to Istanbul's “Plaza”. I was a little surprised for I went down a side street, into an alley, down a lane and off that was a passage leading to the small hotel. I was not very impressed but considered at least it was Turkey. When I got to my room and went on to its private balcony, there was Istanbul laid out in the moonlight, with the Bosphorus gleaming. Across the water were the festooned lights of a restaurant. It was really far nicer than staying at the American-type Hilton Hotel, which was about four times the price.
I was sorry to leave Istanbul for there were many more things to be seen but soon I was on my way to Beirut and from there spent a day in Old Jerusalem, seeing Bethlehem, The Church of the Nativity, which was built over the “old inn and stable”, across to the Mount of Olives, and later to the Via Dolorosa, Calvary and to the Garden of Gethsemane. Next day I went to Baalbeck to see the 1,700 year Old “Temple of Jupiter” and the well-preserved “Temple of Bacchus”. Across the way was the “Temple of Venus”, so even in those days they had their song, wine and women.
I next went to Bangkok where my Thai friends were delighted to see me and insisted on me staying an extra day. I visited their air-conditioned office, slept in their airconditioned home and travelled in their air-conditioned Mercedes. My host, Dr. Somphob, took me to the Royal Palace and through the State apartments, and also to the “Temple of the Emerald Buddha”, which incidentally, is not made of emeralds but greenstone much like jade. The colour in this room and the gold is quite wonderful and would make a marvellous background for the classical Siamese Dancing. I attended a performance and watched the young girls carry the gorgeous costumes with charm and ease. I saw some Thai boxing where they do everything but bite.
My friends, at my request, gave me Thai food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I enjoyed it all but was slightly surprised when in one I could not identify one particular morsel. Breakfast on this last morning consisted of broken rice in a kind of soup stock, slices of liver, sweet breads, and octopus. The mystery. morsel, on enquiry, was sliced pork intestines! I think this particular pig must have been crossed with an old boot for the intestine was quite tough.
I was very impressed with the marvellous long pools of Lotus at the sides of some of the roads. Some of these are 3-400 yards long filled with great quantities of pink blossoms. In some of the streets they are filling in these canals, or klongs, as the natives call them, and turning them into roadways. Originally, of course, they were used for water transport.
Hong Kong was the last call where I spent two happy days. Chinese friends made the visit most enjoyable. Two days is far too short to spend in a place like Hong Kong but it recalled the happy four days that I had spent there three years earlier.
It was grand to get back to Sydney again, even if only to draw breath and recollect some of the fascinating things I have seen over the past fourteen days.
- David Ingram.
November 27 Waterfall- bus to Governor Game Lookout - Era Beach - Garie - bus to Waterfall. 3 miles. 8.20 train from Central Electric Station to Sutherland. Change for rail motor to Waterfall.: 9.20 a m, bus from Waterfall - Governor Game Lookout. Tickets - Waterfall Return at about 6/-, plus 4/6d. return bus fares. This walk is designed to link up With Dick Child's midday Saturday walk to Era Beach. Surfing if the weather is suitable.
December 5 Kids Christmas Party will be held at the same spot as last year, on the clearing about a mile from Waterfall Station just off the Lady Carrington Drive and just before reaching the first waterfall. A good road right to the spot if travelling, by car. 8.20 a m. train Central Electric Station to Sutherland, 9.20 a m. train where change for rail motor to Waterfall. These trains usually connect with the Garie Beach bus which passes the site. A good opportunity for the kids and parents to get together. For further details ring Clem Hallstrom at LB6495.
December 11 The Rudolph Cup. The Nepean River at Wallacia will be the spot this year. The handsome trophy will be competed for in rowing boats. As the programme says, the type of walk will be met - take your swimming costume. See David (“Snow”) Brown about transport arrangements.
- Eric Adcock.
I feel that there is some need for a word Of warning to members of the Club Who may feel that they are knowledgable in the ways of the bush, but not up with the most modern of walking trends.. It should be stated here that the comments I am about to make are hardly in anyway related to my latest trip in the Blue Mountains.
The first is to ascertain when and where you are going. Simple, you may say, but beware, for with the gathering of the clan there is sure to be thoughts of better and tougher trips. Before your very eyes and ears the friday night start for the Caves becomes a Saturday marathon. So you are off; initially a comfortable drive in the car until it is practically dark, and then the walk to the first campsite. Everyone moves off in that quiet dignified manner of a fast downhill skip. Believe it or not there are several advantages to this method of travel.
(a) It loosens up the leg muscles.
(b) It puts the stomach into a rhythmic rhumba which does wonders for the digestive system and probably accounts for any lack of gregariousness later in the evening.
(c ) It extends the neck muscles, but any gain in height is counteracted by the wear on your feet.
(d) It prohibits talking and eating and in fact carrying dentures for it is not long before your jaw flaps in time with the pace.
(e) It is interesting to see this rhythm and beauty in other people.
It is little wonder that bushwalkers are treated with considerable amount of doubt and perhaps respect, for to meet such a pounding herd on a track could be terrifying if not disastrous.
You haven't travelled far before your mind jogs back to the comment by a girl who had lifted your pack earlier and said “Gosh, it's heavy”. This of course had been shrugged off by pulling your head in. (You couldn't lift your shoulders for the weight.) However you skip on, and it isn't until you finally collapse at the only clump of rocks you have seen, which is the campsite, that you realise the reason for all the extra weight. When one of the party starts to chew his belt because his meat is still residing in Sydney, a normal person might simply pass the salt as he tosses away the less tender parts of his own T-bone, but no one is normal after the last five miles of pounding and resistance is down to a featherpush.
For those that have any feeling left the evening is about to start. A brew is made, capable of contorting the remnants of the stomach until it sits up and barks, while the conversation takes weird turns. Topics such as which part of the human is the most tender for eating and recommended cooking times ensure a night of tranquil sleep. Finally you retreat to the sleeping bag watching everyone else, and then you have the brainwave - you'll sleep upside down so that in the event of an attack they will only cut off your feet instead of your head.
The hours pass and at last the dawn rises. In case you don't feel uncomfortable a cup of tea is produced before you have time to rise. It is pleasant to notice at this stage that you still have a head and both feet. You rise to make breakfast and eat it with the feeling that at least the weather is good. Before the last mouthful has been chewed 26 times you are off again at a slow skip down the track. Stimulation of the digestion is high.
Miles pass - beautiful bush as free as the air is skipped through, which you see as from a yo-yo. Finally you come to a small patch of cleared land. What an ideal spot far a quiet serene lunch! And then, up and away. I discovered for the first time that it is essential to have your foot outside the pack before you do up the straps.
The end of the trip can come quietly and pleasantly, but if you have just skipped some umpteen miles and your car still resides on the top of a 1500 foot climb, that is unlikely. People with pogo sticks for legs and ancestors that lived on the rocky crags of the mountains can rise above these things, but if you have been lax and not kept up with your daily skipping practice you have had it.
- Irene Pridham.
“Down in the forest something stirred”, 'twas only a bird, not a bushwalker, for they were all fast asleep. However, by 5.30 a m. everyone was up except Jack Gentle who told two prospectives that he could do everything in half an hour, and the three of them went back to sleep. Our President sure is a shining example.
By 7.30 a m., on a perfectly beautiful day, 21 persons were following me up the wrong ridge, and it was all Jack's fault again, so from then on I led from the rear of the party. Apparently some of the new members had the impression that Solitary could not be done in such a short time for they turned up with enough provisions for six weeks. One chap was carrying 44 pounds, another 34 pounds, and another was carrying a huge pair of pliers which he occasionally used to pull nails out of his boots thus lightening his load. When asked if his shoes hurt him, he replied “No, only when walking”. He also used the pliers for eating utensils and this saved him two ounces by cutting out a knife, fork and spoon.
However, in spite of the huge caravan of goods and chattels we made very good time to the top, went down to the swamp for a drink, then decided to walk through the swamp to save us a ridge. The usually dry swamp was filled with beautiful red goo that came up to knees at times. At any rate out came twenty- two redmen who went down to the Chinaman's Cave for lunch The lunch time was sweet and short as we were going down the Knife Edge and there were a great number of bods who hadn't done any rock scrambling, therefore the extra time was needed.
Reg Meakins took some of the Visitors to see the view from the Ruined Castle and they were so tired they missed the last train up the Scenic Railway and had to come up the Golden Stairs. Eventually we all met at the AB Cafe where ale and steaks banished all signs of tiredness. As I was paying my bill some bloke put into my pack a bottle that had been opened, and as the most hurried part of the trip was from the Cafe to the station I found myself running along with someone else's hand in my pack to keep the contents in, but all I got for my trouble was a piece of cheese that tasted like Sunlight soap.
Cliefden Caves (October 7-8-9) Helen Barrett led 10 members to this cave system West of Blayney. Good camping beneath red river gums; exploration of an extensive system of caves.
Molly Rodgers (October 14-15-16) had three members and two prospectives on the Nattai River trip. Leaders are warned to watch out for a certain prospective of mature years who eats leader's breakfasts. Sorry we don't know the name. Ask Molly. The party found Starlight's trail and were able to catch the train by doing the latter part of the walk at a brisk run.
- Eric Pegram.
Spring arrived at last in England, and as April started the sap rising in the trees so it started peoples' feet itching to be moving around again. May saw a party of Commonwealth wanderers touring southern England in the Devon Cornwell area in changeable weather - one day rejoicing at the Spring sunshine and bursting growth, the next cursing the misty cold rain which wasn't heavy enough to be really worrying but just damp enough to make things unpleasant.
Returning to London where a series of farewell parties and goodbyes took place, then off to Harwich en route for the Hook of Holland. The Dutch country-side was a mass of colour as the tulips were out in all their glory. Unlike Australia, Holland has an excess of water and the fields have small drainage canals, some 25 yards apart, cut through them and as the seasonal rain had preceded me, walking became a series of slushy Tasmanian type strides and a broadjump - slushy- TTS and a BJ etc. etc. etc. - the accepted way of travelling.
Leaving Holland and Belgium behind I eventually reached Paris at 11 pm and spent the evening walking, not from bar-to-bar as you'd expect (although there were a few visited) but around Paris where the streets seem to be alive all night long. Ah, Springtime on the Seine, The Eifel Tower and The Champs Ellsysays- I must admit this city certainly has something. (Boy, does some unprintable material come to mind here!) Seven days were spent wandering about the city, from the wonderful Art Galleries and Churches to the lowdives and markets, then, as arranged in London, met up with a mob of mild Aussies under the Arc de Triumph, then off to sunny Spain - San Sebastian - Madrid with its gory bullfights - Latin lover types and staring people who, I believe, even outstare we Australians - Italian and French Riviera - Monaco - to Milano in Northern Italy where I bid farewell to the party who were heading south to Rome and Naples while I was heading north. After almost three weeks with non-bushwalker types who want to see “everything” (this seems to be dance floors, palaces, art museums, churches etc.) to sleep while travelling through the picturesque countryside and wander about for an hour or so then write dozens of letters home telling friends where they've been. Sill it's really amazing that young women who in Australia are respectable (i e. riot bushwalkers) and comfort loving, travel around the other side of the world, rough it and press on with their plans despite sickness, discomfort, inadequate gear and non-cooperative males with a determination that mould rival a marathon runner.
Hired a car in Frieburg in the Black Forest area of Germany and did a much too quick ten day, never to be forgotten, circular tour through Bavaria - Austrian and Italian Alps - Switzerland, returning to Heidleburg. A memorable incident occurred in the Alps while spending a couple of days with a mixture of ragged looking English and N.Z. students doing some very amateurish climbs. Returning to the road down a not so sheer snow drift which would probably have been nothing to anyone correctly equipped and experienced we stumbled, cursed and slid as a great big American car glided to a stop and a chap dived out with his movie camera at his eye and filmed some thousands of feet of us ploughing down the drift. As we reached the road we were amused to hear him say to his rugged up wife: “Say, honey. I've got some great shots of these Tyrolean guys to show the folks back home”. (To be continued next month).
Don't forget the Christmas Party held at North Sydney Council Chambers