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 ===How Natural Nature?=== ===How Natural Nature?===
  
-Earlier this month is was my good fortune to visit Japan, a country which is uastly ​different in background, culture and attitude to our own. Whilst dining one evening in a Tokyo restaurant I commented to my host what a sweet juicy melon it was I was eating. My host's reply was "Ah yes, that is a very special melon. When the vine is young, the farmer picks out the best flower and cuts all the others off, thus all the goodness of the vine is concentrated into that one piece of fruit."​ After pondering this somewhat, I realised that it is quite in keeping with normal Japanese habit, and any attempt to grow as many melons as possible on the one vine (perhaps our approach) would be quite alien. The ancient art of Bonsai adopts a similar approach. An object of beauty is created, with the help of Nature, but using disfigurement as a tool. In Japan the azalea and camelia bushes are stripped of their flower buds except for a few of the very best, thus ensuring that those flowers which do bloom are exquisite specimens. Those beautiful Japanese gardens we imagine, and see pictures of, are carefully tended, pruned and manicured to give an impression of Nature and of naturalness. We ourselves cultivate rose bushes which have to be regularly pruned to give the best display, and bowling green flat lawns which demand constant and never-ending attention to ensure the exclusion of extraneous vegetation. Is this Nature? It's not plastic, so it must be Nature! But is it natural, that is the question. It also struck me in Japan that the people in general have tremendous environmental awareness. Almost any subject under discussion will sooner or later touch on environmental issues. Further thought made me conclude that this is what one would expect from a population of 110 million people, crowded onto a small group of islands, and dependant on their processing industries for survival. Furthermore,​ it made me realise that we in Australia, as conservationists and environmentalists,​ have a much easier task than our Japanese counterparts. The natural environment (at least in part) still exists for us, on our doorstop. We need only to ensure its perpetuation,​ not effect its recreation. Let us make sure it stays that way.+Earlier this month is was my good fortune to visit Japan, a country which is vastly ​different in background, culture and attitude to our own. Whilst dining one evening in a Tokyo restaurant I commented to my host what a sweet juicy melon it was I was eating. My host's reply was "Ah yes, that is a very special melon. When the vine is young, the farmer picks out the best flower and cuts all the others off, thus all the goodness of the vine is concentrated into that one piece of fruit."​ After pondering this somewhat, I realised that it is quite in keeping with normal Japanese habit, and any attempt to grow as many melons as possible on the one vine (perhaps our approach) would be quite alien. The ancient art of Bonsai adopts a similar approach. An object of beauty is created, with the help of Nature, but using disfigurement as a tool. In Japan the azalea and camelia bushes are stripped of their flower buds except for a few of the very best, thus ensuring that those flowers which do bloom are exquisite specimens. Those beautiful Japanese gardens we imagine, and see pictures of, are carefully tended, pruned and manicured to give an impression of Nature and of naturalness. We ourselves cultivate rose bushes which have to be regularly pruned to give the best display, and bowling green flat lawns which demand constant and never-ending attention to ensure the exclusion of extraneous vegetation. Is this Nature? It's not plastic, so it must be Nature! But is it natural, that is the question. It also struck me in Japan that the people in general have tremendous environmental awareness. Almost any subject under discussion will sooner or later touch on environmental issues. Further thought made me conclude that this is what one would expect from a population of 110 million people, crowded onto a small group of islands, and dependant on their processing industries for survival. Furthermore,​ it made me realise that we in Australia, as conservationists and environmentalists,​ have a much easier task than our Japanese counterparts. The natural environment (at least in part) still exists for us, on our doorstop. We need only to ensure its perpetuation,​ not effect its recreation. Let us make sure it stays that way.
  
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 Back to our trip. With our walk permits all valid, we arrived at Pokhara late in the afternoon and commenced to walk due north until we could find porters. Through the town - no porters! Passed the outer suburbs to the famous Shining Hospital; still no porters. Away up the valley could be seen the Tibetan Refugee Camp in the evening gloom. 25 minutes to go and I had a terrific headache, so much so I had to lay down when I reached the funny "​hotel"​ and left the hiring of the porters to Helen and Frank. A big mistake. Was I cranky later on in the trip. The porters were to receive $1 a day PLUS food, We were informed that porters supply their own food. And were they gigantic eaters; once they consumed 16 rupees over lunch and dinner between them. I kept recalling a movie of China made in the late 30s; the warlord'​s wife wouldn'​t feed her porters because "They will eat all our money up" and they were forced under the point of a gun to march until they dropped. Where was I? Ah yes, New Years Eve at our crazy hotel. Our room was in the middle of the road. Don't call me a liar. Ask Helen or Frank. It is true. The house was there long before the road and the 15ft wide road had a corner of the building askew plonk in the middle of it. Back to our trip. With our walk permits all valid, we arrived at Pokhara late in the afternoon and commenced to walk due north until we could find porters. Through the town - no porters! Passed the outer suburbs to the famous Shining Hospital; still no porters. Away up the valley could be seen the Tibetan Refugee Camp in the evening gloom. 25 minutes to go and I had a terrific headache, so much so I had to lay down when I reached the funny "​hotel"​ and left the hiring of the porters to Helen and Frank. A big mistake. Was I cranky later on in the trip. The porters were to receive $1 a day PLUS food, We were informed that porters supply their own food. And were they gigantic eaters; once they consumed 16 rupees over lunch and dinner between them. I kept recalling a movie of China made in the late 30s; the warlord'​s wife wouldn'​t feed her porters because "They will eat all our money up" and they were forced under the point of a gun to march until they dropped. Where was I? Ah yes, New Years Eve at our crazy hotel. Our room was in the middle of the road. Don't call me a liar. Ask Helen or Frank. It is true. The house was there long before the road and the 15ft wide road had a corner of the building askew plonk in the middle of it.
  
-I was snoring around 8 p.m. all three of us in the same room. At dawn opened the window and lo! Guess what was in view. Macchupuchare (The Fishtail). I awoke my offsiders and called "Here is my New Years present!"​ A glorious mountain, yet our route and destination lay further behind it and we were awaiting our porters for an early start. Breakfast was ordered for 7.30 and were surprised to find our porters were expecting breakfast too. To shame them into not eating much, we ate very sparingly. Back in civilization we all tend to eat too muc anyway.+I was snoring around 8 p.m. all three of us in the same room. At dawn opened the window and lo! Guess what was in view. Macchupuchare (The Fishtail). I awoke my offsiders and called "Here is my New Years present!"​ A glorious mountain, yet our route and destination lay further behind it and we were awaiting our porters for an early start. Breakfast was ordered for 7.30 and were surprised to find our porters were expecting breakfast too. To shame them into not eating much, we ate very sparingly. Back in civilization we all tend to eat too much anyway.
  
 Our porters were very odd. Both Tibetan. The eldest had two cotton shirts and a pair of jeans; the youngest had 3 pairs of pants on and 4 shirts. No parkas, no balaclavas, no sox either, or gloves. The eldest had lice. The younger spoke English. Of course they were not really porters at all. It seems they had nothing to do and were just filling in time. Our porters were very odd. Both Tibetan. The eldest had two cotton shirts and a pair of jeans; the youngest had 3 pairs of pants on and 4 shirts. No parkas, no balaclavas, no sox either, or gloves. The eldest had lice. The younger spoke English. Of course they were not really porters at all. It seems they had nothing to do and were just filling in time.
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 We wound along a ridge always up, passing fields of what seems to be mustard seed or digitalis. Frank tried to lift a load that a Tibetan gent had just taken off. 20 gallons of kerosene and a sewing machine head. Impossible to move. Mule trains with lobs of dull bells around their necks wind their way all the time. They have red plumes and exotic tails wound with red wool. The track is always interesting. We wound along a ridge always up, passing fields of what seems to be mustard seed or digitalis. Frank tried to lift a load that a Tibetan gent had just taken off. 20 gallons of kerosene and a sewing machine head. Impossible to move. Mule trains with lobs of dull bells around their necks wind their way all the time. They have red plumes and exotic tails wound with red wool. The track is always interesting.
  
-Men in nice suits carrying valises going from nowhere to nowhere; Nepali women in their colourful aprons carrying roofing slates that weigh 50 ibs; kids going to school (I wonder how Aussie youngsters would like climbing 3000 ft of a morning and returning at night - I saw this myself later at Gandrung, whilst ​recevering ​from hallucinatory experiences in the Dreaded Rhododendron Forest). Actually this is the main road to Tibet, rice goes northwards and salt goes south. Passes a vilIage here and there, but mainly rice terraces all dry at the moment, this area has no water.+Men in nice suits carrying valises going from nowhere to nowhere; Nepali women in their colourful aprons carrying roofing slates that weigh 50 lbs; kids going to school (I wonder how Aussie youngsters would like climbing 3000 ft of a morning and returning at night - I saw this myself later at Gandrung, whilst ​recovering ​from hallucinatory experiences in the Dreaded Rhododendron Forest). Actually this is the main road to Tibet, rice goes northwards and salt goes south. Passes a vilIage here and there, but mainly rice terraces all dry at the moment, this area has no water.
  
 That evening we arrived at a village called Chandrakot a collection of lodges all called Annapurna. Let me stop and I will in all modesty describe an overnight in a Tibetan inn. On the ground floor is a table and benches, with a kitchen attached. Rugs are always rolled up and you can grab one and plonk down, which our porters did. The aristocracy slept upstairs. The first floor is nothing but beds and blankets with a miniature window that is always closed. It is also the storeroom. Bags of dried corn cobs, rice, potatoes, etc., with bottles of rice wine, kero against the walls near the ladders. No stairs, I forgot to mention. There is no charge for accommodation. Dinner is always rice and a sprinkling of vegies, breakfast is fried egg (poached is cheaper - no oil, see!) with chappatis. There is never any washing facilities or any toilets of any description. You go anywhere. Seven rupees per person will cover all expenses bar wine. Seven rupees = 42c. Which is not too bad. Add lunch and say 8 cups of tea and the whole day will come to less than $1 Aust. That evening we arrived at a village called Chandrakot a collection of lodges all called Annapurna. Let me stop and I will in all modesty describe an overnight in a Tibetan inn. On the ground floor is a table and benches, with a kitchen attached. Rugs are always rolled up and you can grab one and plonk down, which our porters did. The aristocracy slept upstairs. The first floor is nothing but beds and blankets with a miniature window that is always closed. It is also the storeroom. Bags of dried corn cobs, rice, potatoes, etc., with bottles of rice wine, kero against the walls near the ladders. No stairs, I forgot to mention. There is no charge for accommodation. Dinner is always rice and a sprinkling of vegies, breakfast is fried egg (poached is cheaper - no oil, see!) with chappatis. There is never any washing facilities or any toilets of any description. You go anywhere. Seven rupees per person will cover all expenses bar wine. Seven rupees = 42c. Which is not too bad. Add lunch and say 8 cups of tea and the whole day will come to less than $1 Aust.
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 That morning from the front fence was a view of Annapurna 1 (or was it 2 or 3). Climbing down to the valley below, its snowy peak was always visible between the trees. I reached the swinging bridge and found the porters who said that they had no permits to go further, and so they said they would climb around the police checkpoint, I was to tell the police I had no porters. Then they vanished up a hill. Panic. Will they run off with all our gear. I rush back to find my assistants, calmly drinking tea. I went berserk. I had been waiting 30 minutes and Frank and Helen couldn'​t have cared less. A foreboding of things to come. (Little did I think that in less than 4 days, a mutiny would occur in our party.) I persuaded them to rush through the village and chase our absconding, thieving, always hungry porters. We finally found them sitting in the sun, acting casual. That morning from the front fence was a view of Annapurna 1 (or was it 2 or 3). Climbing down to the valley below, its snowy peak was always visible between the trees. I reached the swinging bridge and found the porters who said that they had no permits to go further, and so they said they would climb around the police checkpoint, I was to tell the police I had no porters. Then they vanished up a hill. Panic. Will they run off with all our gear. I rush back to find my assistants, calmly drinking tea. I went berserk. I had been waiting 30 minutes and Frank and Helen couldn'​t have cared less. A foreboding of things to come. (Little did I think that in less than 4 days, a mutiny would occur in our party.) I persuaded them to rush through the village and chase our absconding, thieving, always hungry porters. We finally found them sitting in the sun, acting casual.
  
-Thackeray if he was writing this episode would have noticed the sheer 1000 ft cliffs covered in moss and vines, described in detail how the filtered sunshine sparkled in the limpid pools, have mentioned the contrasts between the harsh natural marble river bed and the light airy faerie nothingness of the ferns and Daphne bushes that surround you on all sides. He would have described with loving detail how the hot sun sent its shiny shafts into the gloomy Rhododendron forests, of how every limb was covered in moss, with hairs 5" long and giving that '​Merlin will apear any minute'​ feeling. As it was all I saw were the faces of our porters. They hadn't nicked off after all. With relief we walked on to a swinging bridge where we were going to stop at a nearby hamlet for lunch. Seated at an inn were three New Zealanders that we had passed here and there; they shouted "​We'​ve eaten the only egg in the village"​. Consternation. Our porters laughed and said that there will be another egg in the next one. Right they were.+Thackeray if he was writing this episode would have noticed the sheer 1000 ft cliffs covered in moss and vines, described in detail how the filtered sunshine sparkled in the limpid pools, have mentioned the contrasts between the harsh natural marble river bed and the light airy faerie nothingness of the ferns and Daphne bushes that surround you on all sides. He would have described with loving detail how the hot sun sent its shiny shafts into the gloomy Rhododendron forests, of how every limb was covered in moss, with hairs 5" long and giving that '​Merlin will appear ​any minute'​ feeling. As it was all I saw were the faces of our porters. They hadn't nicked off after all. With relief we walked on to a swinging bridge where we were going to stop at a nearby hamlet for lunch. Seated at an inn were three New Zealanders that we had passed here and there; they shouted "​We'​ve eaten the only egg in the village"​. Consternation. Our porters laughed and said that there will be another egg in the next one. Right they were.
  
 I never mentioned the episode of serenading a Tibetan family of porters. Helen and I came across Mother-Father-Son all resting their awe-inspiring loads. I said "​Let'​s sing them a song". Helen answered "That would be absolutely fantasmagorical. What will we sing?" says I, "How about 'Down By The Station Early In The Morning'?"​ When we finished (we gave them actions as well) they sat stoney-faced,​ immobile, neither blinking nor smiling nor anything. Had they turned into stone? "​Let'​s give them 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'"​ I said. We hadn't finished when the New Zealanders arrived too and they joined in this famous Australasian Hymn. When we all finished we bowed and stood our ground. It seems we were all invisible. Never in the history of mankind could such a thing occur again, unless you sing another group of songs to more Tibetan porters. I never mentioned the episode of serenading a Tibetan family of porters. Helen and I came across Mother-Father-Son all resting their awe-inspiring loads. I said "​Let'​s sing them a song". Helen answered "That would be absolutely fantasmagorical. What will we sing?" says I, "How about 'Down By The Station Early In The Morning'?"​ When we finished (we gave them actions as well) they sat stoney-faced,​ immobile, neither blinking nor smiling nor anything. Had they turned into stone? "​Let'​s give them 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'"​ I said. We hadn't finished when the New Zealanders arrived too and they joined in this famous Australasian Hymn. When we all finished we bowed and stood our ground. It seems we were all invisible. Never in the history of mankind could such a thing occur again, unless you sing another group of songs to more Tibetan porters.
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 by Jim Brown. by Jim Brown.
  
-The Annual General Meeting of '76 could be counted a highly successful affair; although attendance was not high starting at about 45 and building up to something like 60 at its peak there was a surpising ​amount of competition for the offices, including even two candidates for the Treasurer'​s task, and an agreeable good-humoured approach to any questions that arose.+The Annual General Meeting of '76 could be counted a highly successful affair; although attendance was not high starting at about 45 and building up to something like 60 at its peak there was a surprising ​amount of competition for the offices, including even two candidates for the Treasurer'​s task, and an agreeable good-humoured approach to any questions that arose.
  
 First, two new members were welcomed Bill Blackburn and John Fox - and we heard the February Minutes, with no questions arising. Correspondence contained the usual bulletins and magazines, a letter recording the payment by the Electricity Commission of $150 for the damage caused at Coolana by the easement for a transmission line, and the notice of rates by Shoalhaven Council on the property, which also amounts to about $150 and will be settled in quarterly instalments. A further item related to an amendment to the Myall Lakes National Park and to this Alex Colley, Conservation Secretary, indicated he had prepared a reply saying the proposal represents quite a pleasing improvement,​ as it means most of the lake foreshores will be reserved as parkland and there will be a strip of rural land which may not be developed bordering the Park. However, the Club considers (Alex continued) that the whole of the area should be reserved and embodied in the Park. The Club affirmed its support of this answer. First, two new members were welcomed Bill Blackburn and John Fox - and we heard the February Minutes, with no questions arising. Correspondence contained the usual bulletins and magazines, a letter recording the payment by the Electricity Commission of $150 for the damage caused at Coolana by the easement for a transmission line, and the notice of rates by Shoalhaven Council on the property, which also amounts to about $150 and will be settled in quarterly instalments. A further item related to an amendment to the Myall Lakes National Park and to this Alex Colley, Conservation Secretary, indicated he had prepared a reply saying the proposal represents quite a pleasing improvement,​ as it means most of the lake foreshores will be reserved as parkland and there will be a strip of rural land which may not be developed bordering the Park. However, the Club considers (Alex continued) that the whole of the area should be reserved and embodied in the Park. The Club affirmed its support of this answer.
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 Next the special Annual Meeting affairs with the Annual Report and then the Financial Statement being taken as read and adopted without quibble. Standing orders were suspended to allow election of officers to go on concurrently with other normal business, the system of voting was agreed (first past the post), and Craig Shappert, Peter Miller and Peter Scandrett undertook to be scrutineers. A question was raised about the admissibility of proxy votes and after thought the President ruled that, as we had not recognised them before and there had not been any prior arrangements made, they could not be accepted. Next the special Annual Meeting affairs with the Annual Report and then the Financial Statement being taken as read and adopted without quibble. Standing orders were suspended to allow election of officers to go on concurrently with other normal business, the system of voting was agreed (first past the post), and Craig Shappert, Peter Miller and Peter Scandrett undertook to be scrutineers. A question was raised about the admissibility of proxy votes and after thought the President ruled that, as we had not recognised them before and there had not been any prior arrangements made, they could not be accepted.
  
-The voting, which then got under way, went on in quite an animated fashion, with two or more people offering themselves for most pf the posts. The results were given in the March magazine.+The voting, which then got under way, went on in quite an animated fashion, with two or more people offering themselves for most of the posts. The results were given in the March magazine.
  
-In intervals between electing officials, we learned that the ready cash in our account at bnd of February stood at $1189, and then launched into a recital of walks activities which was interrupted on several occasions to proceed with voting.+In intervals between electing officials, we learned that the ready cash in our account at end of February stood at $1189, and then launched into a recital of walks activities which was interrupted on several occasions to proceed with voting.
  
 The report commenced with Jim Vatiliotis'​ trip (inherited from John Redfern) into the Splendour Rock area on 13-15th February: 13 rolled up, including 11 prospectives and all went as programmed. Over the same weekend a trip to be led by David Rostron into the Kowmung Gorge area was scrubbed off because of the abundance of water, but the two day walks went as scheduled. An account of your reporter'​s descent on a nudist colony at Werong (in company with 25 walkers) appeared last month and the jointly led trip by Elaine Brown and Len Newland in Kangaroo Creek found trails overgrown, but the walking quite pleasant. The report commenced with Jim Vatiliotis'​ trip (inherited from John Redfern) into the Splendour Rock area on 13-15th February: 13 rolled up, including 11 prospectives and all went as programmed. Over the same weekend a trip to be led by David Rostron into the Kowmung Gorge area was scrubbed off because of the abundance of water, but the two day walks went as scheduled. An account of your reporter'​s descent on a nudist colony at Werong (in company with 25 walkers) appeared last month and the jointly led trip by Elaine Brown and Len Newland in Kangaroo Creek found trails overgrown, but the walking quite pleasant.
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 Spiro Hajinakitas had a constitutional amendment, and it was carried without dissentient,​ once it was made known that it merely brought the majority required to amend the pattern test walks to the same proportion as any other amendment to the Constitution,​ namely 3/5th of those voting. Spiro Hajinakitas had a constitutional amendment, and it was carried without dissentient,​ once it was made known that it merely brought the majority required to amend the pattern test walks to the same proportion as any other amendment to the Constitution,​ namely 3/5th of those voting.
  
-We had almost got to the announcements and advertisements section, when Peter Miller moved (and it was carried with acclamation) that we carry a vote of thanks to the retiring Committee. Having said it once - only to have another question raised briefly afterwards - the retiring President, Barry Wallace, tapped the Bone tenderly on the table and said in the time-honoured phrase "Let us Re-unen". It was just on 10.25 p m.+We had almost got to the announcements and advertisements section, when Peter Miller moved (and it was carried with acclamation) that we carry a vote of thanks to the retiring Committee. Having said it once - only to have another question raised briefly afterwards - the retiring President, Barry Wallace, tapped the Bone tenderly on the table and said in the time-honoured phrase "Let us Re-une". It was just on 10.25 p.m.
  
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 Day 3 begins all hustle and bustle, and we are away with 38 pounds on our backs, a mild shock on a morning with the promise of heat to come. On the route to "​Melaleuca"​ we meet a couple doing the South Coast Track, our last human contact for nine days. Below Half Woody Hill (how aptly named) we forsake the beaten track for unfamiliar territory. The first test comes quickly at the crossing of Melaleuca Creek where it takes half-an-hour to thrash a way through a hundred yards of scrub! But that's Tasmania, though fortunately not all over. Plod over the button grass in the growing heat to the foot of Melaleuca Range, where we shelter in a few square feet of shade for lunch and watch a leech take ten minutes to traverse four feet of Tasmania to get at me; nice to know there'​s something slower than ourselves in this country. Then it is sweat and toil up the shadeless spur of the range; in the whole blue dome there is not even a wisp of cloud and the radiation is intense - is this really Tassie or have we made a terrible mistake somewhere? But there'​s no doubt about the tremendous landscape opening up around us as we climb. Gaze in awe at that saw-tooth skyline to the north and that great finger thrusting above all else further over to the east, for the Western Arthurs and Federation Peak are sunbaking today. On top of the range at last and we pick up the staked route to Window Pane Bay. Downhill now and  at 7.30 p.m. we collapse onto a small but pleasant campsite, carved out of the forest concealing Window Pane Creek. It is a little bit of heaven after a long and tiring day. Day 3 begins all hustle and bustle, and we are away with 38 pounds on our backs, a mild shock on a morning with the promise of heat to come. On the route to "​Melaleuca"​ we meet a couple doing the South Coast Track, our last human contact for nine days. Below Half Woody Hill (how aptly named) we forsake the beaten track for unfamiliar territory. The first test comes quickly at the crossing of Melaleuca Creek where it takes half-an-hour to thrash a way through a hundred yards of scrub! But that's Tasmania, though fortunately not all over. Plod over the button grass in the growing heat to the foot of Melaleuca Range, where we shelter in a few square feet of shade for lunch and watch a leech take ten minutes to traverse four feet of Tasmania to get at me; nice to know there'​s something slower than ourselves in this country. Then it is sweat and toil up the shadeless spur of the range; in the whole blue dome there is not even a wisp of cloud and the radiation is intense - is this really Tassie or have we made a terrible mistake somewhere? But there'​s no doubt about the tremendous landscape opening up around us as we climb. Gaze in awe at that saw-tooth skyline to the north and that great finger thrusting above all else further over to the east, for the Western Arthurs and Federation Peak are sunbaking today. On top of the range at last and we pick up the staked route to Window Pane Bay. Downhill now and  at 7.30 p.m. we collapse onto a small but pleasant campsite, carved out of the forest concealing Window Pane Creek. It is a little bit of heaven after a long and tiring day.
  
-It is well into Day 4 before we are atop the South-West Cape Range and having our first glimpse of the west coast. It is strikingly beautiful; to the north Port Davey and its offshore islands, below us Window Pane Bay like a big blue jewel. The curving stretch of its beach is dissected by the Cola-colourbd ​channel of Window Pane Creek and behind is the green forest, through which the Hobart Walking Club has mercifully cut a trnck. We cannot wait to get down; and awaiting us where the creek meets the beach is quite the prettiest coast campsite I have known.+It is well into Day 4 before we are atop the South-West Cape Range and having our first glimpse of the west coast. It is strikingly beautiful; to the north Port Davey and its offshore islands, below us Window Pane Bay like a big blue jewel. The curving stretch of its beach is dissected by the Cola-coloured ​channel of Window Pane Creek and behind is the green forest, through which the Hobart Walking Club has mercifully cut a track. We cannot wait to get down; and awaiting us where the creek meets the beach is quite the prettiest coast campsite I have known.
  
 It is not hard to be a lotus-eater in such a place, so we stay put the next day too, the fourth in a row full of golden sunshine. At 9 p.m. a flattened fireball of a sun quenches itself in the southern ocean and an hour later it is dark enough to go to bed - one must not waste the precious hours of darkness for they are indeed brief. Window Pane Bay is unique but we must get on with the walk. It is not hard to be a lotus-eater in such a place, so we stay put the next day too, the fourth in a row full of golden sunshine. At 9 p.m. a flattened fireball of a sun quenches itself in the southern ocean and an hour later it is dark enough to go to bed - one must not waste the precious hours of darkness for they are indeed brief. Window Pane Bay is unique but we must get on with the walk.
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 Last December I spent two fascinating and very enjoyable weeks in South Africa and Rhodesia, most of it not relevant to bushwalking,​ so I am going to restrict this article to the part that is the three days I spent on foot in the Umfolozi Nature Reserve. This reserve is just under 50,000 hectares in area, about half the size of the Blue Mountains National Park, and is situated in Zululand, in the north-east of the Republic. Approximately one-third is open to visitors and criss-crossed with roads along which they may drive and view the game; the rest is kept as a wilderness area and visitors are only allowed entry on a twice-weekly "​Wilderness Trail" which lasts three days. Last December I spent two fascinating and very enjoyable weeks in South Africa and Rhodesia, most of it not relevant to bushwalking,​ so I am going to restrict this article to the part that is the three days I spent on foot in the Umfolozi Nature Reserve. This reserve is just under 50,000 hectares in area, about half the size of the Blue Mountains National Park, and is situated in Zululand, in the north-east of the Republic. Approximately one-third is open to visitors and criss-crossed with roads along which they may drive and view the game; the rest is kept as a wilderness area and visitors are only allowed entry on a twice-weekly "​Wilderness Trail" which lasts three days.
  
-I drove up from Durban on the Friday afternoon, equipped with a box of groceries from Woolworths (usual disclaimers) on the back seat and my trusty Spiro Ketas sandshoes on the floor beside me. Since no vehicles are allowed to travel the reeerve ​after sunset I had allowed myself plenty of time and it was still mid-afternoon when I pulled into Masinda, the starting point for Wildeness Trails. There was hardly time to notice the round thatched buildings and neatly trimmed lawn before I was meeting the other members of the party and Allen Hallett, the Trails Officer who was to accompany us. They were mildly surprised to learn I was from overseas as these walking trails are well off the normal tourist beat, and they had assumed I was a Jo'​burg man because of the car regitration.+I drove up from Durban on the Friday afternoon, equipped with a box of groceries from Woolworths (usual disclaimers) on the back seat and my trusty Spiro Ketas sandshoes on the floor beside me. Since no vehicles are allowed to travel the reserve ​after sunset I had allowed myself plenty of time and it was still mid-afternoon when I pulled into Masinda, the starting point for Wildeness Trails. There was hardly time to notice the round thatched buildings and neatly trimmed lawn before I was meeting the other members of the party and Allen Hallett, the Trails Officer who was to accompany us. They were mildly surprised to learn I was from overseas as these walking trails are well off the normal tourist beat, and they had assumed I was a Jo'​burg man because of the car registration.
  
 We were relaxing outside our huts afterwards in deck chairs, enjoying the last rays of sunlight and scanning the hillside opposite with binoculars when I had my first introduction to the style of African hiking ("​bushwaiking"​ is a term unknown to the local folk). One of the Zulu staff came to collect the provisions we wanted cooked that night, and having given him the steak and veges, we settled back to our remote game spotting. Before dark we were able to tally three rhinos and numerous wildebeeste and zebras. Then at the appointed time we adjourned inside the hut and the three cooks turned up, laden with steaming, covered plates and proceeded to lay the table. Much the same system applied at camps on the trail except that instead of a linen tablecloth we had a tarpaulin spread on the ground. It was never necessary for us to do menial chores such as firelighting or washing up. The rest of the party were less impressed by all this; they had houseboys at home and took such attention as a matter of course. I really don't know how I'll manage back in Australia - perhaps I should look for some gullible prospectives. We were relaxing outside our huts afterwards in deck chairs, enjoying the last rays of sunlight and scanning the hillside opposite with binoculars when I had my first introduction to the style of African hiking ("​bushwaiking"​ is a term unknown to the local folk). One of the Zulu staff came to collect the provisions we wanted cooked that night, and having given him the steak and veges, we settled back to our remote game spotting. Before dark we were able to tally three rhinos and numerous wildebeeste and zebras. Then at the appointed time we adjourned inside the hut and the three cooks turned up, laden with steaming, covered plates and proceeded to lay the table. Much the same system applied at camps on the trail except that instead of a linen tablecloth we had a tarpaulin spread on the ground. It was never necessary for us to do menial chores such as firelighting or washing up. The rest of the party were less impressed by all this; they had houseboys at home and took such attention as a matter of course. I really don't know how I'll manage back in Australia - perhaps I should look for some gullible prospectives.
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 Our two nights on the trail were spent at a semi-permanent camp beside the White Umfolozi River where we enjoyed the luxury of tents and stretchers. The only other furniture was the seating round the campfire which consisted of two logs and a rhino skull so the wilderness aspect was well maintained. There was an unobtrusive enclosing fence of wire netting and thornbush and we were told this was a fairly recent innovation. Earlier parties had had the excitement of discovering lion wandering through the camp at night and Park officials felt it was only a matter of time before someone was taken. We ourselves were quite happy to have the fence there. Our two nights on the trail were spent at a semi-permanent camp beside the White Umfolozi River where we enjoyed the luxury of tents and stretchers. The only other furniture was the seating round the campfire which consisted of two logs and a rhino skull so the wilderness aspect was well maintained. There was an unobtrusive enclosing fence of wire netting and thornbush and we were told this was a fairly recent innovation. Earlier parties had had the excitement of discovering lion wandering through the camp at night and Park officials felt it was only a matter of time before someone was taken. We ourselves were quite happy to have the fence there.
  
-As far as walking itself went the pace was leisurely and we covered about 16 km each day, mostly following pads made by the animals, although the countryside is open enough to allow walking in any direction. Our provisions and gear for the night were carried in on asses so we had no more than cameres, binoculars and lunch to weigh us down. Temperatures were mild in the morning turning to hot and humid by midday and then in the early afternoon a brief thunderstorm generally occurred to bring cooler conditions. We spent the hottest part of the day with a lunch stop and siesta, after cooling ourselves off with a swim in the river. There are crocodiles in the Umfolozi but the water is too muddy to see them and no-one seems much concerned.+As far as walking itself went the pace was leisurely and we covered about 16 km each day, mostly following pads made by the animals, although the countryside is open enough to allow walking in any direction. Our provisions and gear for the night were carried in on asses so we had no more than cameras, binoculars and lunch to weigh us down. Temperatures were mild in the morning turning to hot and humid by midday and then in the early afternoon a brief thunderstorm generally occurred to bring cooler conditions. We spent the hottest part of the day with a lunch stop and siesta, after cooling ourselves off with a swim in the river. There are crocodiles in the Umfolozi but the water is too muddy to see them and no-one seems much concerned.
  
 What made this trip out of the ordinary was the feeling of excitement always present of not knowing what animal might lie ahead behind a bush or over the next rise. The richness of South African fauna is incredible and makes the Australian bush seem a desert by comparison. It was a rare ten minutes that we did not catch sight of nyala, warthog or a herd of impala or hear the sneezy snorts of wildebeeste as they sensed our presence. Teeming with game is the only expression. What made this trip out of the ordinary was the feeling of excitement always present of not knowing what animal might lie ahead behind a bush or over the next rise. The richness of South African fauna is incredible and makes the Australian bush seem a desert by comparison. It was a rare ten minutes that we did not catch sight of nyala, warthog or a herd of impala or hear the sneezy snorts of wildebeeste as they sensed our presence. Teeming with game is the only expression.
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 |K-2 Intermediate rucksacks|47.50| |K-2 Intermediate rucksacks|47.50|
 |K-2 Junior rucksacks|35.00| |K-2 Junior rucksacks|35.00|
-|K-2 Aarn I climbing & skitouring ​pack|50.00|+|K-2 Aarn I climbing & ski-touring ​pack|50.00|
 |K-2 Aarn II pack|44.50| |K-2 Aarn II pack|44.50|
 |Wintest nylon, tents from|37.00| |Wintest nylon, tents from|37.00|
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 |Explorer sleeping bags from|50.00| |Explorer sleeping bags from|50.00|
  
-And much moore - write for a price list (Address above)+And much more - write for a price list (Address above)
  
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 "He never larfs, and he never smiles\\ "He never larfs, and he never smiles\\
-Ana he never larks nor plays,\\+And he never larks nor plays,\\
 But he sits and croaks, and a single joke\\ But he sits and croaks, and a single joke\\
 He has, which is to say:\\ He has, which is to say:\\
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 |28,​29,​30|Hilltop to the Nattai River with Barbara Evans.| |28,​29,​30|Hilltop to the Nattai River with Barbara Evans.|
 |Sunday 30|Joe Marton leads the way to Mt. Solitary and all the scenic wonder of the Blue Mountains at Katoomba. A very early start.| |Sunday 30|Joe Marton leads the way to Mt. Solitary and all the scenic wonder of the Blue Mountains at Katoomba. A very early start.|
-|Sunday 30|The Bundeena - Marley walk. Travel by relaxing ferry to nice seabord ​bush, led by David Ingram.+|Sunday 30|The Bundeena - Marley walk. Travel by relaxing ferry to nice seaboard ​bush, led by David Ingram.
  
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-Stephen Harvey will soon be moving to Melbourne because of a job transfer. Stephen ​holss two official positions with the Club; that of Federation Delegate (with Committee representation) and Equipment Hire Officer. Because of his transfer, Stephen has had to resign these positions which means they will be thrown open to election at the May General Meeting. If you wish to make a nomination, or volunteer yourself for either of htese positions, come along to the May meeting.+Stephen Harvey will soon be moving to Melbourne because of a job transfer. Stephen ​holds two official positions with the Club; that of Federation Delegate (with Committee representation) and Equipment Hire Officer. Because of his transfer, Stephen has had to resign these positions which means they will be thrown open to election at the May General Meeting. If you wish to make a nomination, or volunteer yourself for either of these positions, come along to the May meeting.
  
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 A theatre party has been organised by Owen Marks to see the Swedish film version of "The Magic Flute" on Monday 3rd. May. Price per seat is S2.50. If interested speak to Owen and reserve your place/s. His telephone number is 30.1827. A theatre party has been organised by Owen Marks to see the Swedish film version of "The Magic Flute" on Monday 3rd. May. Price per seat is S2.50. If interested speak to Owen and reserve your place/s. His telephone number is 30.1827.
  
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 ====Bushwalkers'​ Barbecue Evening.==== ====Bushwalkers'​ Barbecue Evening.====
197604.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/08/26 04:15 by tyreless