THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Marcia Shappert, Telephone 30-2028.
|Editor||Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping 2121. Telephone 86-6263|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871-1207|
|Duplicator Operator||Bob Duncan. Telephone 869-2691|
|Queen's Birthday Weekend - June, 1979||Dot Butler||Page 2|
|Day Walk - Queen's Birthday Weekend||Ian Debert||4|
|The June General Meeting||Barry Wallace||5|
|Social Notes for August||Ailsa Hocking||6|
|Bush Safety Awareness||Len Newland||8|
|From the Past||Ian Debert||10|
|“Drugged” by the Bush||Peter Christian||12|
|On Famous Prints||Owen Marks||13|
|Mountain Equipment Ad||15|
|Book Review – “The Colo Wilderness”||Marie Byles||16|
|Or Any Other Reason Why||Jim Brown||16|
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS Are there any proposed Constitutional Amendments to be presented at the Half Yearly General Meeting? If so, notify Secretary Sheila Binns no later than the August General Meeting.
by Dot Butler
This was Ian Debert's trip out Colong/Yerranderie way. Everyone knows you can drive your cars to Bat's Camp so when the programme said, “Base Camp at Bat's Camp” there seemed no reason why we should not pile in all those extra luxuries that make for eating and sleeping comfort on a cold winter trip. Consequently I brought a foam mattress AND a pillow and Robin brought heaps of warm woollies AND her two young schoolboy sons.
Robin had been told to get her car and passengers to Oberon by 9pm and all the cars would then travel in convoy to Bat's Camp. We were first there at to 9. As no definite meeting place had been arranged we toured the main street but finding no other obvious bushwalker cars we selected outside the pub as being the most likely meeting place and settled down to wait. It was a cold night so we got into our sleeping bags and tried to snooze. By 10 o'clock another car arrived, who told us that the assembly time was 10 o'clock, and soon after two others arrived. We waited, but no others eventuated and David got impatient. “I know the way,” he said. “Follow me.” Our four cars took off with David in the lead… and finished up in the golf links. A consultation was held among the drivers of the three cars in the lead, all lined up parallel and passing the messages from one to the other. Robin's passengers, lurking in the rear, suddenly saw all three cars whirl around and head back to Oberon pub. Here two of them elected to stay but as David drove confidently away we chose to follow him - we were sick of waiting around - and looking back we soon saw the headlights of the other two cars following. It is a two-hour drive to Bat's Camp so it was after midnight when we finally bedded down, just short of the Camp. We had seen Don and Jenny Cornell's camper van parked in the quarry by the side of the road, so at least someone had made it. Some hours later our leader and his contingent arrived but as we were by then asleep it made no impression on us.
Early morning saw 23 rather bleary people mooching around their fires. It was now we learned from the leader that there had been a slight error in the walks programme - base camp was not to be at Bat's Camp but at Colong homestead, eight miles away by the loopy road but a shorter distance across country. This decided me to leave my pillow behind but I still tock my foamy. Somehow Robin didn't get the message and thinking it was only 4 km along a road she didn't lighten her pack. Nobody favored the road bash so the choice lay between the high country or the swamp. “You don't get us wetting our feet in the swamp!” chorused those who held an opinion. So it seemed the majority favored the high route but it looked like they would not be moving off before 10am. This was no good to David “I know the way by the swamp,” he said. “Those who want to, follow me!” Well, he had got us unerringly to Bat's Camp in the dark, thought Robin and I, so why not throw in our lot with him and make an early getaway. We went a short distance by car but the road was definitely deteriorating so we parked and walked on to “the gate”. It was here we should have left the road and turned off to follow the track around the swamp. But we kept on the road too long and when we finally turned off it we were in the middle of the swamp and no track. Luckily there was not much water so we were able to do some to-ing and fro-ing among the mud puddles without getting wet. When the swamp appeared to be petering out we looked at the map and verified that by keeping on a due east course we would go through Barallier Gap and strike the ridge that would take us direct to Colong homestead. All we had to watch for was that we didn't do any northing or we would be lured onto the wrong ridge. It didn't look very far so we continued on our sauntering way, stopping for rests, for re-packing of packs, and for numerous demolition jobs on termite nests by young John and his brother David. Our leader, David Cotton, gets an A+ for patience.
We headed up the ridge. There was no sign of a track on it and when we had followed it out to its end we were confronted by a perpendicular cliff of fearsome dimensions. No chance of getting beginners down this. Away on our left we could see the Causeway and to the right we could see the long ridge which was the one we should be on. We coo-ee'd and heard a faint response from the direction of the long ridge, but further coo-ee's elicited only echoes. Robin announced the time. It wags long past lunchtime so we settled down to eat and when we finally got around to our long ridge with its track and the marker cairn by the watercourse the sun was getting low and the party wanted a rest. We discovered later that the rest of the mob had also got themselves slightly bushed on the high route and had spent half an hour looking for water for lunch. They had gone through by the marker cairn two hours before us.
Our leader now had to decide whether to press on and get to the Colong camp or let his party camp here for the night. He magnanimously settled for the latter. We had a nice big campfire and the young lads savored the fearful joy of thinking themselves lost. Next morning we continued along the ridge, dropped into one of the tributaries of Colong Creek, and eventually came out on the road. The relief of the boys was a delight to behold. They bounced with new energy and shouted with joy and excitement. A road! Civilization at last! We followed the road till it came to the Colong clearing, then across the cleared paddocks and there before us was the Bushwalker encampment. But nobody there; they had all gone off bright and early for a day walk to Yerranderie. We lazed around, had lunch, sunbaked, looked at the old homestead and wandered up the hill for a view. The Yerranderie mob homed in in small groups soon after sundown and soon there were campfires lighting the scene. That night we had a poetry session round the campfire which took me back some 40 years to when this was a regular form of entertainment in the Club. There should be more of it.
It was a cold night and we awoke next morning to thick frost on the tents and frozen waterbuckets. Today's walk was to take us back to the cars via Mt. Colong, Colong Caves and Acetylene Ridge, a distance of about 9km. A select group of four decided to return via the loop road we had scorned on Saturday. The rest of the party departed along the fire trail. When we left this and got onto the track we found it extremely overgrown. In some places fallen trees made detours necessary and it was not long before the big party was spread out all over the landscape with coo-ees and yells coming from all directions. Ian was suffering from loss of voice. He decided then and there that 27 were too many and next time he will limit his numbers to something more manageable.
The overgrown track and the pull up Acetylene Ridge proved hard going for the newcomers, but all things come to an end at last and we reached the cars with plenty of daylight to spare. Then it was just a case of “Thank you Ian for a beaut trip”, and away we all went home.
From Base Camp at Colong Homestead to Yerranderie and back by Ian Debert
Sunday morning saw everyone up bright and early. Margaret Smith was first up and had a fire going and soon there were people everywhere. I had planned to leave camp at 8.00am, but due to a few people not being ready (names I will not mention), we finally got away at 8.30am, heading in the direction of Yerranderie.
Unfortunately we missed the track to Colong Gap and ended up at Alum Hill Creek and from here we had to take a bearing to Colong Gap. We did a lot of scrub-bashing around the swamp and eventually found the track leading on to Colong Gap and the Mootik Walls. What a view! We all decided to have morning tea here and then we started to descend to the Yerranderie Road. Reaching the road, we headed towards Yerranderie where we saw signs of the old abandoned silver mines beside the road. Not far to go and there was the old town, nestling in the valley, old buildings showing their signs of the years. We met a few people including Miss Valerie Lhude who has reconstructed the old Post Office and made it into a place for year-round accommodation and a museum, $l charge. Seeing we bushwalkers don't carry money on us we had to bow out.
Time was getting away so we decided to split the party, those who wanted to go over Yerranderie Peak did so, the others went back the same way we came. The two parties met up at Colong Gap around 4pm, the energetic ones who climbed Yerranderie Peak all agreed it was well worth it, the view especially, a glorious view all around with Lake Burragorang over to the east and Mt. Colong and Colong Gap to the south.
Leaving Colong Gap we followed a track till we ran out, scrub-bashing for a short time, the sun was starting to sink so this meant moving at a rapid pace. We hit the swamp suddenly, getting wet feet, or at least some of us did. We reached the other side, took another bearing and sighted Square Rock, you could not miss it.
Dusk was starting to descend on us when we found a track and everyone was delighted. Torches were ready but not needed, the track got wider and wider until we came out on the fire trail. We had come out where we turned off in the morning. People were walking faster as the cold set in and the campsite came into view. The sight of camp fires and smell of food from people who were already there lightened our hearts, and so a very enjoyable day's walk had came to a delightful end.
by Barry Wallace
There were about 30 members present when the President called the meeting to order at 20.10 and welcomed new members George Walton and Laurie McCane. Wendy Telford was admitted to membership but was not at the meeting.
The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and received. Correspondence comprised letters from Paddy Pallin Foundation listing grants made from the fund for 1979, from Blue Mountains Rescue Squad in reply to our previous letter of thanks, from N.S.W. Minister for Planning and Environment regarding Ettrema, rates notices for Coolana from Nowra Council, a letter to regarding the rescue operation at Grand Canyon, letters to the three new members and letter from Alex Colley regarding plans for closure of the Kanangra road.
Business arising from Correspondence brought a motion rescinding the Club's previous motion opposing closure of the Kanangra Road.
The Treasurer's report indicated a starting balance of $1434.69, Income of $521.00, Expenditure of $272.26, to provide a closing balance of $1683.43.
Dot Butler then presented a report of the Coolana Committee Meeting and moved a motion that we invest $1000.00 from Coolana funds in Government Bonds. The meeting duly discussed and voted in favor of the motion.
The Federation report brought advice that a permit had been obtained to conduct the forthcoming S. & R. excercise; the C.B.C. have written objection to expenditure of funds on the Walk in the Wilderness scheme; F.B.W. have written to the Premier expressing our thanks for the proclamation of Wollemi National Park. N.P.W.S. have foreshadowed the possible requirement for entry permits for the Blue Mountains National Park; S.& R. have been involved in the rescue of a S.U.B.W. member with a broken ankle from the Broken Rock area; we are advised that underground mining will be permitted within the Colo National Park. Federation have approached the State Pollution Control Commission about pollution in the Colo area; there is a belief that the A.M.I.C. is not entirely unrelated to legal moves taken by a Mr. Doyle over criticism of applications for mining leases in the Ettrema. F.B.W. are to join the protest over the proposal to construct a dam on the Gordon River in Tasmania. There are reports of damage by off-road vehicles around The Pilot in the Snowy Mountains. The Deua and Wadbilliga National Park has been declared. Peter Harris is to approach Paddy Pallin about a grant toward legal costs in the Ettrema case. There is a report that cars parked in the Culoul Range area have been broken into and materials stolen.
There was a Walks Report, and I did take notes, but if I don't have these notes in on time I cannot answer for what violence the Editor may do me.
General Business saw passage of a motion that the Club review its decision on closure of the.Kanangra Road once we receive a proposed plan of management for the park area from Federation.
Marcia Shappert, our present phone contact, has taken employment and will no longer be home throughout the week. Are there any volunteers?
The announcements brought the meeting to a close at 2143.
by Ailsa Hocking
Change to the August Social Programme Due to circumstances beyond my control, and the unpredictability of unnamed club members, the August Social Programme has been rearranged as follows:
August 15th: In April, Craig Shappert, Dot Butler and Len Newland toured Yugoslavia and Greece. Craig will show the best of his slides from this trip. No doubt Dot and Len will be able to add to Craig's commentary.
August 22nd: Tony Laycock from Taronga Zoo Education Centre will come and talk about the snakes and other reptiles we might meet when we are out in the bush. We will hear about their habits, which ones to be particularly wary of, and which are harmless. There will be slides and perhaps some specimen to look at (dead, I hope!).
August 29th: Come and join us for an evening's musical entertainment. We have a varied programme - something for everyone. The “Sera-bashers” will be there with a selection of folk songs, the members of the blue-grass band will rattle the rafters, and there will be flute, guitar and recorder music too.
by Len Newland
Part 1. INTRODUCTION.
Here's an Irish joke. Question: How did the Irishman burn his ear? Answer: The telephone rang while he was ironing. Follow-up question: How did he burn his other ear? Answer: He tried to, ring the doctor. All of which is quite ridiculous, except that I remember a news item about an English woman who spilt superglue on her hands. According to the instructions on the tube, she had to seek medical attention, so she rang the doctor. He came, all right, and his first task was to separate her hand from the telephone.
I use the above as an example of how a lack of thought or awareness of what you're doing can lead to unfortunate, and sometimes quite humorous results. I remember, on one of my creek bashes, a certain member who decided to cross over a sloped section of rock next to the water (after some others had gone around the rock) and slid the five feet straight into the water. His face was worth seeing, and the incident gave us amusement for the next hour or so. However, it could have been fifty feet.
We seem to have been having a spate of serious accidents among club members lately, as these hollowed pages have been dutifully reporting. This prompted me to move at the May General Meeting the “The Club institute a safety awareness program”. The motion received a strong second from Barry Wallace, who pointed out that complacency is the big danger. Having faced the same danger a hundred times without problem does not guarantee that you won’t come a cropper next time. I think the example Barry chose was rock-hopping.
The course of action I am embarking on comprises a series of columns in this magazine, which will note a few dangers, and some approaches to these, followed up with brainstorming, or “think tank” sessions on a social night in the summer. The articles should provide a great deal of discussion material for the forum, and judging by the results of a “mini think tank” some of us had recently, the forum should both be successful in itself and provide enough information for a pamphlet on the subject, similar perhaps to the first-aid and mapping pamphlets handed to prospective members. As a secondary matter, we may be able to get a Search-and-Rescue lecture on one of the forthcoming social nights.
I am open to suggestions for the safety awareness program, or even volunteers to take it over, should anyone feel strongly enough. One suggestion which has been made already is to conduct field safety sessions similar to the current map reading instructionals. This looks like being a good follow-up to the think-tank.
Subjects which I particularly want to cover in this series are:
* eye safety
* moving over rocks
* moving rocks
* the edges of the cliffs, viewpoints, etc.
* how to handle slippery rocks
* getting lost and its ramifications
* night movement and how to use torches
* planning your walk to finish in daylight
* anything else anybody thinks of
No safety program is going to stop accidents. To those who hope they will never get some bump or scrape in the bush, I recommend cowering in front of the television set. Accidents will not be stopped, because each danger must be recognised and dealt with on its merits, sometimes in a fraction of a second. No book of instructions can provide all the information required at the instant it is required.
The object of a safety awareness program is to make the participants aware that dangers exist, and to get them to look for the dangers so that they can be recognised in good time, and further, to make this a continuing process. Obviously, each danger must be a personal thing, and handled by the individual - for example, the higher you can lift your leg, the safer will be a rock climb.
In this series of articles, I will be presenting mainly my own views. These should be thought about and not taken as literal truth, because my views apply to myself and my own abilities. Think about them, and how you would modify them to suit yourself. The more you think about safety, the more you will automatically think about it, and thus the more aware you will be in those situations where you need to be.
I would also like to present the views of others, to provide more information and a better balance of viewpoints, so I would appreciate it if you would drop me a line at the Club address expressing your views. I would like to know your opinions on the first two subjects by the August general meeting, for inclusion in the next two issues of the magazine.
WALKS NOTICE - ALTERATION
Please note that the day walk to be led by Margaret Reid to Pindar Cave from Wondabyne will now go on 5th August instead of that shown on Walks Programme. The train time also is different. The altered trip is as follows:
Sunday 5th August: PINDAR CAVE - Wondabyne Station to Pindar Cave and return. 10 km EASY. Maps: Hawkesbury River, Trains 8.50 am (C) Leader: MARGARET REID (Contact in Clubroom). Join last carriage of train as Wondabyne platform is very short.
From Ian Debert
So much has been written about the fine exploits of Ensign Francis Barrallier and the more successful attempt of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth in crossing the Great Dividing Range one is apt to overlook the two earlier and almost successful undertakings of the two practically unheard of explorers, Wilson and Barracks. To Bush Walkers who revel in exploring new country and plunging into the wildest parts of our mountains it should be absorbingly interesting to have some knowledge of these early explorations. So let us step back into the pages of the past.
One hundred and forty one years ago a number of Irish prisoners at Parramatta had been led to believe that there was not so very far away, some 150 to 200 miles, a colony of white people blessed with an abundance of all sorts of provisions without the necessity of much laborious work in obtaining them. Finding it difficult to convince them to the contrary, Governor Hunter sensibly decided to allow them to go and see for themselves. He enabled them to select their own party and granted them full permission to attempt to reach this much talked of Eldorado. He sent some soldiers from Parramatta with them together with a guide named Wilson. Wilson was an ex-prisoner and had spent much time in the bush with the blacks, to whom he was known as Bunbodee. Reaching the foot of the mountains, approximately where the progressive town of Picton now stands, the Irish prisoners tired of their arduous task and decided to return. They were taken back to Parramatta by the soldiers.
In the party were two men of sterner qualifications, for Wilson, with dogged determination, preferred to continue on the journey and took with him a mere lad called Barracks. The first journey proved unsuccessful, for owing to the lack of food they were forced to return on 30th January, 1798, after reaching the Wollondilly River about a mile or two below the river's junction with the Wingecarribee. The river bank was very steep at this particular spot and Wilson proposed making a canoe. They were weak from lack of food, their feet were bruised and they were frightened they might not secure food to subsist on if they crossed the river.
Undaunted by the failure of the first attempt Wilson and Barracks, accompanied by a man named Collins, set out from Prospect on Friday, 9th March, 1798. When reading the records by the plucky lad Barracks, who after almost starving to death during the first journey was prepared to venture out again, we cannot fail to be impressed with the courage and energy of the early explorers.
On 14th March they discovered Picton lakes and continuing on a south westerly course over rugged country they sighted Mount Jellore on 17th March. The diary entry was as follows:
“Saturday, 17th. Course S.W. Still the same course. We saw an exceedingly high Mountain. We agreed to go for it, for Wilson told me that it was the highest mountain in all the country. In going to it we crossed a small river running through the mountains, bearing N.N.W. to S.S.E. The day being so far advanced, we could not get up and down while daylight, so we stopped under the hill till morning. The ground is covered with limestone and a kind of marble stone. We gathered some of these, which we put in our bags. Distance 7 miles.” (The small river running N.N.W. to S.S.E. was undoubtedly the Nattai River.)
On the Sunday they climbed to the top of Mount Jellore and wrote of the excellent view obtained from it. Those bushwalkers who have climbed the summit will agree with them. There is no doubt they were the first white men to put foot on Jellore. Later on, Sir Thomas Mitchell made a stay of six months on the top of the mountain, using it as an observatory whilst engaged in his map surveying. The excellent panoramic drawing he made from the summit will show how exact he was in all the work he undertook. (This particular drawing together with Barracks' records are available for those who wish to take the trouble to peruse them at the Mitchell Library.)
After leaving Jellore, Wilson and Barracks crossed the Wingecarribee near Berrima, climbed Gingenbullen then went to Marulan to the summit of Mount Towrang, 6 miles east of Goulburn. From here they saw the Goulburn Plains and discovered the upper reaches of the Wollondilly River and here once again the shortage of food forced them to return. It is regretted that such a courageous effort was not deserving of better success.
Do You Know? In 1891 Kanangra Walls were known as the Kowmung Walls and were alive with native bears and wild dogs.
Have You? Has anyone ever seen the aboriginal carvings under a rock shelter at the base of the precipitous Kanangra Walls edging the south-eastern arm of the Kowmung?
The above are from interesting newspaper cuttings in the Mitchell Library.
THE WARRUMBUNGLES Anyone who is interested in doing a trip to the Warrumbungles on the Bank Holiday Weekend in August, please contact Ian Debert Phone 6461569 (H).
by Peter Christian.
Chasing the hands of time whilst captive in the city,
Wishing my life away, awaiting the moment of release,
When feet skid on mountain trail, my lungs rejuvenated,
Flush back in my cheeks, once again my soul feels at ease.
I am labelled as footloose, an itinerant daydreamer.
What do I care if they dare to offend thy 'very god-send.
I have my love for creatures they kill for leisure, squash underfoot.
Intense perception and sensitivity are gifts I wisely spend.
My pulse quickens with eager anticipation,
My heart aches with painful deliveration
To be perched once more as hawk on distant craggy peak,
Head lost in the mist as bell-birds chime as since creation.
I age a few days till the freedom burns clear in my eyes.
I pack my home onto my shoulders, leave all hang-ups behind.
Friend at my side, we have our affair with our primeval past,
Sensing the reason for man's frail existence, endless Light within mind.
We merge on mystic moors when plant-life turns on its colors.
We bathe in bracing mountain pools and where the river blends the sea.
Footsteps fall silent in dark rainforest on springy carpet of moss and leaves.
We stand muted by towering turpentines whilst hidden by ferns so gently.
We rest our bones on grassy river flat and stoney mountain ridge,
The lyre-bird serenades us in early morn' and twilight time,
Raucous laughter and ribaldry abound 'round campfire glow,
We share unique comradeship and revel in such moments sublime.
The sheer joy of being alive, to see sunrays flood a fog-bound valley,
To stumble over an eerie moonscape, bathed in opalescent light,
To lie contented under rock overhang, night's mantle being drawn over,
Feel compassion for the aboriginals' country others abuse as “their” right.
So we're called eccentric, odd balls, really we feel quite normal,
But we're not puritans, nor fanatics as popular belief would proclaim.
We puff our pipes, down some ale, fruit of the vine without a wink.
A modest cup or two of tea is refreshing over flickering flame.
Despite all criticism, looks of wonderment and disdain,
Bushwalkin's quite beneficial, tones up saggy muscle and foggy brain.
“Harmful” side effects being stretched limbs, blister and shredded clothes.
It beats hands down “warming the couch” in sunshine, snow or rain.
Rather than be in the lap of luxury, I rough it out here,
Rather than let the pressure screw me, I keep my sanity,
No pills, mostly no fags or amber liquid, I'm addicted to the bush,
I get high without pot or speed, I take an overdose of serenity.
by Owen Marks.
Recently, during a gathering of intellectuals, Dot Butler said “Owen, why don't you write something for the magazine?”
“What subject, Dot?” I replied.
“Oh, on a subject that has never been written about before.”
Wow, that was a tall order. And so my course was clear. I put on my thinking-hat and hit upon a fine idea. No sooner thought than accomplished. Yes, that was it. I have never read any essay, article, or even a poem on the subject that I am now going to write about. It will be a world first. It will be on prints. Not picture prints, but imprints. Actually, footprints. Footprints? How can anybody write an article on footprints? Well, I shall in my humble way describe in stereophonic technicolour of how I have seen the footprints of the founders of three renowned religions, not to mention Wotan's horse.
Of course Wotan had a horse. In those far off days, everyone had a horse. Well, one day Wotan went for a gallop and on this particular journey he decided to have a quick trip to Valhalla to see a drinking pal. I'm not quite sure where he left from but on the way to Thule, which is the last stop before the Land of Ice and Fire (Brunnhilde's territory), he landed at Dettifoss.
Dettifoss is in the north of Iceland and to this day his footprint can be seen. He must have landed at 5000 mph because a depression 1/4 mile across and some couple of hundred feet deep is carved out of the hard lava. A river flows across the arid landscape and comes to the head of the footprint and falls with a mighty roar to the valley floor in an unbroken flow. Today you drive up the narrow canyon and park your car at the beginning of his hoof. You walk in the deafening damp and try to get the fervour of the Saxon past. Maybe it was the lack of people but, alas, no religious feeling came upon me. (The Vikings put all sorts of meanings into the mist-enshrouded rocks and waterfalls.) I have had much more feelings of awe and holiness in other places where there are crowds. I have seen the Goddess Durga, a most violent Hindu deity being reincarnated in the form of an Amritsar mad woman who was screaming in Bedlam-like manner, holding a hose and spraying coloured water over a wild mob of Indians, and they weren't all peasants, either. Nothing like shared mania l I don't know the name of Wotan's horse, but he must have been rather large. (Maybe he flew over Central Australia and left Ayres Rock as a reminder. Who knows?)
Let's move 'swiftly to Ceylon. Adam's Peak is the next scene in my yarn. There, set amidst tropical jungles and tea plantations, can be seen a staircase winding up and up. For fully 5,000ft is a remarkable path. About 10ft wide, divided by a fence into an up and down traffic, and at night lit by a feeble 40 watt light every 100ft or so. Three-quarters of the way up is a Government Feeding Station, ie. subsidized food consisting of boiled rice and gravy with bananas. (There was food rationing in those days, which made the above meal the equivalent to Maxims in Paris.) There was a shelter shed for the pilgrims and there we all slept. Incidentally, George and Helen Gray, Marion Lloyd and Frank Taeker were with me. All pilgrims at heart but not a bit dedicated. We intended to see the sunrise from the peak and hoped to be off at 3am like all the local Ceylonese. Alas, we awoke at dawn and didn't reach the top until mid-morning.
At the top in a little temple is the footprint of Buddha, with priests and music in attendance. On a rough outcrop of rock, the actual peak, surrounded by a 3 inch wall of concrete edging, is what we came to see. I looked at an uneven piece of rock and could quite plainly see nothing. Neither could any of us. What we didn't realise was that the concrete wall was the outline of the actual footprint. About 5ft long by 2.5ft and shaped like an oval with flattened tops and irregular and uneven sides. I remarked to the attending priest that Buddha had large feet, and he replied that everything about Buddha was large. I went outside and wondered how anybody could believe that a Hindu prince had feet that big? Not to worry, as the view from the top of one of Ceylon's highest mountains is just wonderful. You can see the ocean from both sides (on a fine day we were assured) and immediately below was a large lake formed by the hydro-electric scheme of which they are justifiably proud. Jungle encroached right up to the edge and as the heat was starting to build up we started our 2,000ft descent. We passed a postman who makes his rounds to the summit daily. This postie must be the fittest postie in the world.
I read later in an old journal that the footprint was in reality Adam's (Eve's Adam). Buddha came after so they must have usurped the tradition. But if it was Adam's, then why don't we as his descendants have feet 5ft long? I must mention that to the Pope on my next visit to Rome as on my last visit my mind was diverted by other matters.
If you are wondering where the third footprint is, and whose, don't fret! The same footprint works for the Hindus too - it is Vishnu's. One thing that can be said for certain is - this site the Arabs and Jews are not going to fight over.
by Henry Gold and Peter Prineas - Kailana Press – pp 112 by Marie B. Byles.
If you want a really delightful book I strongly recommend this. Not only are the photos superb and the text amazingly well written, but the whole set up holds your attention from start to finish, something that cannot be said of many books of a similar nature. Fortunately, Mr. Paul Landa had granted the wilderness reserve before the second edition of this book was released from the press.
My parents used to take us tramping through the pathless Wollangambe country when we stayed at Mount Irvine in the teens, and when we had once made the acquaintance of this country we went to no other for our midwinter holidays. We did have a map of a sort, but sometimes the streams ran the wrong way! The first bushwalker to introduce the Colo to the bushwalkers was Dorothy Lawry in the thirties, I think.
But get the book and read it and you will see just what a gift Mr. Paul Landa has given to us.
by Jim Brown.
In his safety notes in this issue Len Newland lists most of the known walking hazards, and ends with “anything else anyone can think of”.
Well - what about the risk of being a Committee Member? As at the July General Meeting we had:
I. President Fazeley just recovering from a leg broken by a rolling stone in Allyn River (but certainly not a Broken Read). 2. Secretary Sheila - fractured rib - argument with a chair - (NOT while watching TV safely). 3. Membership Bloke John Redfern - still suffering from an arm injured in a fall in Barber's Creek. 4. Walks Secretary Spiro - damaged leg - skiing mishap.
Fascinated, by this coincidence we canvassed Asst. Secretary Barbara Bruce and Vice Pres. Len Newland (Mr. Safety himself) and enquired if they considered themselves likely to be the next Club Officer to succumb. Barbara argued with some validity that she'd had her turn - a good crop of abrasions on a Wollangambe River walk, and a finger still giving trouble. Len (rather piously we believe) pins his faith for immunity on a finger injured about two years back.
This, however, still leaves quite a few Committee people who may meet a rolling rock with their number on it.
August 3, 4, 5 BLUE MTNS - Mystery walk LEADERS HELEN GRAY 866263
Sun 5 MITTAGONG - Mt Jellore - Jellore Creek - Nattai River 12 km MEDIUM TRADER: Bob YOUNGER 571158 (H)
Sun 5 THE FORTRESS - Mt Hay Rd - Fortress Ridge - Fortress Hill - Fortress Ck Mt Hay Rd 12 km MEDIUM Map: Katoomba. A good solid day test walk just north of Leura - good bush scenery and some ups and downs. LEADER: VICTOR LEWIN 504096 (H)
10,11, 12 NEWNES BASE CAMP: 1. Peatree Gully - escarpment - Pipe Line pass 10 km MEDIUM 2. Exploration Sthn. Escarpment Wolgan Valley - 10 km MEDIUM Maps: Mt. Morgan/ Ben Bullen 1.2500 LEADER: RAY TURTON 5296500 (H) & (B) Ring before 7.00 p m.
Sun 12 BRISBANE WATERS NATIONAL PARK: Hawkesbury River - launch to Wobby - the Palisaacs Rocky Ponds - Tunnel Hill - Wondabyne. 14 km MEDIUM Maps: Broken Bay/Gosford 1.63360 Train 8.48 (C) Tickets to Wondabyne. A most pleasant day trip offering beautiful coast and bushland scenery. LEADER: JIM BROWN 812675 (H)
Sun 12 PINDAR CAVES: Wondabyne Station - Kariong Ridge - Pindar Caves 10 km EASY Map: Hawkesbury River Trains 8.30 (C) LEADER: MARGARET REID (Contact in Clubroom).
17,18, 19 BINDOOK Barrallier - Murruin Ck -Bindook - the Plateau - Tomat Ck - Wollondilly Riv - Barrallier 25km MEDIUM Map: Bindook A most scenic two day test walk - some rock hopping and a steep but easy climb up to Bindook, spectacular views over Mt Colong to the Wild Dog Mts and a steep descent down to the Wollondilly River, which will have to be crossed once. LEADER: IAN DEBERT 6461569 (H).
Sun 19 SPRINGWOOD: Martin's Lookout - Bunyan Ck - Bunyan Lookout - St Helena - Western Ck - Martin's Lookout 18 km MEDIUM Maps: Penrith/Springwood. Another great test walk in the Lower Blue Mts. LEADER: LEN NEWLAND 432419 (B).
Sun 19 WATERFALL: Couranga Ridge - Forest track - Lime Stone Caves - Hioka Ridge - Uloola Falls - Karloo Pool - Heathcote 15 km MEDIUM/EASY Maps Port Hacking Very good track walking, lush green forests, swimming if desired. LEADER: PETER CHRISTIAN (Contact in Clubroom).
24,25,26 ETTREMA: Ettrema Plateau - Monkey Ropes Ck - (Dry Abseil) - Moore's Ck – Pretty Plain - Ettrema Plateau 30 km MED/HARD Map: Touga 1.31680 Harder than test walk standard. Some dry abseiling (rope descent) in the spectacular and rugged Ettrema area west of Nowra. LEADER: PETER HARRIS 8887316 (H).
Sun 26 WATERFALL: Kangaroo Ck - Karloo Pool - Heathcote 10 km MEDIUM Map: Port Hacking Train: 8.45 (C) LEADER: SHEILA BINNS 7891854 (H)
Sun 26 GROSE VALLEY: Govett's Leap - Grose River - Victoria Falls. 18 km MEDIUM Maps: Katoomba/Mt Wilson 1.31680 A most invigorating day test walk with beautiful valley and river scenery, some ups and downs. LEADER: JOE MARTON 6387353 (H).
Aug. 31, Sept 1, 2: NTH BUDAWANGS: Wog Wog Station - Monolith Valley - the Castle - return 35 km MEDIUM Good open plateau walking, sensational views from Castle over Byangee Walls. Mt Pidgeon House to the coast. LEADER: GORDON LEE 6426448 (H)