Established June 1931
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 7.30 pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St.Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Ann Ravn, Telephone 798,8607.
|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||Phil Butt|
|Cold and Wet||George Gray||2|
|The July General Meeting||Jim Brown||4|
|Eastwood Camping Centre Ad||6|
|George Gray, the Pope and Calendar Reform||Owen Marks||7|
|Travelling with Children in India - Part 5||Marcia Shappert||9|
|“Have a Sardine and Jam Sandwich” She Said||Peter Harris||13|
|Bee Walking||David Cotton||14|
|“The Hero of Waterloo”||Dot Butler||15|
|Letter to the Editor||Frank Rigby||16|
|Social Notes for September||Peter Miller||16|
Protective clothing and sporting equipment have changed radically with the advent of synthetic polymers.
Our mountains can be both wet and cold. This is an insidious combination because it requires clothes designed to compromise between waterproofing and high insulation. Wind and rain can produce surprisingly low temperatures - a 15 mph breeze of air at 10°C will cool a climber as effectively as still air at -13°C. If the walker's clothing is rainsoaked so that its insulating properties are lost, he may be in serious trouble. Serious walkers carry waterproof outer “shell” clothing - usually poor insulators - all year. Plastics guarantee waterproofing, at least while the garment is reasonably new. Their impermeability to moisture vapour and not just rain means that a person making his way up a mountain on a wet day will still arrive at the summit drenched - with sweat. Aesthetics apart, the climber is in danger from exhaustion and the impaired insulation of his wet underclothes.
All woven fabrics are “macroporous” - their pores are 100 micrometres or larger. Climbers can waterproof such materials by treating them with either waxes or silicone aerosol sprays. Unfortunately, the proofing has a limited life and even when new does not keep out driving rain indefinitely. If, however, the walker could make his outer shell clothing microporous, with pore sizes of the order of 1 micrometre, it would keep out even the smallest droplets of water in its condensed phase.
There is a practical microporous fabric, made by the British company, W. L. Gore and Associates. Called Goretex, this material is a laminated fabric with protective outer layers of macroporous nylon sandwiching a thin membrane of expanded polytetrafluro ethylene (PTE). The PTFE layer is highly hydrophobic, that is, water repellent or, literally, “water-hating”). Microporous clothing might seem to have all the answers, but the wearer will be comfortable only if the fabric can maintain a vapour pressure below saturation. Goretex fabric when wet has a vapour transmission rate of 11000 g/sq.m/day compared with the 74 g/sq.m/day of water vapour that nylon treated with polyurethane passes.
The affluent walker can now purchase comfortable clothing in which he will not sweat. However, waterproofing still hinges upon how well the garment manufacturer has made the seams. In continuous immersion on bad days on the hills, water can get in by capillary action - “wicking” along stitching or under capes. Manufacturers need to combine ultrasonic welding with reinforcing and Neoprene tape inside the garment to keep the wearer dry.
Throughout history two natural materials have dominated in insulation. Down (feather) and wool are both made up of molecules of the fibrous protein keratin. Down has a high tensile strength allowing it to resist repeated compression, while its high volume to weight ratio enables light down-filled clothing or sleeping bags to trap thick layers of air. This property is known as “loft”. Wool too has impressive insulating features. The fibres are highly resilient and are microscopically toothed, slowing the speed that air can move in or out of the material. Both down and wool rapidly deteriorate if they are not cared for. Dampness quickly destroys the insulating properties of down and the progressive loss of the oils which cover both wool and feather in their natural setting means that water is increasingly adsorbed by the hydrophillic proteins. Down “clumps” in wet sleeping bags and wool acts like a sponge which can literally weigh the “all-wool” walker down.
Early contenders as synthetic insulators were polyester fillings for jackets and sleeping bags. Polyester is more efficient than down when wet, but needs much more weight for the same insulation. Convection currents are the cause of most heat loss in fibre-filled garments. The best insulator would be a closed-cell foam material of the type used in insulating sleeping mats. This material is obviously impractical in garments because it is stiff and uncomfortable - it transmits no water vapour. But the way to stop convection currents is to baffle them. This can be done best by drastically reducing the diameter of the conventional fibre fillings. Finer fibres will pack to form smaller air spaces and minimise the convection within a filled garment. The 3M company of the US recently announced just such a filling; its new “Thinsulate” is composed of polyolefin microfibres in a matrix that provides a high frictional drag on enclosed air and leads to impressive insulating properties. A thinner barrier of microfibre than down gives equal warmth. This means that the final weights of filled garments or sleeping bags could very easily be comparable for the natural and synthetic insulators.
And something to think about. How would you like to have a sleeping bag about half the weight of that which you now use, and still have the same warmth? The underside of your sleeping bag is nearly useless because down squashed flat by your weight has little insulating air left in it. If your closed cell foam mat could be attached to the top half of a sleeping bag in a way that excluded gaps around the edges, then the problem might well be solved. New developments in fibre pile could lead to even better substitutes for the “foamy”.
(Editor's Note. And keep your hat on when travelling in Northern India I was amazed to see that people who owned only one shawl, or even rag, would wrap it around their heads when the temperature dropped. About 25% of the body's heat loss occurs through the head, a fact that the no-hat generations of Australia don't realise anymore.)
Ashfield Town Hall - Friday, 9th October.
$6 Single - 7.30 pm to I am.
B.O.G. Ladies bring plate - men bring drinks.
S.B.W. contact: Barbara Bruce - Phone 669,0411 Ex.550 or 546,6570 (H).
by Jim Brown.
Although quite a lot of the best people were away (probably blizzard-bound), including the normal political roundsman, there was still a reasonable assemblage of about 35 when Spiro, deputising for the President, opened proceedings at 8.20 pm.
Two new members were greeted - Ralph Penglis and Fred Kelly - and it may be noted that the slow hand-clapping, which sometimes has a totally different implication, is an affectionate gesture at S.B.W. meetings. However Spiro detained one of the newcomers in private converse so long that we began to wander if he was reading the list of members that he presented.
After that, things went along at a heady pace, while Minutes were read and confirmed, and in Correspondence we had an acknowledgement from the Parks & Wildlife Service of our representative on the management proposals for the Budawangs portion of Morton National Park. It also mentioned that a meeting of interested parties would be held at Nowra on Saturday 18th July, and some concern was expressed that our Conservation Secretary, Alex Colley, would not be back from Northern Australia in time to attend. Since our main expressed attitude had to do with access, Peter Franks as Tracks and Access Officer in Federation, indicated he could probably substitute at the meeting if necessary. Correspondence also contained some brochures from the Hawkesbury River Association.
In matters fiscal we heard that the $1000 investment approved in May had been undertaken and the resultant balance at the end of June was $1916 in the Club's general working account. Coolana funds were unchanged at $50.
The Walks Secretary was amongst those missing, it appeared at first that we should not have a report. Presently, however, Don Cornell, who produced a copy of the Walks Programme was persuaded to cite date, leader and trip, while any information available was given by leaders or participants. After a false start an a week-end presented at the last meeting, we heard that the abseiling practice at Kanangra, logged for June 12-14th failed for lack of customers, while Brian Hart's exploratory walk in Watagan State Forest had only two starters. Some interesting country was covered; but the trip was slightly curtailed when the other member suffered sore feet. Three day walks were listed for 14th June, Roy Braithwaite conducting 16 along the coast trail from Lilyvale to Bundeena, where they were outdistanced by some whales (the whales were on a parallel route at sea, of course). Jo Van Sommers had a party of over 20 into the Dharug National Park. No information was available about the West Head walk.
For the ensuing week-end Gordon Lee inherited the cross-country skiing instructional owing to Mark Dabb's leg injury. Conditions were almost perfect and the party (number not quoted) thoroughly enjoyed the good weather. Don Finch had 10 or 12 people out on a satisfying Budawangs trip, but rain in and around Sydney on the Saturday and Sunday morning inhibited the day walks. Jim Laing's trip on Narrow Neck had five starters, but was aborted because of soggy conditions at Wall's Pass.
Meryl Watman in the Heathcote National Park had five people up to lunch time and seven thereafter. The scrub was damp, but no fresh rain fell during the trip.
On the 26-28th June week-end, there was Bob Younger's Nattai River trip, described as a “pleasant amble” with 15 starters, and warmed at night by generously fuelled camp fires. Jim Percy's seven starters struck some misty rain on his Cox's River - Yellow Dog journey, but conditions improved later in the week-end. Gordon Lee held his rock-climbing and abseiling practice at Wahroonga and was “inundated” with 12 novices on Saturday, and 14 on Sunday. However two of the Sunday group were able to take part in the instruction. Gordon expressed deep appreciation of the climbing gear made available for such exercises by member Ric King. Both day walks were well-supported, Sheila Binns having a party ranging between 11 and 15 as its elements coalesced or separated out, while Ainslie Morris conducted 16 over the first programmed trip along the Lands Department's Benowie Trail on Berowra Creek. An early start allowed coverage of the estimated 20 km trip from Berowra to Hornsby and members present agreed it was of test walk calibre.
The final week-end to consider had another cross-country ski instructional and Laurie Quaken reported about 9 attending, with a trip from Perisher to the Chalet in roughish weather on Saturday, and a sortie towards Twynam in better conditions on Sunday. Base was at Sawpit Creek. Don and Jenny Cornell had seven folk in the Cox River country, striking showery conditions an the Saturday. In gloriously clear, slightly windy conditions, the two day walks on the near south coast brought out quite good gatherings, 12 1/2 to Burning Palms with Kath Brown (the 1/2 being an 8-year old lad), and 20 on the Bundeena - Otford canter with Peter Dyce. Some even braved the icy ocean for a dip, while one became detached at Wattamolla. No report of whales this time - you really can't bank on them.
Spiro had presented earlier a summary of events at the June Federation meeting, including the return to the fold of two Clubs which had been deleted as unfinancial some time previously. The only contentious issue was the question of providing funds for an Environmental Impact Study of the proposed Bird's Rook Colliery on mountains north of Lithgow and above the Wolgan valley. Finally Spiro undertook to gather further data and bring the matter forward at the August meeting.
Having got out of the habit, your deputy reporter failed to note the finishing time of the meeting, but it was quite early.
Helen Rowan and Brian Goldstraw who were married on 15th August.
by Owen Marks.
Recently in last April's edition of the S.B.W. magazine there was a most useless article on Dates for Easter for the next hundred years or so (now we know what George Gray does with his computer!), but it made me think of a promise I made in a previous article, and that was to write about Calendar Reform - so here goes!
“Why bother to make a new calendar at all?” you may ask. At the present time a simple thing like your own birthday falls on a different day each year, but a new calendar would be perpetual. The movable feast of Easter is obviously in need of reform. If Jesus was born on a fixed day, why didn't he die on one too? I wish someone would explain it to me. But fixing a permanent date for Easter is not really bound up with a national concept for calendar reform. No, that lies with the Christian churches to solve for themselves or for Governments to force on their own churches under their own dominions. Unlikely, but who would have forecast the actions of Queen Elizabeth I's father?
When Napoleon changed the order in France his metrical calendar reform failed because people couldn't get used to NOT having a seven-day week. Neither would we. Our present calendar is made up of odd months of different days with the first half of the year having 181 days (182 in leap years) and the second half having 184. The number of days to a month is quite unimportant and I don't think that anybody would be concerned if, in our present calendar, April had 31 or March 30.
Below is how the NEW WORLD CALENDAR would look and how it would work:.
January, April, July. October
February, May, August, November
March, June, September, December
Each quarter would have the same number of days, the same for each half year and there would be 364 days in the year. The additional day would be squeezed in between the 30th December and the 1st January and be a W (WORLD) day. Every four years an L (LEAP) day would be placed after June 30. Obviously the W day would be a world day to celebrate the new year and the L day, which has to be placed somewhere, either after W day or after June 30, would also be a world-wide national holiday. Or some-such.
Can you see anything wrong with such a scheme? Of course there is, but it is not insurmountable. At the end of every year there would be an 8-day week and the same for the leap year day every four years, and the Sabbath would fall behind. The only organizations that would be against it in a loud voice, would be those religions that have a Sabbath day to keep holy or to be more accurate, those that have a holy day every 7 days, i.e. only the Jews, Muslims and Christians. Don't laugh or be fazed by numbers. Read on…
The Muslim calendar in use at present is solely lunar, and that means that a particular event wanders through the seasons…. 12 months of 28 days, lunation equals 336 days. In offices and consulates you can see two calendars hanging up, but the Friday is always on the seventh day.
The Jewish calendar has 12 lunar months and every so often an extra month is added. When you go to Israel, you can see their lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar as well on the walls. Last month the Israeli Government wouldn't even pass a daylight saving act of one hour, because it would interfere with the Sabbath. The same weird argument like the extra hour of sunlight fading the curtains. So both the Muslim and Jewish cultures with their calendars don't have to tie in with the Great Western Calendar… either the old Gregorian or the proposed New World Calendar.
What would the Christian churches do? There are so many of them that it is extremely unlikely that they could, or would want to, agree with anything that their rivals would suggest. You may remember the cry “Give us back our eleven days” when England suddenly adopted the Gregorian calendar. It was only because of catholic Europe that England out of spite refused to adopt it earlier, and don't let us forget the fact that it was not until the middle of the 18th century that England adopted January 1st as New Year's Day instead of March 25th.
Luckily the Pope made things easy a few months ago when he broke one of the Ten Commandments, and quite fortunately, it was the one that suits my argument. I don't know how come our newspapers haven't noticed it, anyway you are reading it here for the first time. The Pope, after celebrating the Sabbath in Japan, flew via Alaska and on to Rome for Lent where he obviously celebrated the next Sabbath just 6 days later. The International Date Line made him lose a day. Did that concern him? I don't know, of course, and I hope his attempted assassination wasn't retribution from God, for His ways are mysterious at times. So if the Pope can have a 6-day week, his church can have one too or even an 8-day week! The Sabbath is obviously where the local community is celebrating it. This must occur every time an ordained priest, rabbi, etc. cross from here to America, and without thinking they fit in with the next community's Sabbath whether it is only 6 of 8 days after the previous one. It mustn't be too irreligious to break the Sabbath law or otherwise millions and millions of tourists would be struck dead when going to church on the wrong day.
The rest of the world would naturally follow the New Calendar. Billions of Chinese, Japanese and Indians have no Sabbath concept, although in present times they have Sundays off from work, and this must be just a day of rest introduced from our cultures.
There have been many books written on the subject which you can find in your local library, describing other alternative calendars, reasons for and against. I hope that there are not too many errors in the figures or dates, etc, as this article has been done at one sitting, at work and without any reference books. It is purely an exercise in filling in time.
Incidentally, in a science programme recently on the A.B.C. I heard that some time this year one second is to be added or subtracted at midnight to balance the calendar with modern technology. Imagine, the Earth is out of balance with the cosmos.
(Owen Marks - President of the Hastings Parade Bondi Beach Branch of the Calendar Reform Society, Australian Section. Southern Hemisphere Division.)
by Marcia Shappert.
We somehow survived customs in Trivandrum. We arrived back in India on the day of New Year's Eve. We checked into the Hotel Armitha, where we had stayed before we went to Sri Lanka.
We had been promising the children we would take them to an Indian movie, and finally the chance arrived. The movie was billed as “Special Musical Entertainment”. The three hour movie cost 35c each (for the dress circle seats) and was typical in the theme - the eternal triangle, plus singing and some violence. The Indians all seemed to love it, and although we couldn't understand a word that was being said, we got the drift of the story and enjoyed it too. I had told the kids that if they didn't like it we would leave at the half, but they wanted to see the whole thing. Movies are not rated there as they are here for parental guidance, and all ages attend, but the violence didn't seem to bother anyone.
We went back to our room and celebrated New Year's Eve with a cool drink and were in bed by 10 pm.
Walking to the movie from our hotel we passed by an elevated bridge, under which at least 60 people were living - existing is more the word for it. It was obvious that it wasn't a temporary thing. I heard the cry of what sounded like a very young baby and I thought how lucky we were to have our children here in Australia, with some sort of future open to them. I suppose that if you lived under a bridge all your life, you might hope your children could improve themselves enough to at least get a roof over their heads. Very depressing.
The next morning we caught a bus to Kovalam Beach for the day. Living so close to the beach in Sydney, we said we wouldn't bother with the beaches, but we were drawn to them and always enjoyed them. There is a very Western hotel complex at Kovalam. PJ and Craig rented a small sailboat for $3.00 for the afternoon. The Indians all swam in their underpants or fully clothed. It was interesting to watch. One thing we really remember here were the icy-cold coconuts (12c each) We had when we arrived. They must have had a huge fridge to keep them all in.
We had a late lunch at the Kovalam Hotel for $19.00!! We didn't feel any more full than we did at our favourite Braham restaurant where we had had breakfast for the four of us for $1.65. That's what you get for going to Western places.
We were up at 6 the next morning to catch a 7 am tour to Cape Comorin, the most southerly point in India. The bus stopped at a restaurant for breakfast. Of the six things we ordered they got five wrong, so we ended up with coffee and tea only. The tour took us back to Kovalam where we watched the fishermen hauling in huge U-shaped nets for about 40 minutes before we had to return to the bus. (That's the trouble with bus tours - it's always time to go when something interesting is happening.) We arrived at Cape Comorin about 1.45 pm after stopping at a few temple complexes an the way. We were free to roam until 6 pm when the bus left. This is one of the few spots in the world where you can watch the sun rise and set from the same place, so we were really looking forward to the sunset. The Cape is a 'hole' of a place, with few redeeming features. Sleazy food stalls and cheap souvenirs was the name of the game. There is a memorial to Ghandi there which could be described as architectural hodge-podge. I've never seen such an ugly building in my life. I even had to take a picture of it to prove how ugly it was.
We walked along the beach, sat and watched the fisherman (their boats were just logs tied together, really primitive). We took a ferry boat out to the rock shrine and got back about 5 pm. Had a quick cuppa and settled down to watch the sunset. Hawkers trying to sell all sorts of junk. One girl about 14 years old really got my goat. When I said I didn't want to buy what she was selling, she said “10 Rs, that's only $1. What's that to you?” It mattered not to her that had she been giving it to me I would have refused it - it was such junk. We sat and waited for the sunset, but unfortunately it was so cloudy we never got to see it. So we had spent the whole day on a lousy bus tour and didn't even see the sunset. The tour cost $2.50 each for a 12-hour tour. The day was redeemed by having dinner at our favourite Braham restaurant. We had become familiar in the restaurant by this time and people smiled at us as we came in. What a wonderful place.
We spent our last morning in Trivandrum at the zoo. Quite a nice one. There were signs all over saying “Don't tease the animals”, and yet the attendants would deliberately do this (poking the animals with sticks, etc) for money, so some Indian with a camera could get a photo of an animal 'in action'.
We got back to the hotel about 12.45 to pick up our packs and decided to have lunch at the hotel restaurant to save time. We ordered at 1 pm and were told it would take about half an hour before it was served. By 1..45 (our bus left at 2.30) we asked again. Finally Craig and I got our meals, but PJ and Jenny didn't get theirs until after 2 pm. They literally gulped it down so we could catch a taxi to the bus station - we made it with 10 minutes to spare. The bus conductor tried charging us fall fare for PJ even though when we bought the ticket the day before we were told he was half fare. We didn't pay the extra fare, but it was a hassle.
We were taking the bus from Trivandrum to Madurai, our longest bus ride, about 6 hours. We had tried booking a room from Trivandrum for Madurai, as it was the first day of a 'World Tamil Conference'. We were told that hotels wouldn't take advance bookings, but because we would be arriving about 8 pm we would have no trouble getting a place. About 6.30 pm the bus broke down in the middle of nowhere, and we sat there for about 3 hours with nothing to eat or drink. At one stage a man pedalled out from somewhere with ice cream for sale. His stock quickly sold out. Finally about 9.30 we got going again, but the driver wouldn't stop at the next town so we could get something to eat. When he finally stopped (for 10 minutes) we quickly bought some cookies, fruit and a bag of candy. It was impossible to sleep on the bus - they left the inside lights on and the road was so terrible that it was a very rough ride. Somehow PJ and Jenny managed to get some sleep. We finally reached Madurai at 2.45 am.
We had been talking with a young English fellow and when we reached Madurai we decided to all stay together. Kevin said he found some fellows who knew where rooms were available, so went with them in two trishaws. Craig and Kevin were going to share one room and the kids and I the other. When we got to the hotel, there were no rooms available. They said to try another place and so we went on until about 4.30 am, when we decided just to spread out our rain capes on the street and sit and rest. I was amazed at the number of people on the streets at that time of night. We had stopped at one stall for some coffee and it was packed. I guess if you don't have a place to sleep/live, the streets are where you spend your time. Of course, we attracted a lot of attention. They just couldn't believe that Europeans would sleep on the streets like they do! The owner of the stall across from where we were sitting came over and told me I shouldn't let my child Sleep on the street, but must find a bed for her. When I told him we hadn't been able to find rooms, he just shook his head and walked away.
Kevin and PJ said they would continue looking for rooms. They came back about 5.30 am to say they had asked at a hospital if we could stay there. They were told we could sleep on the floor in the out-patients department. We settled down on the floor there about 6 am. (The worst toilet we found on the entire trip was at this hospital. It was beyond belief). At 6.45 they woke us up to say we had to move because the patients were starting to come, but we could sleep in another spot - which we did until 7.30 when they said we would have to go - the space was required. When we got up we noticed that we had been sleeping at the bottom of a spiral staircase. Now it was lined to the top with curious Indian faces, all watching us. The guards (armed) had watched us and our things to make sure no one disturbed us. We really appreciated them letting us sleep there.
We all took a taxi to a big hotel and had a lovely breakfast - we felt we deserved it after no dinner the night before and very little sleep. Toast and jam never tasted so good.
Even this hotel (the most expensive in Madurai) was full, so we enquired about a flight back to Madras - it was obvious we weren't going to find a room. There was a special flight going back to Madras so we made reservations on that for 11.30 am. I was really disappointed as I had especially wanted to see the temple complex here. I had saved my temple viewing for here and now I was going to miss out.
We bid farewell to Kevin (he was meeting his brother in Madurai) and headed for the airport. We arrived in Madras half an hour later and fell into bed at the hotel. I had come down with a terrible cold and was feeling really crook. The hotel we were staying in was very noisy, so the next morning we transferred to the Hotel Savera - very Western and plush, but just what we needed at that point. The kids enjoyed the swimming pool and I enjoyed the hot shower and room service.
We took a tour to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram and enjoyed the temples and scenery. Kanchipuram is a typically rural town of South India. The mud streets are dotted with groups of people winding and sorting thread - this is a big weaving centre - amidst a kaleidoscope of animals, women carrying brass pots to the well, trishaws and holy men with ash-covered faces. It is one of the group of seven holy places which an ardent Indian pilgrim will try to cover on his crusade around India. Most of the temples date back to the 8th century.
Mahabalipuram is famous for its Shore Temple and enormous carved monuments called rathas. Each ratha is carved, decorated,sculptured and hollowed out so that it seems more like a decorated building than a work of art carved from solid stone.
We sent a message to the family we met in Madras the first time, and the husband came to see us at the hotel. We gave him the calculator as we had promised and he was overjoyed. He told us that we had brought him luck when we visited them at their house and he had just been hired for a job in Lybia and would be getting about $000 a month there. A truly phenomenal sum to him. He invited us back to his house, but we declined as he had told us his son had typhoid fever. He brought his wife to visit us the next morning. She is such a lovely person and I really enjoyed seeing her again. She said, “We have walked past the Savera Hotel all our lives. Who would have ever thought we could get inside.” We had ordered tea from room service and they were amazed at this.
The kids wanted to see another Indian Movie, but this time an 'action-packed' one. We saw 'Qubane', which certainly had lots of action. Lots of car chases, fights, etc. but also lots of singing and the eternal triangle. We loved every minute of it. In the first movie we saw, no English was spoken at all. In 'Qubane' all the swear words were in English. Interesting.
Our flight back to Bombay was late (as usual) so we didn't reach there until 2.30 am. I had developed a boil under my arm and was in real pain, so we spent the next day just resting around the pool. The hotel was right on the beach with a high wall around it. The children had pony rides on the beach and watched all the acts put on. After one act, a little girl was attached to a long pole and lifted up to the wall so she could ask for money.
Our flight back to Australia was long and crowded. When we reached Perth Craig bought us all a glass of cold milk, something we really missed in India.
The trip was a good chance for the children to get to see how other people live. They found that even though they couldn't speak the language they still could enjoy people and have fun with them.
Our fifth week was a bit of a disaster. If we had left after Sri Lanka and the fourth week, we would have had a perfect trip. The fifth week was an 'experience'.
The trip cost us $1800 plus air fares. Most of the money went on taxis. When I had travelled there before I could split the taxi fares with other people. This time we had to pay the whole slug. Petrol is very expensive there, and getting from the airport to the city was always very expensive. Also, the children didn't walk as much as I had on past trips. We had always walked everywhere, now we were taking taxis or motorized trishaws. We didn't buy many souvenirs. The trip was well worth every penny, though. Now, when I ask PJ if he'd like to go back to India, he says, “Yes, sometime. But I'd rather go to Disneyland”. I plan an going pack again sometime and I'm sure the kids will come along.
by Peter Harris.
I saw her prepare it. But it didn't really register till after she'd eaten it. And my stomach gave a quiet heave. I experienced that awful 'welling' sensation in the throat - like just before being physically ill. I couldn't believe it.
There she goes again - I wasn't seeing things at all! Four crushed sardine carcasses, withered and putrid, reposing headless on top of a slice of buttered, stale, oil-soaked bread, slightly mouldy on one corner.
Oh God, it's true. I shuddered as she reached for the jar of strawberry jam. The poor unfortunate sardines were buried and broken beneath a gooey, sticky, oozing film of “Mother Macguires Best Strawberry Jam (Scottish style)”. Even my bowels contracted. Was she going to actually lift that nauseating, revolting sandwich to her face, or was it just a joke for my benefit? My question was answered and I sat wide-eyed and gaping, as her jaws opened to receive this dripping, reeking sacrifice.
She smiled at me as she chewed a mouthful, then commented about how quiet was the forest today. I told her that her sandwich was dripping strawberry jam and sardine oil onto her walk shorts, as I suppressed wave after wave of rising vomit, and mentally calculated how far was the nearest tree, because a dash behind it was imminent. Or was the lake any closer?
I couldn't eat any more of my own lunch, so I offered it to her.
“I'll trade,” she said. “Have a sardine and jam sandwich?” That was it. I was ill. I didn't reach the lake - I didn't reach the tree. I didn't even get up to my feet. I just vomited all over my own rucksack, vowing that in future I would check out everybody's lunch before accepting them on anywalk.
This experience occurred near Sabine Hut, Lake Rotorua, Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand, at 12.47 pm precisely on 22nd April 1981. The lady shall remain nameless to protect her good name.
by David Cotton.
On Sunday, 17th May, 6 people and 2 children attended a Bee Walk at Darkes Forest.
Bee Walks incorporate a nature study session of the honey bee, including a practical demonstration of opening up a bee-hive, together with a short walk in the pleasant surrounding bushland.
Honey bees represent one of the great wanders of the insect world, and even a rudimentary understanding of their activities and function indicates beyond any question of doubt, the design of Nature is perfect.
Honey, which is basically the carbohydrate component of the bees' food (pollen is their source of protein), is also a wonder food for man. Honey consists mainly of two natural hexose sugars, laevulose (fructose) and dextrose (glucose) together with an infinite variety of vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, minerals and trace elements. Whilst these constituents represent relatively minor quantities, they collectively add valuable nutrients to our daily requirements. The natural sugars of honey, requiring no digestion, provide a valuable source of instant energy as they are absorbed directly into the blood. The sugars of honey being monosaccharides or reducing sugars cannot be stored in the body, honey is therefore non-fattening. Honey is truly a wonder food - Nature's liquid gold.
One of the major drawbacks in the acceptance of natural honey is its lack of uniformity. The characteristics of natural honey direct from the hive vary in flavour from very light to very strong, in colour from as black as coal to as clear as water, in density from as thick as tar to as thin as water, and in aroma from very strong to very light. Natural honey can therefore be any combination of the above characteristics, dependant entirely upon the floral sources from which the nectars were collected.
The infinite variety of natural honey available is the cause of much confusion resulting in a greater preference for the more uniform mass produced processed, refined and blended products, which are unfortunately degraded in their food value during processing by having their valuable nutrients damaged or destroyed by heat or removed by pressure filtration.
Whilst the Beekeeping Industry as we know it today cannot survive, I believe that there will always be a small number of concerned people who will continue to supply a top quality natural product in a virtually unspoilt condition and who will always be willing to entertain people interested with an insight into the world of the honey bee - one of the great wonders of Nature.
The death occurred on 10th August of Fred Kennedy, a club member for 40 years. Older members will remember Fred, and his interest in the Club long after his active walking days. The Club extends its sympathy to his sister, herself a member of some years ago.
by Dot Butler.
Said Barry Wallace, looking at Dot Butler's 13-year-old station waggon: “What does this PREFERRED DRIVER mean?” “That means,” said Dot, “that the Insurance Company prefers drivers like me, because I have never made a claim in 30 years of driving.” A month later, a car with an unconscious driver did a U-turn, meeting Dot's station waggon face on. Result - a complete “write-off”. The Insurance Company happily paid up the $200 on the old heap. Then Dot bought a brand new Commodore.
Being a generous type she loaned it to Snow Brown for six weeks as she would be away in North Queensland with Mylo Dunphy and Alex Colley. She gate Snow a signed letter authorising him to use the vehicle during her absence. “What's this for?” says Snow. “Don Finch says to have it with you in case you get into trouble with the Police, otherwise they may think you pinched it.” “Oh I won't need that,” says Snow confidently.
Six weeks later Mylo's party returning home called in at Dot's son's place at Coonabarabran. “Well,” said Wade, “Seeing you'll be home to-morrow, you might as well know the worst.” After six long guesses and a bit of prompting, the fact emerges that Dot's new Commodore has been squashed as flat as a tack, and is in fact a complete “write-off”.
Home again, Dot rang Snow and got the full story. He had parked her car outside “The Hero of Waterloo” and gone to work. He came back at 5.30 pm and looked for the car. Nothing resembling it anywhere in the street. He walked up the street and down again. Nothing! Except… hang on… what's that wreck in the gutter, pushed down like a concertina, about three feet high, wheels pointing in opposite directions? Have a look at the number plates. It's the car!!!
Seven years slipped off Snow's life in as many seconds. Nothing to say who had done it. Nothing! In a state of shock, Snow contacted the Police. “Don't worry, son, we'll get him,” said the departing Constable.
Says Snow, “I was still standing there when up drove a tow truck at 100 mph, lights flashing, and out stepped a young bloke of about 25 in white overalls and a green cap. He didn't say anything. He walked around the wreck, kicked a tyre, walked around again, kicked another tyre. Finished up standing by Snow, still without saying a word. Then, about five minutes later, he said in a sepulchral tone “F…d”.
The wreck was towed away. The Police got their necessary information (probably from “The Hero of Waterloo”) that a bloke in a semi-trailer had dropped a CONTAINER (!) on it, then asked a crane driver in a nearby building site, “Hey, mate, help me get my load back”. This done, off he went without reporting it to the Police, hoping to get away with it. He was duly charged with negligent driving, failing to report an accident, etc. etc.
Dot got back her full insurance, and went off and bought another station waggon - had to go to Nowra for it, as nothing of that model was available from Newcastle to Wollongong. She is not sure, however, whether she ought to apply to the Insurance Company for another “Preferred Driver” sticker.
by Frank Rigby.
Helen Gray's article on the history of “The Sydney Bushwalker” (June issue) was most interesting but one important part of that history was omitted.
Incredibly, up to 1968 the magazine was not distributed automatically to all members. It was either sold in the clubroom or sent to those members who paid an annual magazine subscription. This practice meant that the hard work put into our magazine by so many people, as detailed in Helen's article, was to some extent wasted in that the product was read by only a part of the membership! Additionally, it was necessary to send out as separate items such things as Walks Programmes and various Notices, and this entailed much extra work.
At the A.G.M. of 1968 a motion to post “The Sydney Bushwalker” to ALL members was carried and the membership subscription was adjusted upwards accordingly. Thus our magazine finally found its rightful place within the framework of the club. As President in 1967-69 I can well remember the backroom discussions which paved the way for the introduction of the new policy.
In retrospect it seems surprising that, for so many years, “The Sydney Bushwalker” was not, in totality, the magazine of The Sydney Bush Walkers.
by Peter Miller.
Two members of the River Canoe Club will talk to us about canoe touring. Various types of canoes will be discussed and the gear necessary for successful touring. The talk will be illustrated with slides.
Dinner before the meeting will be held at Chehades Lebanese Restaurant 270 Pacific Highway, Crow's Nest at 6.30 pm.
A friend of Dot Butler will be showing us slides of Macquarie Island with its wild scenery and teeming bird life.
The Scrub Bashers will entertain us with a variety of bush ballads. This item was to have been held in August but some of the group were out of Sydney.
Wanted To Buy: Wollongong couple wish to purchase a Paddymade “Kar Kampa” tent. Contact Christine Austin if you can help. Phone 84,1519 (H).