A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey.|
|Sales and Subs||Audrey Kenway.|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey.|
|For the Social Diary||2|
|At Our July Meeting||Alex. Colley||3|
|Bonnum Pic||Gwen Seach||4|
|Dog Trials||Kath McKay||5|
|Food, Beautiful Food?||8|
|Walking Guide for August||John Logan||14|
|Scanning Scandanavia||Keith Renwick||16|
|Lyre Birds in National Park||C. Hallstrom||19|
|Hattswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||7|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||11|
When asked some years ago whether, in his opinion, walkers made their pastime more an aesthetic treat or an athletic feat, Paul Barnes answered, “Some make it a pathetic bleat”. Well said!
Moving on to safer ground we could refer to walking as a dietetic defeat. To illustrate how tastes in FOOD vary, we publish this week a round-up of opinions from well-known personalities.
We asked quite a number to contribute. Some considered the subject too sacred for publication; others wished to keep their eccentricities to themselves as if they could!
To those we didn't ask and who are not sensitive: Write to us about “Food, beautiful food”.
August 19th: We would like this to prove a really entertaining night and will be glad to have offers of “acts”, etc.
August 26th: Malcolm McGregor is showing us more coloured slides of America. With our new projector and screen this will be an exceptionally good night.
September 16th: Dr. John Bunt will give an illustrated talk on the Antarctic.
September 23rd: Debate: “Are Older Members of Greater Benefit to the Club?”
September 25th: Federation Ball at the Paddington Town Hall.
Paddington Town Hall.
Friday, September 25th, 1959.
8.30 p.m. - 1.30 a.m. Tickets £1. 1. 0 each.
Paddington Town Hall is only 5 or 6 tram stops farther along Oxford Street than our former quarters at Ingersoll Hall, so it isn't far out of town.
A club party is being organised for the function. The host and hostess will be David Ingram and Edna Stretton from whom tickets are available.
Please let us know as soon as you can whether we may expect you.
Immaculate white uniform; gold braid on the shoulders; peaked cap at jaunty angle; authoritarian air as he gave orders to a gang of dark-skinned minions. Who was it? ROSSO, on duty with Qantas at Lae, Rabaul, Honiara - well, almost anywhere in Papua and New Guinea.
“By jove, Rosso” said Ron Knightley when he could get a word in “I must get a Kodachrome of you in that rig, bossing those boongs around”. “No fear”, replied Rosso, “you only want it so that those types in S.B.W. can have a good laugh”.
“Well, why not a back view”? asked Ron. “No, sir ” exclaimed Rosso. “The moment you put it on the screen, Grace Wagg'll yell out: Look at those ears! That's Rosso”.
Instructional Walk - Leader: David Brown. Will be held on September 4-5-6 on the Colo River. (See Walking Guide) - NOT on August 29-30 as shown on the Walks Programme.
The meeting commenced with a welcome to new member Elizabeth Lanham.
In correspondence was a letter from the President to the Police Department, reporting that a bullet had missed him by 6 feet during the Queen's Birthday weekend walk. Details of location and the number of the car containing the shooters were included. There was also a letter from Allen Strom explaining the set up around the Warrumbungles. He said that Mr. Gales, on Tundebrine Creek, had undertaken to put aside 2 to 5 acres as a camping reserve (and grant a right of way to the park) in return for road improvements. People were using his property as access and leaving gates open, so that his stock became mixed up with those of Mr. Buchanan, next door. Then those who left the gates open told Messrs. Gales and Buchanan that it wasn't necessary to shut the gates since the area was a National Park, and they (Buchanan and Gales) were interlopers. This confirmed the latter in their original views, when they had strongly opposed the creation of the Park. Then “a bushwalking group from Sydney” rang Mr. Gales and began to make detailed arrangements for him to meet them at Gilgandra. This was the last straw, if any were needed, and Mr. Gales doesn't want the “park mob” within five miles of his boundary. Allen went on to say that there is only one accepted access to the Park and that is via the Wombelong Valley past Gummin Station. It was sound park management practice to channel entrance to National Parks, preferably through one centre, so that park managements would “know the distribution and nature of its visitors”. Allen said he would be very happy to give members further information if they contemplated a visit to the park (B056, ext. 573).
Notice of the Conservation Conference on August 8th was again read and two volunteers to represent us were called for. Len Fall said he would go. Nobody else was interested.
John White reported that he had attended a meeting of the Manly Warringah Wild Life Society, as requested by the Club. The Society had seven acres of land on which it had already planted 4,500 native plants. The area would be open for exhibition to the public.
The President then called for volunteers for Room Stewards, a task which the meeting was happy to leave to Miriam Steenbohm and Molly Rodgers.
Tom Moppett then asked for volunteers to be nominated as members of the Bouddi Natural Park Trust. There were none.
Jim Brown, Keeper of Maps and Timetables, told us that some extra maps had been found during our move, and those which were not in our cupboard had been trimmed to size and placed in the bottom drawer. He reminded members that we had a pretty complete range of maps and timetables, covering most of the walking country we frequented. Full details of nearly all the programme walks could be obtained, so that there was no reason for insufficient details being given. He could be glad to help members find maps and to explain routes. There were some maps duplicated and these he proposed to sell. It was decided that an auction of surplus maps be held on the first free night on the next social programme. On the same night the Club projector and screen would be offered for sale. Although the new equipment was not yet available, we would have it by then. It was suggested that the reserve price be the trade-in value. Frank Ashdown said that the old equipment, although not the best for a hall, was as good as any for home use.
A request from Allen Strom for black and white photographs for the Conservation Exhibition of 9th to 20th November was repeated. Len Fall moved that we offer £5 to the Wild Life Preservation Society towards the expenses of the exhibition, and this was approved.
The leader said we would go to Bonnum Pic. What is Bonnum Pic, and where is Bonnum Pic, I thought.
With much effort, assisted by cups of Granola, we found the Pic, and what a mighty view opened out before our eyes of the beautiful Burragorang Valley. It truly is the “Pic of the pictures”.
Granola was fed to us for breakfast Saturday - such heaps of Farina that it stayed long with us. So much so that at the Sunday morning feeding most of us expressed the wish for “only a little Granola please”.
Jingles appealed to me, faithfully following Ben over rock, over brier, but when he floated through the air to make a four point landing on a ledge he won my heart.
The most exciting episode of the trip was when Snow was seen baiting a bull. I was fearful for his life as he stood there unafraid, courageously waving Elizabeth's sister's red wind jacket at the frenzied animal. Elizabeth was fearful - for the jacket.
From “The Gent in the Tent”.
Despite tales to the contrary, “The Admiral” says he and Dawn do not expect to become residents of Glenbrook before December.
Cover Girls now!! Paddy Pallin is putting out another book on bushwalks, and, I hear, the maps illustrating the walks will be really good - (new members, who are diffident about leading walks for the Club, please note!) However, the book needs a cover, and with a view to obtaining a suitable photograph for it, Bill Baker, of Angus and Robertson, attended the start of Edna Garrad's walk from Waterfall to Heathcote on Sunday 5th July. An imposing rock face for the background was soon located and several studies taken with six members in the foreground. If satisfactory, it is hoped that S.B.W. members will grace the cover of the forthcoming book.
Could it be that our services will be in increasing demand for this type of work as well as television and films? Only time will tell, but if it keeps up we may reasonably expect an odd application or two from up and coming models. Of course, all this activity might also inspire a few members to try their hand at being models - just in case their services are required.
Did I hear somebody say: “Some of them already behave like models, especially when there is wood and water to be gathered.”
Sorry to hear that Ron Baker is laid up in Wahroonga San. We're certain he'd welcome a visit from any S.B.W. mates.
This really hasn't anything to do with bushwalking, but it involved a good deal of pedestrian activity.
The trouble began last Thursday, at 3 a.m. A deluge was in progress, and the night was cold as an income-tax collector's heart. A pup suddenly howled beneath our weatherboard shack and I awoke in bewilderment. A pup, at that hour, in the dark and wet? We are hidden away in the bush, nowhere near a road, and if the pup had been dumped from a passing car, how could it have found its way to our house?
The howls continued. Something must be done about it. Cautiously, so as not to disturb the others - though the pup was making such a racket that they must surely have been awake - I crept out to the back verandah. The two cats, curled on my bed, prudently did not move. They were much too comfortable.
I switched on the light, put my head out in the icy rain, and called sotto voce: “Pup, pup pup!” To my amazement, a large mother-dog, sopping wet, approached me, ventre a terre, tail thumping the boards. Pup, having negotiated various drainpipes, also arrived on the verandah and the two of them licked me enthusiastically. I was dumbfounded, but obviously could not turn a dog from my door on such a night, so dried them down, heated some milk for them and gave them some bags to lie on. Then I went back to bed, pondering on the injustice of life in general. Why pick on us, I thought bitterly.
At breakfast time on Thursday pup schlooped up more milk gratefully, but mother, with a roving look in her eye, was out in the rain cavorting with three gallants who had appeared from nowhere. Presently the four of them vanished through the bush in the direction of the streets at the back of our land. Pup, a daughter, about ten weeks old, black but comely, with a cocker head and a kelpie tail, was left to my tender mercies. Evidently the mother thought she had done her duty by finding the pup a good home and had hit it for the bright lights. Besides, the daughter probably cramped her style.
On Friday it stopped raining. Friends to whom I told my tale of woe advised ringing up the dogs' home or the R.S.P.C.A. I shook my head. Thousands of strays were sent to those institutions, and though they might keep some, they certainly could not afford to dally with a female pup of doubtful parentage. No, I would try to find her a home near at hand, so trundled her down to the Pet Shop in a shopping stroller. She draped her head over the top and rather enjoyed the ride.
The Pet Shop regretted that they could not help me. Too big: nowhere to put her: sorry. I looked at the cage of small puppies, kittens and white rabbits all in together, and admitted sadly that they were right. I bought a packet of dog biscuits and went home.
“Gee, wish we could keep her” said The Boy wistfully when he came from school.
“Oh, we simply can't!” I said. “Ticks are awful here - I got five little ones off her yesterday and if she gets a big one it's the finish. I am feeding two cats as it is and really couldn't look after another animal. She's going to be a big dog - look at her paws - and she's always hungry. You know the cats hate dogs and it's very awkward keeping them apart.” Old Susie was at that moment peeping under a carefully shut door, spitting at the pup, and Sylvester was on top of a wardrobe looking pop-eyed.
“Besides” I went on “she must have a home somewhere. Tomorrow I'll go round the streets at the back and see if I can find the mother.”
The Boy surveyed the pup chewing an old glove.
“What are you going to call her”? he asked.
“But I'm not going to keep her -” I began: and then thought: Dropped from the skies: Dieudonnee. “Donna” I said aloud.
The morrow brought a visit from two little girls who crooned over the pup and said they'd love to have it. “I've wanted a dog for seven and a half years” said the elder. She must have been quite eight. “May we take it home to show Mummie?”
“Certainly” I said with alacrity.
Later in the day the little girl came back. “I think I can keep it, but we have to ask Daddy. He doesn't get home till late tonight”.
“Well, you 'd better take some food for her, and her sleeping basket, and the puppy biscuits” I said, pressing them on her hopefully.
“We thought we might call her Bonny”.
“Donna's her name. She's used to it” said The Boy loftily and untruthfully.
Alas, on Sunday, at dusk, just as I was thinking all was well, there was a knock on the door.
“We've brought Donna back. Daddy's going to get me another pup” said the little girl. I swallowed, said thank you, and accepted the pup, the sleeping basket, the dog biscuits and the cup that had had food in it. The cats looked anxious again.
On Monday I spent the entire morning perambulating the nearest streets, chatting to dog-owners, but nary a sign of mother-dog or her swains could I see.
“You know how tramps chalk the gate if they've been well treated?” said one woman darkly. “I think dogs have the same sort of system. They know an easy mark when they see one.”
“There's nothing for it but to ask at your school whether anyone wants a dog” I told The Boy that afternoon, and on Tuesday three would-be owners were reported, but they would have to ask their parents. It was understood that it was a first come, first served basis.
On Wednesday, rather sceptically, I awaited the return from school. Marvellous to relate, The Boy brought a youngster who said yes, he could have the pup. He was quite accustomed to dogs and said nonchalantly that he used to breed corgis and win prizes.
Scarcely daring to breathe, I offered him the basket, (“No thank you, we have a kennel”) gave him the dog biscuits, a woolly sleeping rug and a piece of rope in lieu of a leash and collar.
“Her name's Donna” said The Boy firmly, and the pup and her new owner went off happily together.
There the matter rests, and I trust it will continue to do so. 'Struth, what a week!
For all your transport problems contact Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 or W151. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
On Molly Rodgers' Mimi Minni Range - Katoomba walk the party was about half an hour late setting out on the Saturday morning. This independence was effectively quelled when Molly picked up a short nulla nalla with a knob of about 3 inches diameter a little way along the range. The party made good time, and the next morning there was no nonsense - all were away at 8.15 a.m. and made the early train home. During the morning one of the party, emboldened by the disappearance of the nulla nulla, became somewhat obstreperous. A search was made, and where do you think the weapon was found? In Bill's pack, of course.
From our reporter on the same trip:
A road has been bulldozed from Cullenbenbong to Gibraltar Creek, down the Creek and up Black Jerry's. Once that granite gravel is disturbed it just washes away and the road, supposed to be for fire access, is already so badly eroded as to be unusable.
Our sympathy to Bette and John Quigley, John has been very ill this year. However we have hopes of seeing him on the track again in a few months.
An Editorial Hash Concocted by a Panel of Experts.
Food! Oh, if only I could carry more of the stuff. And yet some people cut it down to next to nothing, or even attempt to live off the land!
Early this year, I was on a trip with Putt. He announced that he was 'going to live off the land' but I noticed a few staple items in his pack all the same. The nearest he got to his goal was to pick blackberries at the Harry's River junction, borrow a pound of flour from Alan Round, and make a pie. This, with some of our Mellah made a delectable third course. However, without the two earlier courses (not off the land) without the flour and without the Mellah… well, I suppose you could live on blackberries for two days. Perhaps you could boil nettles with them for variety.
I've known for some time that Colin was a protein-and-fat man. I also suspect that his stomach is made of cast iron. I asked him what were his ideas on walking foods, or should we say, foods for walkers.
Pep up with Proteins.
You can carry and eat almost anything you like on a weekend trip around Sydney, but on a job of several week's duration, in rough, cold country, such as S.W.Tasmania or the N.Z. Alps, its a different story.
If you're going on a long trip in snow-country, carrying some 25 lbs. of climbing gear and storm clothing besides your normal equipment and your food, inadequate food can lead to missed climbs, frostbite, or death, depending on your luck.
Food is the bushwalker's fuel, we eat it for the calories (i.e. energy) it contains. If you don't get enough calories, your legs go wobbly, your body gets steadily weaker, colder and slower, and in the extreme case, finally stops working altogether. Living off the land, although exciting, leaves little time for walking, so we carry our food, and the aim of every serious walker is to carry sufficient for his energy needs, but no excess weight.
The human body (and the bushwalker's) is so built that, in a climate like that of the Blue Mountains in winter, it can, without digestive difficulties, extract the necessary daily calories from a minimum weight of food made up of :-
Carbohydrates: 14 ozs.
Proteins: 8 ozs.
Fats: 6 ozs. (in summer, the fats could be cut to 2 or 3 ozs.)
These figures are for a man weighing 12 stone, with a. 451b pack, walking at about 3 m.p.h. in hilly country for 12 hours a day. (Man, or Superman?… Ed,) If he lay about in his fleabag all day he would get by on half as much. Smaller people, and women particularly, need rather less food to keep going.
On trips of a week or less, the trimmings such as vitamins and minerals may be lacking, but will get straightened up with change of diet on return to civilisation. On longer trips we must be careful to take them with us, but on ordinary short trips we need only carry our carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, anything else is sheer wasted weight.
Water is the hardest thing to keep out of the pack, and practically all “fresh” foods are just about made of it. Apart from the expensive and nauseating “dehy” old fashioned foods like flour, rice, macaroni and sugar are dead dry and about 100% digestable carbohydrate. Most of the pure fats, such as dripping, margarine and butter are almost free of water. Protein is really hard to get in pure dehydrated form; most dehydrated meat is expensive and hard to reconstitute. Dried egg is very high in protein, but that 8 oz. per day is usually got from fresh lean meat (20% protein, 10% fat, remainder water) or mixed foods such as split peas and pea flour (22% protein, remainder carbohydrate), oats (18% protein, 3% fat, rest carbohydrate). Cheese, not waterlogged “process” cheese (35% protein, 20% fat, 5 carbohydrate) and skim milk powder (40% protein, 50% carbohydrate).
Another subtle way in which bushwalkers carry useless weight is by eating food which is not, in fact, digested. Some of the “health fad” foods containing large amounts of chaffy stuff are particularly bad in this way, and many of the super-wholemeal breads and breakfast cereals are only about 60% digested. If you want roughage, grass or fern-roots may be collected on the spot and chopped into the stew, so why carry it? It is, of course, most important that all food should be well and carefully cooked to get the most efficient use of it.
A simple, uncomplicated food list will lighten the weight by reducing the packaging. (Do you know that the useful food content of many “packet” soups weighs less than the packet?)
Dried fruit, although still containing less than 50% carbohydrate, is admissable as an appetising way of flavouring the sugar intake. Tea and coffee have no food value, but are lightweight and useful drugs. Rum and brandy, I regret to say, are more than 50% water, and the use of special sugars, such as glucose and lactose, is quite unnecessary for anyone healthy enough to go bushwalking.
If you want to carry water with you, may I suggest that a waterbag is a more convenient way than tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Chocolate consists of carbohydrate and fat in the right proportions for a high-speed pick-me-up, plus some staying power, between meals; in fact, the right proportion of fat in every meal or snack will help it to “stay with you” till the next one. Excess fat in the diet, however, can land you in nasty metabolic complications after a while.
Under very cold living conditions a few more vital calories can be tucked into every meal by eating and drinking it all piping hot, and keeping the stomach warm to aid efficient digestion.
Hmm! You've said a mouthful, Colin…
The thought of blackberries and nettles then prompted me to ask the opinion of a cucumber connoisseur well known to us all. I expected a slightly different approach!
Nuts and Nettles.
No matter how confident a bushwalker may feel regarding his ability in finding his may around mountainous country, if there is a vitamin mineral deficiency in his daily food intake his health must ultimately fail.
Fresh air and exercise derived from bushwalking cannot alone maintain health, but a combination of these and a well-planned vitamin mineral food content will provide the needs that health will not deteriorate.
Undenatured food in variation is important in firing the blood, building tissue, replacing plasma, strengthening the bones, flexing the muscles, stimulating the power of thought and maintaining an army of special cells to combat the effects of disease.
No Bushwalker is exempt from disease while ever he consumes meat (poultry and fish included), condiments and refined foods in all forms of preparation.
Food cooked in animal fat retards digestion and overworks the liver.
For those who must cook, there are no finer methods than to bake without removal of the jackets, or steam under pressure with skins intact.
All palatable cooked foods are second rate to raw.
Common salt is a poison and the body should be given consideration by eliminating its use.
Pepper effects the action of the heart and the function of the kidneys. Vinegar inflames the walls of the stomach, allowing ulcers to form.
Meat consisting approximately of four percent uric acid adds greater work to the system's eliminating processes when eaten. Meat stimulates the gonad glands to the stage of unbalance, effecting the body function drastically in later years. Meat eating introduces irritability, nervousness, depression, weakness and That Tired Feeling, which otherwise would not occur. Meat was never meant for human consumption.
A carnivorous animal bolts its food down and when digestion is completed it is passed on, either absorbed into the blood stream or evactuated as roughage well within the time limit, whereas food undergoing the process of assimulation in the human body takes double, sometimes treble, the time, with adverse consequences.
Putrefaction is the worst form of slow poisoning to the system. Putrefaction is the forerunner of many incurable diseases. Meat should not be consumed under any circumstances if health is desired.
A proper balanced eating habit, consisting of fresh raw vegetables, fruits, whole grain foods and the required amount of water suffices to maintain health at its highest level.
There is an abundance of fruit and vegetables to be had all the year round so that a well balanced meal can be prepared.
The lowly lettuce is always a good source of iron.
The revitalising power of magnesium is in proper proportion to meet the body's needs.
The iodine content will impede goitre infection.
Phosphorus, which is an essential brain nutriment is not lacking in lettuce; also for the maintenance and beautifying the skin there is sulphur and silicon.
All raw vegetables, fruit and grains provide the powers to cleanse the body of waste materials and to maintain a state of health.
To prevent disease conditions arising, each and every one of us mast take heed of the dangers in eating meat, denatured factory prepared tinned foods, condiments and other man prepared concentrates, which are forcing early sickness in conjunction with pain, followed by death.
Oooer!… After these uncompromising lectures I thought I'd seek the advice of Jim (knead with the hands) Brown. He knows all about dough and dampers and says that he recommends his particular method because it takes so long that you're not hungry anyway, and too much carbohydrate is not good for you. Come to think of it he does look a bit thin, doesn't he? I'll ask him to read the other contributions and then see what he has to say.
The hide of the Editor: Thin, he says: Infernal cheek: I've never heard anyone call him Tubby Matthews. If it's thin-ness he's talking about, then what about Len Fall? Now, there's a real light weight model for you. Once I spent a windy night (literally) camped with Len in a tent at Glenraphael. All night the tent flapped noisily, and presently I said peevishly “Why don't you hold that side down - roll over on the edge of it?” And Len said “I was, but I got sick of being bumped up and down.”
Thin - says the Editor. All right, but that's nothing to do with intake of food. It's no criterion whatever - just like boiling point. I remember Phil Hall (another meagre sort of citizen) holding forth about boiling point. It was around a camp fire in Kanimbla Valley and Phil was arguing “There's nothing miraculous about boiling point. It is only 100 degrees Centigrade, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit - the temperature when water vaporises. All this business about things having to be at boiling point to sterilise something is so much nonsense. It's just….” he spat vigorously. “Ken, what's wrong with this custard. It's foul! What did you do to it? Didn't you boil it?” “No”, said Meadows blandly, “There's nothing miraculous about boiling point”.
Another spare fellow of my early walking with the Club was Bill Horton; we once had the dubious fortune to go away with a prospective, a big bloke, carrying a big pack. Half way up the western side of Mount Solitary he began to wilt, and we investigated his pack. There were 3 lbs of sausages, 3 lbs of potatoes, some onions, a pound of dried apricots and 2 lbs. of sugar. He'd emptied a can of condensed milk into a glass jar because he'd heard that we avoided carrying tinned stuff; but there were two large cans of soup, fresh tomatoes, four quarter pound blocks of chocolate, a pound of bacon, half a dozen eggs and a dozen oranges.
Bill took about 71bs. extra weight; because I was carrying the tent I acquired two pounds, and we managed to get him as far as the cave in Chinaman's gully. There we decided we'd have to lighten the poor fellow's burden before going on.
It was a dreadful night. While a screaming July westerly battered the trees above, we gorged ourselves; half a dozen times, quite bloated, we had to take pause and drink some of his tea and coffee and rest a while before returning to the trough, but it was worth it. After a gargantuan breakfast next morning his pack was down to a weight that Bill and I could easily lift - together.
At the other end of the scale was the cove who went off for Easter at Barrington Tops some years ago with two pounds of dehydrated potato.
Food is a serious subject. One should not jest about it. Once I tried to console a fond mother whose 12 months-old had filled up on maggotty apricots lying under a tree in our garden. “Quite all right” I assured her “To him it's just grub, lovely grub”. Not amused.
The nearest thing I have ever seen to a food riot occurred in a Headquarters Unit of the Australian Army in 1945 on Bougainville Island. A few days before one of the monthly meetings of the Mess we'd had scrambled eggs for breakfast; in itself that wasn't remarkable. Scrambled eggs, prepared from egg powder, were a staple item of diet, along with bully beef, tinned sausages, goldfish (herrings), baked beans, and dehydrated vegetables, mutilated in the way only the Army Catering Corps could connive. The astonishing thing was that these were fresh whole eggs.
At the meeting someone asked the President why the eggs were scrambled. Smoothly he explained there were insufficient to go round. The Quartermaster Warrant Officer interjected that the full strength of the mess was sixty-four Warrant Officers and Sergeants. To his personal knowledge, six dozen eggs had been delivered. Someone else asked whether it was correct that the cooking staff and the Mess Committee had enjoyed a private meal of fried eggs. The President reddened, the Secretary busied himself with his minutes; someone moved that all Mess officers be requested to resign. Within five minutes we had a new Mess Committee pledged to deliver whole eggs - if another shipment ever arrived.
No, Mr. Editor, food is a touchy topic: I will not write about it for you.
Use Marmite for flavouring soups and stews or as a spread on biscuits or bread.
Dried fruits in stock: apricots, peaches, nectarine, prunes, golden drop plums, apples, figs, sultanas, raisins.
13 Hunter St., Sydney. BW1725.
New York to Sydney in 10 hours! London to Sydney in 12 hours! Automation!
“What does the future hold?” “What will I be doing, what will I be wearing, where will I be?” are questions you may ask yourself. Oh, for a good crystal ball!
Whilst contemplating thus there is one thing you can be pretty sure of in 1975. The rucksack, the sleeping bag or tent you buy from Paddy's now should still be serving you well in that far off year, so it pays to equip your self with Paddy Made Gear.
More people each week are discovering about our new Hotham model Sleeping Bag, designed for winter walkers. The bag that really keeps you warm! The secret is in the unique method of quilting which gives you the ultimate in insulation value. Discover this for yourself. A model is now ready for your inspection.
Our Federation Model Rucksack, originally designed for tough Tasmanian conditions, has proved itself over and over since it was introduced. If you need a new rucksack, or your old bag needs replacing, or just a spare bag for your existing frame, this could be the bag for you.
Complete Federation Framed Rucksack Standard Model: £8. 4. 6.
DeLuxe Model with chrome leather bottom to bag and pockets, plus zipp in the flap: £10. 7. 6.
Standard Bag only (no frame or harness): £4.15. 0.
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
- John Logan.
|August 16||Blaxland - St. Helena - Glenbrook. Mostly medium track walking. An ascent of approx. 1500' then ridge walking to St. Helena, return after lunch to Glenbrock. Leader: Len Fall. Fares: 13/-.|
|August 21-22-23||Morong Creek - Doris Creek - Kowmung River - Boyd Ridge - (Climbing and Rockhopping). See leader re transport. Car to Morong, descent of the granite gorges and falls of Doris Creek; camp in Kowmung at end of Rudders Rift, a look at Wedgetail Bluffs, home via Boyd Range to cars. Plenty of scrambling but no swimming needed. Leader: Colin Putt. Fares 25/-.|
|August 23||Parramatta - Bus to Kellyville - Cattai Creek - Rouse Hill. Should be wattle time in the area, mainly easy pleasant walking. Leader: David Ingram. Fares 7/2 (Train and bus).|
|August 30||Pymble - Bus to Warrimoo Road - Cowan Creek - Ryland Trig - Bare Creek - St. Ives. Pleasant creek walk on Cowan Creek in morning; swimming for those as wish; track to Terrey Hills; scrub and undergrowth for 3 miles down Bare Creek. Leader: Ron Knightley. Fares approx. 7/-.|
|September 4-5-6||Instructional Weekend. Will be on Colo River; bring military map of Windsor and compass. Private transport to campsite. See John Logan re transport. Supper will be provided Saturday. Note: This trip will be going one week later than stated on the Walks Programme. Leader: David Brown.|
|September 4-5-6||Sassafras - The Vines - Tarn Mountain - Woolloomooloo Terrace - Corang. 30 Medium. See leader re transport. Car along the (improved) Vines Road; new streamlined route out to Mt. Renwick area; best rock climbing in the State. Good opportunity to see this much advertised piece of country and/or do some mighty new climbs. Leader: Colin Putt FJ8811 (Bus.) JU3218 (Home). Fares 25/-.|
|September 5-6||Hilltop, Starlight's Trail - Nattai - Blue Gum Creek - Couridjah. Lunch in the train 9.33 a.m. to enable full use to be made of the afternoon trip to the Nattai River. Leader: David Bennett. Fares 22/-.|
|September 5-6||Glenbrook - The Oaks - Monkeyvine Creek - Erskine Creek - Glenbrook. Extremely interesting area from a map-reading point of view. Mostly medium ridge walking on tracks, scratchy in places. Leader: Jack Perry. Fares 13/-.|
|September 6||Pymble - Bus to St.Ives (Hassall Park) - Kuringai Creek - Ryland Trig - Sandy Trig - Duffy's Forest. 8 Miles. Wildflowers. Scratchy in parts but not a long distance to walk. Leader: David Ingram. Fares Approx. 7/6.|
|September 11-12-13||Walking Trial - see Notice Board for details. Parties can start walking Friday night or during Saturday. Leader: Geoff Wagg.|
|September 13||Wildflower Excursion with N.P.A. Engadine area. A chance to see, and have identified, the many native flowers in the National Park Area. Leader: Len Fall.|
Hobart Search & Rescue Organisation advised that costs of searches or rescues, previously met by Government funds, may be the responsibility of walkers in the future.
Search & Rescue Costs Insurance. A scheme was outlined to the meeting whereby upon the payment of a premium based on 1/6d. per head of the membership of the Federated Clubs, insurance could be granted up to £500 for rescue costs to bring out injured members, where such cost exceeded £10. Clubs are requested to advise on their willingness to increase capitation fees by this sum, making fee 2/3d. per head. The cover is limited to normal bushwalking activities and excludes canoeing, caving, skiing and similar sports.
Heathcote Primitive Area. Maps are now available of this reserve.
Officials for 1959/1960:
|President||Mr. Ken Stewart|
|Senior Vice-President||Mr. Porter|
|Junior Vice-President||Mr. Cottier|
|Hon. Secretary||Miss Hamilton|
|Hon. Treasurer||Mr. Watson|
At the request of the Police, a party went into the Middle Harbour Creek basin on Wednesday, 29th July, to search for the missing school-boy, David Wallis. The following Saturday, the S. & R. Section was placed in charge of 120 searchers, comprising 30 walkers, uniformed police, police cadets, school boys and local civilians, and again on the Sunday about 10 walkers were out. It was felt a good job had been done by all concerned, particularly as it was only surmise that the lad was in the bush at all. Unfortunately, as we go to press, there is no news of his whereabouts. The Police Mobile Canteen performed a noble effort in catering a lunch and afternoon snack for about 90 bods.
Kemi is as far north as the railway in Finland goes. That is, in the direction I wished to go, so that from now on it would be by bus. The next stage was a long one, about 250 miles up the Zornio alv, or river valley.
I left the hostel soon after 6 a.m. and headed for the station to get a box from the cloakroom. However, things were a little delayed here, because of some gypsies consigning their belongings by rail. There were hundreds and hundreds of small parcels and big parcels. They were everywhere. They seemed to practically fill the waiting room. It seemed that each item must have been carefully wrapped up separately; the idea of combining two articles in the one parcel would be unheard of.
The gypsies are of course all over Europe more or less, more in England and Finland than in some other countries. In England they wear clothes the same as the rest of the people (same style that is) but in Finland they wear richly embroidered clothes which are very fancy and colourful.
However another station attendant came to my aid as the other one was lost somewhere in a stack of tickets and stick-on labels. I breakfasted at the station restaurant, which in Finland have good food and are reasonably cheap. They are mostly serve yourself types of cafe so this solves the problem of menus. But my gosh sometimes I was glad I could eat anything! Kafi (coffee) is always easy and Finland has Expresso type bars called “Bari”. You're always sure of hearing English spoken here as the jute boxes are always full of the latest American pop records. Though I doubt if the people can understand what the songs are about.
The bus, a large and comfortable modern one, departed round 7.30 a.m. They stopped at 9 a.m. again for Coffee, but I took advantage of the time to buy up some more bread, jam and margarine - my staple diet. Most of the shops and buildings up this way are of modern construction as the previous ones were destroyed by the Russian Invasion. Shops are just the same as they are at home and seem to sell much the same sort of things, except some things predominate more than others, e.g. cold weather clothes.
The country through which we passed for the most part of the day was undulating arctic tundra with vegetation from about 9 inches to nine feet and not unlike the Tasmanian highlands in a way. The further north you go the more hilly it gets and it is quite mountainous in the North of Lapland. Not peaky ones but glacial flattened humps like England.
About half-way up the Zornio were areas of sand dunes and sparse, hardy vegetation. It was here we saw a magnificent Wolf, about the size of a large Alsatian dog, standing on a small hummock very close to the road. Then came the reindeer, wonderful looking animals wandering round freely in herds. Now we were in Lapland, fabulous Lapland.
The Laplanders are Nordic in origin and they live in the north of Finland, Sweden and Norway. There are about 5,000 in Finland and 50,000 in Norway. Not all own reindeer herds, and as most of the ones in Norway live near the sea, their main occupation is fishing. Only those who live in the mountains keep the reindeer. Most wear the traditional blue and red Lap dress although some are in a vary worn state. We came across groups of them camped here and there and some travelled in the bus. Their way of life seems very little changed by modern civilisation and they still live in the conical tents with a fire in the middle and vegetation as a floor. The tents usually are masterpieces of patchwork supported by a framework of sticks. It would be a pity if their way of life should change, but I suppose it's bound to in time. Already they are selling fur slippers and trinkets to the tourists.
I camped in the scrub near the Youth Hostel at Kilpisjarvi, along with many others, as the hostel is only new and not quite finished yet.
The most impressive thing about this country is the complete and utter silence. There wasn't a breath of wind to stir the leaves, hardly a bird and not a sound. Even the mosquitoes which must be terrific in the warmer mid summer seemed to be silent. In winter it is of course well covered with snow, but in summer there is just the low, hardy alpine plants covering the rocky ground. In the more sheltered places there are thick gnarled, twisted and stunted trees somewhat akin to alpine trees. Altogether it gave the impression of being at the end of the earth, but was wonderful because of this.
Tromso, in the North of Norway, is a fishing town. The journey down to the coast from the plateau country of Lapland is a spectacular plunge through steep wooded gorges. South from Tromso the journey is no less spectacular, winding round the sides of steep fjords, more spectacular I think than those in the south. Every so often we would be taken on board a ferry boat and for half an hour to an hour we would drift down mirror smooth fjords to some point on the other side where we once again plunged into the mountains. This went on for three days of still perfect weather!
Eventually I arrived at Mo-I-Rana, which is a town only a few miles south of the Arctic Circle.
By a complicated system of mirrors I had been invited on a Cambridge University Expedition to the Svartisen (Black Ice) Mounts for caves. Our rendezvous was to be at Rector Gronolies, the headmaster of the local co-operative school. The others had gone ahead by a day or so, so I spent the Saturday morning shopping etc. and paid a visit to the local school.
It was a very large, modern, well lit building with a big square main hall, two stories high in the centre. Around this on the four sides were the class rooms, including very well equipped scientific laboratories (chemical, physical and electrical) with another small section for teachers to do research in. It would really be classed as a secondary Technical School.
I seemed to have acquired a considerable quantity of food and luggage and the Rector and family very kindly had a picnic at the end of the road 20 to 30 miles from Mo-I-Rana, where I had to start walking. I left half the 120 lb. of junk at a farm house and departed along a horse trail to a point about 10 miles up the valley where the others were camped.
The scenery had changed considerably from what I have described in Finland. The coast of Norway is warmed, to a certain extent, by the remnants of the Gulf Stream. It is also wetter and the next few days did produce some rain. The vegetation is much more luxurious with some fine timber in the mare sheltered spots. In fact timber cutting is the main occupation of the few farmers scattered along the first part of the valley.
I eventually caught up the others about 10.00 p.m. camped on the shore of a small lake. It was dark and their first introduction to me a shaft of light from the eye of a one eyed humped monster approaching them from the other side of their campfire. I had my head lamp on. We got on famously from the start, being all of the same interests and slightly mad.
The following day we joined some Norwegian farmers in a walk above their farm to a new cave they had seen in the course of their work. It was hot and dry hard work, but the fine day and scenery made it worth while. The valley has been scooped out into a series of terraces by a succession of Ice Ages and glaciers. The rocks basically are very highly metamorphosed schists, etc. The slopes of these terraces are steep and thickly wooded whilst the tops of the terraces are more alpine in character with stunted vegetation. The tops of the mountains are under snow and ice and glaciers and round 4 to 5 thousand feet above sea level.
The Norwegians are very pro-British and extremely anti-German, and consequently they couldn't do enough for us. One or two of the chaps had gone to the trouble to learn Norwegian and we got on famously. A German Expedition under similar circumstances would have just sort of disappeared without trace.
The camp by the lake, although pleasant and comfortable, was only an intermediate point; the limestone and caves we were after were further up the valley and higher in altitude by 450 metres; this meant several days of just portaging gear from down the valley to lake camp and from lake camp around the lake to the base and from here, what was needed, to high camp. Some work was being carried on on surrounding caves in the meantime. Typical comments from those in camp to those just leaving for a portaging party would be “Bring us up another tin of Margarine David please” “And don't forget the jam this time” and then someone else would add “Be a good chap and bring us up another crate of girls”. Its marvellous what they can do with dehydration these days!
For those who are interested, the cave set up was like this: the bend of limestone was about 100 feet wide and very highly metamorphosed (compressed), it was in fact pure white marble. This sheet was tilted to an angle of about 45° and the top of the limestone was in the floor of one of these glacial terraces on the side of the mountain.
A sizable stream flowed in here and out again into a lake at the foot of the mountain 450 metres lower down and 4 kilometres away. This gave promise of a good cave system. Many other complicated, mazelike, cave systems existed in this narrow band and there were other smaller limestone outcrops scattered around with caves in them - all new.
The temperature of most of the caves was either just above or just below freezing point. Those below had ice formations and those above had none. There were no limestone stalagtite and stalagmite formations because at these temperatures there is no evaporation of the water to leave behind its minute deposit of calcite. The caves were bare rock which was very shattered with frost.
They were quite honestly the coldest caves I have ever been in. Ice caves, although the temperature is low, usually have a dry atmosphere because most of the moisture in the air is “fruzzed” out. But those caves just above freezing point with about 300% humidity and a wind as well. Brrrr! Even with two jumpers, long woollen underpants, rubberised exposure suits and overalls over these, plus the exertion of crawling in caves, after 3 hours you were frozen to the marrow.
The main big cave ran into sumps everywhere after a few hundred yards and a sump at such a height above the outlet to the cave was quite a mystery. However some new caves new extensions were found elsewhere so that there was certainly plenty to do. Perhaps the most beautiful parts of the caves were the outlets and inlets to the caves on the lake. Here we had beautiful greenish clear water flowing over magnificently sculptured white marble forms, and here and there, particularly along the beaches, were large masses of red garnets. Hundreds of thousands of them! However don't start a garnet rush to the North of Norway because none were of gem quality, although there were some beautiful crystals, but to see such masses of them was quite amazing. However the red green and white all sparking in the sunshine were a truly memorable sight.
Two interesting phenomena were to be seen at night. One was the moon which was always very low on the southern horizon never rising very far above it. The other was a beautiful display of the Aurora Borealis with green curtains and draperies tracing their filmy pattern's in the sky. It lasted about an hour all told and was constantly changing, though very slowly.
It was goodvat night - peaceful, clear skies and a campfire in the lower camps. Often we were too tired but on some nights we had very pleasant after dinner campfires. The meals were excellent. Mostly dehi it was of a new type that was really edible, even down to small lamb steaks. Plenty of variety too.
On full tummies the conversation would drift lightly over a very wide variety of topics. One of the main ones was all the experiences they had in organising the trip, the great aim being to get things for free as all of them were at college and not earning any money. John was asked to write up an article on the trip. He sat and thought for a moment, then asked how this would do. “For days now we have been rowing on this blasted underground lake and still no sign of the walls; and I'm sick of living on blind trout!”
They had six weeks all told and I only two, how I wish I could have stayed longer. There was, however, a little matter of work in England and very regretfully I took my leave and headed south via Trondheim to Songdal Fjord on the west coast of the south of Norway. The southern fjords I found a little disappointing, because they were not as steep and spectacular as expected, both the foreshore and slopes being very much settled upon. Further up near the head they were much steeper and like they are supposed to look, but even then they weren't as impressive, I thought, as the ones in the North.
The weather was still perfect and towards the end of the last day on my way by train to Oslo we crossed a high barren plateau; all around were ranges of snow capped peaks, just catching the rosy tints of sunset. I felt good inside, and thankful to have had the opportunity to gaze upon such wondrous scenes.
P.S. Forgot to mention the great feeds of Bilberries to be had for the picking in the Norwegian bush.
- Clem Hallstrom.
Len Scotland and I cautiously crept up to the lair of the lyre bird. We crouched motionless on the bank, shielded by heavy greenery and watched the glorious full plumed male bird standing on a limb fifteen feet above the ground. Hidden in the thick foliage about twenty feet from him, was the female, the centre of attraction.
Both birds stood motionless for forty minutes, as if aware of our presence, and our muscles ached from inactivity.
To break the silence, Len let out a piercing whistle and to our surprise and pleasure the male bird sprang to life.
He started to court his intended; she appeared to take no notice of his antics but undoubtedly she was watching from the corner of her eye.
Between beckoning gestures he would fan his wings, then majestically start along the ground showing himself off. His excitement grew each minute of the display. He was proud of his plumage - not a feather out of place.
His calls grew louder and louder as he charged along the ground: then suddenly up, and out along a sloping limb, then a hop to prance along a leafy bough.
He was as proud as he could be. She was undisturbed; he was all ruffled with frenzy.
He danced with his head down, then he would lift it back and sway from side to side in time with each step he took. He would stumble a few yards as if crippled, then abruptly change the act. Drawing his wings close to his sides he gave what seemed to be an imitation of bagpipes as each note was seemingly forced out. His star turn was fanning his tail and dropping his head as if honouring his fair lady.
He felt he was the all important gorgeous mate. It was an unforgettable display.
by Jim Hooper.
(In reply to July issue).
Part One: “The Culvert”.
Harvey with wicked gleam in eye,
Did me, an EMPTY glass deny.
'Twas he who done it.
He put me in the pit.
Said “G for Golf” as she turned on me,
(She was passenger you see),
“Did you do that deliberately?“
What could I say, but turn and drive away,
And hope subsequently for the “Light of Day?”
'Twas such a terrible deed,
In which my concentration was momentarily “freed”.