Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Great Walk - Mapleton

Lance's Second Rambling 26 October 2008
Greetings All,
A moment of reflection. If you can not put up with it click delete.
I love bushwalking, I like the spirit of adventure, I like discovering new places,I feel I should have been around 150yrs ago.I like sitting looking at maps and thinking, I wonder whats in that gorge,or I wonder what mysterys that track will unfold.
I love the Bushwalking Fraternity especially the people in theYHA club because even though you are all individuals, a greater number of you sit in the range of white collar workers who live differently and socialise differently, people who ,with no intention on my part of being rude, have airs and graces.
And I like that because I get to mix with people who live a different culture.

On a bushwalking theme the name The Great Walk gets bandied about and to tell you the truth I have never been on one, so as a outings officer I am supposed to know these things, that being said I wandered off on my lonesome and over the last 2 weekends have compleated the walk from Numinbah up to Springbrook and back because that was where my car was. Also I did the circuit walk just West of Mapleton and I must say I was pleasantly suprised. Now as I sit and listen to Granada played on the guitar by Paco de Lucia I can tell you that I have never bothered doing such walks because I figured that they were touristy walks and a bit below what I can do.

Never the less,the Mapleton walk was a very enjoyable exercise,I left my vehicle at ref.point 827558 if your inclined to look at one of those map thingos.Gheerulla Creek 1: 25000 or if you wish to pinch a map off the EPA website I was on Delicia Road closest to Gheerulla Falls.I went clockwise thinking it would be best to lose height in the morning and slowly gain it back again walking up the creek in the arvo.
Leaving at 7am, the first part consisted of a walk along a escarpment through various types of bush. From tall eucalypts( I wonder how many houses they get out of that stick) to low wattles and other plants that smarter people than I could describe.After roughly 1hr 14 min 23secs( I have a new toy,a GPS) I came to a great lookout overlooking the valley below that was to be walked that afternoon.
Onwards to Thilba Thalba Walkers Camp, why they could not call it Smiths or Browns camp is beyond me, I think it is called political correctness.I even met a beautiful young lady leading a group of scouts and she could not tell me where she was going to because she could not pronounce it. And to all the womens libbers I know being beautiful had nothing to do with it , but she was.
Who ever built this camp did a great job, there was several groups of tent sites with 3 or 4 tent sites in each group, beside each tent site was a raised wooden platform where you could sit , put your gear and cook,really grouse. The groups were all set apart from each other, there was a water tank, a composting type toilet and the coup de gras was a notice board with a current weather forecast pinned to it.A lot of thought and a lot of effort went into this camp,pity it wont get utilised much because it is in the wrong site. Now if this was in the Barney, or Laminton, or Main Range or Girraween areas, the list could could could go on.
From Thilba Thalba the track goes past a track branch that leads out to another lookout with the main track zig zaggin down a ridge losing 380mt in height in one fell swoop.Thats a lot of zig zaggin I can tell you, but at each zig and zag there is concrete imitation rock steps.Really well done.
When I reached the creek I was opposite the Gheerulla Camping area but did not stay because the thing that puts me off in my old age is motorbikes.Several groups rode past on the walking only track so I just stood aside and gave them a friendly " why dont you buy a muffler" wave and they returned with a friendly"get stuffed, I suppose" wave.
So far I had been walking for about 31/2 hrs (3hrs 26min 58secs to be exact, forgot about my toy.)
The track walk up beside the creek was the feature with some very enticing swimming holes, it was cool under the tree cover and I had lunch at the first creek crossing 818588 just after 12 o clock.You then follow a forestry track the rest of the way to the Gheerulla Falls which I thought were average but in a later discussion with Penny who thought they they were lovely,From there it was a belt (admittedly a slow one) up the foresty road to the car.
This walk was 19klm and took me just on 7 hrs,I started walking at 7am and was sitting in a Mapleton coffee shop eating a icecream just after 2pm.

Now you know how I was waffling on about people who live a different life style and dont really know how us peasants exist.Well my mate Penny is running a trip on the 15 - 16 November to Mapleton.
WE in capital letters, are staying in rented accommodation thankyou, doing the same walk only cut shorter, having a civil morning tea and lunch with a splash in the creek wearing our cossies.WE then intend visiting the falls and then retiring to one of the numerous coffee shops for afters. Sunday will be another short walk and then who knows what.So if you would like to mix with the hoi poli, do some throughly enjoyable walks and sleep in civilised surrounds ,contact Penny soon so she can arrange accommodation in the Taj Mahal for us. Penny Edhouse Phone 31610594

See you there Love Lance.
PS Not bad for a one finger typist who has to look for each letter.

Whian Whian State Forest

Lance's First Rambling 21 October 2008
Greetings All,
Several weeks back Libby invited a couple of us on a survey in the Whian Whian State Forest along with a couple of her friends from a previous life living in the area.Whian( ditto) is west of Brunswick Heads, north of Lismore and just south of Nightcap Range.
Firstly we went on a walk down a rainforest creek with a very late start.Its a survey so we can do as we like ,so there Huh. At this stage there was no rocks in the creek above water so we had to wander in the rainforest until the creek just disappeared off the face of the earth,over a substantial waterfall.
We then could proceed down the creek on rocky slabs until we came to another waterfall with a lovely pool at the base.The locals having been here before,gear off and in the water.When in Rome do as the Romans do.(Bet the water is not as cold in bloody Rome).
Continuing on over flowing rock slabs, a bushwalkers dream. This one in any case.We eventually came out at a causeway and followed the forestry road back to the cars.
A great day followed by an evening meal at a pub in Lismore.Its a survey so we can do as we like,so there Huh.
Sunday we went searching for The Cleft.
Its fun wandering around in scrubby eucalypt forest following Will (one of the very fit locals) looking for SOMETHING called The Cleft.Its somewhere around here! I think.I was there 15 years ago. I think I recognise this clearing.
Needless to say after much wandering and nearly giving it away because I was getting weary we found The Cleft. And I must say it was worth the effort.The Cleft is a geological subsidence , where the rock has collapsed forming a gorge below normal ground level., about 100mt long,20mt wide and30mt deep .
There was lots of palms growing in the bottom, huge vines climbing down from above and lovely and cool as we slowly wound our way into the bottom and out the other end.We had lunch sitting perched on top of a huge cliff line looking into a rainforest drenched valley below. And that could be another survey.
Libby is running this basecamp in the near future but needs assistance for a non compulsary abseil into this gorge so anybody interested please contact Libby.
All in all ,an excellent weekend and something to look forward on the calender. Stay tuned.

Love Lance.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Start

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