Monday, July 13, 2009

Carlon's Farm to Cox's River via Breakfast Creek

Saturday morning I picked up Jarrod and pointed that shiny bonnet of the Magna towards another action packed weekend with all the fun and excitement the Blue Mountains can deliver. Jarrod had talked me into a bit of bushwalking in the Megalong Valley and I had said yes without knowing exactly what would be on the menu, except it would be a two day walk and I had therefore packed the tent, a good supply of gnocchi and a spare pair of knickers - be prepared! ;-)

Standing at the car eating a few bananas and drinking some water I realized that this trip was slightly different from my usual bushwalking exercise, Jarrod insisted on me reading the description of the route, which is a good idea(!), but what was this thing about 41 river crossings - that sounded very wet ... well, well - maybe the author of the book had chosen a not-so-clever route or we could even be lucky and the creek would be dry ... we took off into the wild.

Walking in Blue Mountain rainforest during winter is cold and wet, but amazingly rewarding. The cold and wet bit is easily solved by bringing the right clothes and shoes (I remembered this time) and left is just to enjoy the nature and wildlife.

On the way towards Breakfast Creek we encountered a flock of Glossy-black Cockatoos, probably counting more than 10 birds, peacefully sitting feeding in the casuarinas. Even though I have seen them before it was worth a few pictures, as was the Eastern Shrike-tit Jarrod pointed out after less than 5 min of walking :-)

The book had been right, scrambling down the banks of Breakfast Creek was as though the path had been made by a creature severely suffering from "The grass is greener on the other side"-syndrome. I did not count number of crossings, but 41 is not far off. Jarrod "Bambi" Amoore decided early on to put both his boots well and truly under water and from then on he did the crossings with the determination of a New Zealand tractor - I on the other hand jumped from rock to rock with the grace of a ballet dancer and managed to stay dry until about the 30th crossing after which I adopted the tractor approach - I do not think all that dancing from rock to rock slowed us down much more than an hour :-D

It was great arriving at Cox's River. When you are wet and hungry there is nothing better than to set up camp, get some food and get those wet boots and socks off. At the campsite we discovered yet another plaque, this one was in memory of Miss Oonagh Kennedy, who had died trying to cross the Cox's River in 1967 after a horse-riding expedition had gone wrong due to heavy rain.

I have pointed out before that bushwalking during winter means reduced daylight. When you camp in a valley you cut off at least another half hour in the evening as well as in the morning i.e. you have the chance of a proper monster sleep :-) When you have finished eating there is not much more to do in a dark valley, so we hit the tents and sleeping bags around 7pm. I had no idea what Sunday would bring, but knowing that I had 11 hours to spend sleeping before anybody expected anything from me was very nice indeed :-D

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