We’re really keen to make the most of these holidays and get some exercise in every day. Mostly this is in the form of bike rides, runs (for me) and golf (for Don), but yesterday, just to mix it up (and to celebrate our 8 year wedding anniversary), we chose hiking.
It had been an age since our last planned hike in January 2016 – though we did have an unplanned hike in Kyoto which I’ve yet to post about (one add that to the very long list of blogging backlog). Note to self: we need to get in some non-summer hikes!
Don selected Walk 47: Waterfall to Heathcote via the Bullawarring Track from our aged copy of Sydney’s Best Bush, Park and City Walks – a 12.2km walk rated medium, slated to last 5 hours. Per the last hike from this book, I think the medium rating is a bit bonkers. In the first part of the walk there were quite a few precarious rocky ascents and descents and the path was often quite over-grown and spiky. I’m really curious to see what constitutes hard.
Map (thanks sportstracker). In my recent continuing difficulties with technology, this paused itself for part of the way – I suspect for maybe 1km(ish).
Gorgeous day, hot but not too unbearably hot (about 27oC). Overall very enjoyable, though the scenery was pretty samey – I generally prefer something a little more diverse. I bought new hiking boots after the last hike and I wish I’d gone for the bigger size – my toes are definitely feeling it today and that dodgy ankle of mine is currently undergoing ice-ing. Don has backed up incredibly well with nary a pain – this is a bit galling as I thought I was the fitter one.
Approximately 87,000 photos follow – roughly in order of hiking. I’m saving the 43,000 photos of flora for another post.
Snacks! We probably should have taken either another protein ball each or some trail mix or nuts or something.
We also should have taken a little more water than we did. We took about 2.5 litres, 4-5 litres would have been better.
We drove to Heathcote station and caught the train to Waterfall to start, mostly so we could finish at the car and not have to wait for a train back. Our future selves would thank us for this.
Locating the parking area was not the easiest thing in the world – quite badly signposted. Cue jokes about The Shire not welcoming outsiders.
Spotted on the walk from Waterfall station to the start of the path. They clearly like their sport in this street.
Slightly too tall cricket stumps on the recycling bin.
Wobbly goal post made from pvc pipe.
And so it begins.
An example of a relatively easy section of the trail, we had just clambered down this slope.
Helpful directions – actually were pretty helpful.
Some of the less overgrown sections of the first half. Hi Don!
There were several precarious ascents and descents on the way, generally lovely watery bits to gaze upon after descents.
There were people camping here are and there. This made me plot how we could get some camping in (even though we totally won’t). Would the double air mattress fit in the back of panzo so we wouldn’t need a tent?
Half way up a one of those hills. I paused to take this shot and re-tie my shoelace.
Don thought the shoelace things was a good idea, lifted his foot onto the rock I was sitting on and discovered … a very fat leech feasting on his ankle.
We really need a wee first aid kit for the back-packs. As it was, I quickly googled leech removal and flicked it off with a stick. Fortunately the sock stuck to the wound and prevented too much bleeding.
We stopped for lunch at the lovely Battery Causeway which was at roughly the halfway mark.
The pond had hundreds of tiny wee fishies who nibbled at our hands and feet. It was amazing! My favourite bit of the hike by far!
Behold – sad, pale cankles in all their swollen glory!
It was really quite beautiful and restful and I would have liked to have sat about longer – and I would have rather enjoyed a swim with those tiny fish.
Hiking tips: Don’t wear a thick woollen hat in summer, don’t wear a running singlet unless you want your arms scratched to the whatever.
And buy hiking shoes that are the right size for your feet. Ouch!
The path then changed dramatically and we walked on a quite wide track alongside a Giant Pipeline. I actually think we kind of preferred this – something other than relentless bush! And my feet and right ankle were really quite over clambering up and down giant rocks.
Advance scouting party:
Still some very nice nature about:
By the time we were finished, we were totally ready for the bunkhouse.
The hike finished by walking through a Scout Camp, which resembled some sort of kidnappy, prison compound.
Next up, many pretty flowers.