Friday – Sunday: 22nd-24th November 2013:
Leader: John Trevillion
Joint Exercise with the Echuca Bushwalkers.
Friday Night: Most of us arrived Friday night before dark and settled into our cozy and somewhat rustic accommodation at Bennett’s’ Lodge in the middle of nowhere. A perfect setting amongst the native bush, for an evening of getting to know the other participants, and a quiet drink. An early night for most and my two new best friends from Echuca took the liberty of drinking my only bottle of Red. Hmmmpf.
Saturday 0600 Hrs. Nine of the 10 walkers bolted for the showers and the breakfast table, readying themselves for the walk ahead. One recalcitrant ne’er do well managed to join the others sometime after 0700hrs and ate in stony silence. No one reported being savaged by the rumored giant rats that terrorize the area and a good nights’ sleep was had by all.
The Echuca party consisted of Frank, Anne, Julie plus the Shiraz robbers of Fred and Rob. The Peninsula contingent was led by John Trevillion with his crazy side kick Greg, ably assisted by Roland and Anna, Andrea, Virginia and the soon to arrive Robert.
After a quick look at The Hump we set off for the main walk up some mangy dirt road until we found the (top) carpark for the High Lead and geared up. The 12 of us proceeded down the track towards the Ada2 Mill camp ground. Along the way we admired the many rotting relics of old wooden trestles and finally arrived at the campground. After inspecting the old boilers and each other for leeches we moved on.
Soon thereafter we arrived at the 4 way track intersection known as the 4 way track intersection. Carefully selecting the right turn we headed for the Federal Mill site. More leech checks were conducted and most of us had several on our boots and gaiters. Did I mention one of the Shiraz robbers had forgotten his gaiters as well as his common courtesy- More on him later!
A challenging creek crossing was attempted in the full knowledge that we had to navigate it again on the return. No loss of life was reported and we all looked forward to our afternoon second crossing.
After passing the Federal Mill site we wandered through the most gobsmacking rainforest valley next to a babbling brook until we stumbled upon an old forest hut in the woods. This hut had deteriorated since winter when John and I had pre walked the area. It was interesting to read the papers lining the wall from 1950. Sad to see it in such a poor state though! Some 200m later we turned into the lunch area and the goal of the walk- The magnificent Ada Tree. Truly awe inspiring.
After a lunch break and numerous photos of the massive tree we moved on.
After retracing our steps we came back to the creek crossing knowing that a photo opportunity was beckoning. One of our members had a practice fall just before the creek to check on his falling technique and then got 98% of the way across the creek before the “photo op”. Mercifully his $2,000.00 camera didn’t go for a swim but he was (in his own words) “suffering a severely wounded ego”
All was good, no real injuries and we pushed on constantly checking for leeches- and finding plenty!
A quick detour was had to find yet another old saw mill and then it was back to the cars for the final leech check. Only one made it through our combined defenses, and I’m still itchy as I write this.
The evening was spent in what can only be described as food loving debauchery.
After feasting on enormous quantities of Tapas, dark chocolate then several main courses, including a seafood paella, we chowed down on several deserts.
I managed to get even with Shiraz robbers and may have finished ahead. A great and convivial night listening to the rain belt down whilst we ate ourselves into a stupor.
Sunday 0600 Hrs. Robert had left and Fred announced that he was departing early. Echuca Rob did some crazy “Psycho” impersonation that had several of our womenfolk in a state of hysteria that threatened bladder control. He should be funny with all my red wine he drinks!! Soon after Virginia decided to depart to see 2 gay guys that she’s fixated on- not sure where that’s going.
After a short inspection of the Noojee Trestle Bridge we headed down the road a wee bit to the main Sunday walk. The plan was a quickie to the 2 Falls outside Noojee and then lunch. For the 3 who left early, I can only say you missed something special. Awesome, astounding, jaw dropping, eye popping and spectacular to say the least. And not a single leech bite.
Again, as we finished walking the heavens opened and we ate lunch under cover at the Noojee park. By 1300 Hrs the weekend was over and we set sail for home.
The consensus was that out of Ten, this one was an eleven. Take a bow JT.