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Home News Barkley the Koala at Bournda
Barkley the Koala at Bournda Print E-mail

bike.jpgI woke up on Saturday morning to the sound of Bell birds chirping in the trees down at the south coast. It was going to be a beautiful day. After looking around at the bush I knew it would be a long and hard day, so I contemplated taking a bike. But I had a small reach problem.

My party and I were aiming to tackle the northern high point circuit during daylight hours, return to the Hash house and go out on a shorter loop with ample aiming off and catching features during the dark hours.

"Three, two, one - time to go". We took off running, the only two km that we ran all event. Our first strategy was to stick with Lizzie - that didn't last long. So we hopped on Rob’s tail after the first control - that didn't last long either!

We raced around the lake making excellent time, crossing Moncks creek on a high and slightly rotten fallen log only to realize afterwards that this was not the 'easy crossing point' mentioned in race briefing. Traversing the lake was easy, and we had a quick stop at the boat wreck where I took a turn at being a captain.Shipwrecked captain

Things got more difficult after we left the lake. After CP63 I stopped for a short swing before heading deep into the forest. Swing timeA few steeper controls and then we were deep in the rainforest seemingly walking in circles in lush greenery. Eventually we ascended out of the beautiful but slow forest and luckily hit a cleared trail that took us straight up and close to the next control (84). We were then on a drier part of the course. Distracted by mountain bike trails we overshot the 20m waterfall (CP93) but quickly rectified our mistake.

One of our party then realized why you should not stop for a wee near a water way - leeches like bottoms!

Rocks

We made good time ascending and descending through the spectacular scenery, to our surprise easily picking up 94 on the shallow spur after spending considerable time working out a plan of attack. Then things got rough and we were glad we were tackling this in the day. Fear of leaches hastened our creek crossings but eventually it became obvious that the stinging nettle infested, vine covered creek was the best route that we could find. A highway compared to our other alternatives.

Barkley and seal

Eventually, after picking up CP75, we came out at the ocean onto a beach occupied by a seal that hung around with us for quite some time before jumping in the water and swimming off (thats the seal in the background).

Seal on rocksOur time down the coast track was slow because we kept stopping to watch numerous breaching whales close to the shore until the sun went down. Then we made our one big mistake heading out to 71 too late after completely misreading the map. We crawled through dense bush coming out to a fence way past the control. After retracing our crawl we easily nailed it. Once we collected 100, we had a long walk down the beach under a stunning night sky complete with a shooting star (but oh boy was that sand soft!).

We cautiously picked up 31 before heading back to the hash house, too late to head out on our 'night lap' and also meet our 10 pm deadline imposed due to prior commitments back in Canberra.

For those interested in what we ate, we consumed only high performance food: 8 large tomatoes, 6 mini cucumbers and 7 mini capsicums, watered down orange juice, 8 wraps with crumbly cheese and quince paste, a bit of a bar of chocolate, random scroggen topped with 4 L of water.

All up 10 hrs, 32 km, 3 leaches, 5 ticks, 1 seal, 2 goannas, 1 fox, many whales (we left the leaches, seal, goannas, fox and whales behind, but brought the ticks home). Great fun in a great location.

 

Paul Cuthbert, Tara Sutherland, Zoe & Ella Cuthbert... and of course Barkley the ACTRA mascot.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 20:07
 
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