Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Few cyclists on West Basin?

We have done a lap of the West Basin of Lake Burley Griffin a few times recently.  Frances felt like a longer walk, and suggested that the weather on 31 December would be pretty good, if we started early.  She also thought that as the Public Service shuts down over Christmas (and most of Canberra heads for the South Coast) there would be few other users of the track.

So we arrived at Black Mountain Peninsula at 8:05 and took off.  At the foot of the Peninsula a fmily was spending a peaceful time fishing off the launching pontoon of one of the boat clubs.
 People were also paddling canoes, rowing shells and sailing on the Lake.  Very good to see it getting used in such peaceful ways.

After about 500m we came across this colourful entity sitting on a rock.
It was a Gippsland Water Dragon.  The Dragon bit is pretty straightforward, and the water was soon proven,
 .. but we are about 200km in a straight line from the nearest part of Gippsland.

A good few steps later we got a nice view of the infrastructure of the National Arboretum.  I wonder if the trees in front of buildings will ever block this view?
Another chunk of scenery.  This looks down on Scrivener Dam and across through the haze to the Brindabella Range.
 The title of this post includes a question mark. In fact there were possibly more cyclists than we usually see.  While several of them were advanced in years (like us) quite a bunch were family groups or young persons out on training rides.  The youngest  bike rider was the one here wearing a red bone-dome.  They didn't seem to be doing much on the pedals
At times - like this bit crossing the dam - the track was pretty crowded, but everyone seemed to fit in pretty well.  A greeting of "Morning" was common - as Frances said, tomorrow it would be the lengthier "Happy New Year".
There is a pretty fair crop of weeds here and there and this Crimson Rosella was having a nice breakfast of thistle seeds.

About half way Frances went to check out the Yarralumla Nursery while I took Tammy to explore the dog run.  She had a great time with the other small dogs including Herman the micro-Chihuahua who was way smaller than her.
Our route crosses back over Commonwealth Avenue bridge, and just before we got there I manged to line up three sights in one shot.  In the background we have the Black Mountain telecom tower which was a source of great controversy in the 1970s and opened in 1980.  Mid-ground is the National Museum of Australia, which is reasonably un-controversial.  The rock in the foreground is the memorial to Katie Bender who was killed during the botched demolition of the Canberra Hospital, which formerly occupied the Museum site.
 The edifice below has arisen rather quickly, and we first noticed it when visiting a high-rise apartment in the CBD.  Apparently it is planned to be a set of funky restaurants and entertainment places with the design referencing the use of shipping containers in the 3rd World.  (When we lived in Dar-es-Salaam I used to take lunch in a restaurant made from two containers stacked on top of each other: cooking below, eating above - I reckon OHAS would have a cow about that!)
Back to the car after 3:05 walking, plus 30 minutes at the dog run.  Not bad for 16km.  At one point a couple of runners commented that they were impressed with the way our little one was keepig up the pace!

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