Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Into each life a little stupidity must fall

Possibly stupidity is not an uncommon visitor to this blog, but this afternoon's sample was a doozy.  But that was then, and after looking at a still and cold dam ...
... the day started with an early and short dog walk before heading off to Forster for a morning getting closer to some cetaceans.

So we got there well before sailing time only to find the ship is booked out,  Whale oil beef hooked!  So we booked for tomorrow's expedition and headed back to Pacific Palms for a walk we had done on a previous visit.  En route we were pleased to see the Osprey sunning itself on a power pole close.
We then swung into Elizabeth Bay and the start of the Booti Booti Hill track within the Booti Booti National Park.
It was pretty uphill with a fair few steps and a lot of palms.  After about 500m we found these large sacks of gravel beside the track.
 This caused a brief pause - not that we were puffed or anything and needed a pause - to contemplate why they were there.  I concluded, mainly from the substantial handles on the sacks that they'd been dropped in be helicopter to build the track. It would surely be a real man's job to cart them up in a wheelbarrow!

At this point we were mainly above the palms and going through an attractive sclerophyll forest.
We then dropped down a bit to the junction with the track from Wallis Lake which I read quickly as being 900m away.  Then we got back into palms again.
 More uphill with roots forming the steps.  We weren't going real quick on this section.
Anyone that does bushwalking/hiking/tramping is aware of the peril of "headache trees" that dangle just above the track at a nice height to whack your head.  Some of the fig trees on this track are more like "gut busters" being barely over a metre above the dirt.
Surprisingly there were few epiphytes around, However this bunch of ferns, in lithophytic mode were quite impressive.
As we started to drop down we got into a zone of Casuarinas and then an area where we could see the ocean (apparently clear of whales).
 Then we got this view with ocean spit and Wallis Lake all visible.
That photo was taken from about the position of the redarrow in this snip from Google Earth.
There were very few flowers seen, but these leguminous (?Fabaceous?) pods indicate where flowers had been.
 Eventually were got back to sea level and sat down to chug a water bottle and look at thesand.  A Gannet flew by, which is always nice to see.
Crossing the dune into the Ruins campground our first Brushturkey of the trip wandered by and entered itself into Bird of the Day.  I'm saving the Osprey until tomorrow.
 After refilling our water bottles - thank you nice lady at the NSW Parks Office - we crossed Lakes Way and headed off to the Lake Side track.  There were a lot of Monarch/Wanderer butterflies around.  I counted at least 8 feeding on this bunch of plants which a friend has said are definitely Family Asteraceae  and possibly genus Sigesbeckia.

We toddled along the shore of Lake Wallis both feeling a tad knackered after the rigours of the outwards track.  Very few waterbirds were around 8 Pelicans being the standout (plus a Sea-eagle).  I offered to leave Frances at a lakeside picnic area and go back over the hill to the car, coming back to collect her.  She offered to look after my back-pack to minimise the schlep coefficient of the trip.  I gratefully accepted this and took off.

I soon got some good news.  The track up to the junction was only 500m rather than the 900m I had previously misread.  A quick descent of the step and I was back at the car 20 minutes sooner than expected.

Now to drive a car you need two things for sure: a car, and an ignition key.  To avoid losing the key I had carefully attached it to my backpack.  Panama! - or as the Egyptians say Far Canal!  Hence the title of this post.  So a quick jog along the road back to the picnic area where Frances was waiting.  As it was clear that this was both a fair bit shorter and involved about 100m less elevation change than going the way I had previously gone we walked back to the car and rove home to greet our small dog.

1 comment:

Rob said...

That made me chuckle. I like the Panama call. Well worth using in appropriate circumstances (which this is)