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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wollongambe Crater

Regular readers of this blog will recall many walks on which our Danish friend Lise Marie was with us. Well, after being back in Denmark for a year or so she and her partner Kristian came back to Oz for a visit, and we felt it essential to get them out into the bush for a night while they were here.
A quick technical note: your intrepid photographer sadly had an embarrassing technical SNAFU this time. I was trying out the new large sensor compact by Sony as a bush camera. It's great (IQ comparable to many CSCs) but for one flaw: if you keep it in your pocket, pressure on the shutter button can drain the battery. It would be smart for the firmware to detect that it can't extend the lens, and therefore shut down the electronics. As a result no pictures from that camera. Fortunately Mark Olsen was with us, and took a few pics which he has generously allowed us to use. You might like to check out his great site at http://www.explorelifeonearth.org expecially, but not only, if you have botanical interests.

The plan was for one night trip, camped at a cave a bush bash well off the usual route, and then head to the crater the next day and walk out. The walk starts at Bell.

We headed off through the occasional shower and emerged on the heath-covered tops. Karola was with us, and had been training and turned out to be one of the most powerful walkers of the trip


La Nina is behind us, El Nino beckons, and the country is already drying out



We reached the knoll where there is a bit of open space and a view fairly early, even though we didn't set out until late, and stopped for afternoon tea:

Tea break on day 1:







Late in the afternoon we headed off track to our camp site, arriving at dusk. We felt a bit bad because our eight strong party was interrupting the solitude of a women who presumably, since it was already dusk, though she had the spot to herself. But it was too late to find another campsite.

Here then is Karola admiring Daniela's innovative, egg carton based equipment pouch:



And here's the campsite next morning; all awake except Daniela on her 'grandmother mattress' managing to sleep through a noisy breakfast



In the morning light we can admire Paul's bush carpentry skills: the sandstone and timber bench we built the night before!



Here we are at the top of the gorge getting ready to bash back to the track:





And here's a view into the gorge:



Mark went off to do some botanizing while the rest of us made for the crater, and found inter alia these amazing rock bowls:




There are lovely campsites along the Wollongambie river on the way to the crater. With Mark away I was reduced to using my phone (I'm afraid I've never done it before!) to capture Kristian at the crater itself:



Here's a view from a sort of island in the middle of a swamp in the crater itself where people seem to camp:



Daniela and Paul eating strawberries:



Here's the rock knoll again on our walk out:



Finally here's some amazingly dense Petrophile likely pulchella scrub










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