HEATHCOTE NP – 29 February 2020
Imagine a day out with pool rings, champagne, hot dogs and the words River Explorers sung to the tune of Viva Las Vegas (none of us could remember any of the lyrics other than Viva Las Vegas – maybe we’ll have to come up with a better tune next time). A hot day, great water temperature, and lots of laughs … how much better can it get?
The Legendary Louise had suggested this day walk when we were struggling for a good trip out (with water involved) once all the canyons were closed. I put it on the MSS calendar as it’s always good to have other people to laugh with, and we were all suffering from canyon withdrawal. In the end there were four of us, Penny S and Gigi F joined Louise and me. Louise gave us directions as we set out that, traditionally, the words River Explorers were to be sung from time to time as we floated down the river (exploring).
Gigi, me, Penny & Louise. It was Gigi’s first trip out with us, she’d only found us on Facebook three days beforehand, she confessed later to thinking “what am I doing with these people?” – that was after Louise said we should do the traditional “Death Pic” (explaining that if anything bad happened, whoever found the camera would be able to say “at least they were enjoying themselves”). Gigi did confess to giving her husband my FB profile (just in case) – good thinking Gigi.
An hour to walk in, mostly downhill – none of us realised how much downhill it was until we had to walk out! (Louise blowing up her Christmas wreath pool ring and Penny blowing up her Truck Tyre pool ring).
Gigi blowing up her Toucan pool ring, there was a lot of hot air going into the Toucan – was giving Gigi the head spins.
Rings all blown up, now down to the river.
Louise giving entry instructions, get your pool ring nice and cold, then reinflate after the air in it has cooled down.
Launch time, surprisingly the water was a comfortable temperature.
The toucan was Gigi’s cousin’s idea – pool ring or toucan? Go the toucan her cousin says, turns out it’s very difficult to get forward momentum with a toucan. Legs in the water not great.
Riding the head of the toucan not much better.
Finally side-straddle seemed to be the best. Penny enjoying floating on the river.
The weather was partially cloudy, and the temperature just right. The bank on the right hand side was nice and green, but the bank on the left looks as though a fire had been through in the last 12 months or so.
This part of the river wasn’t great, lots of reeds, and some submerged branches, Louise led the way, making sure none of us got caught up in hidden branches.
Gigi and the toucan approaching the reeds. Gigi wasn’t keen on sticks in the river, we did assure her that there was nothing in the river that could bite you and after an encounter with a spider web/spider in a tree, Louise assured her that the only bad spiders were terrestrial ones (ones on the ground).
Eventually the big river pools petered out and we were forced to rock hop.
Eventually we came to a nice rock ledge so took time out for First Lunch, and the opening of the Champagne. Louise and I had brought hot dogs & buns to share, the hot dogs were cooked before we left home and stored in thermoses in boiling water to keep them hot. Was a real treat having junk food and champagne.
And having “glasses” for the champagne.
Back in the water, and a rocky section.
Followed by more rock platforms – these are so cool, pity about the lousy pic!
We had a big section of boulders, scrub and pools that we had to negotiate through, a full body workout.
More rock platforms, it was a relief to get out of the scrub.
Eventually we came to a spot where we had Second Lunch and the last of the champagne, actually not much champagne, the cork had fallen out (lol). There was bit of a spa pool too that we took turns in, sadly the pics of that were very blurry.
By now it was 3.30pm, so we looked at the map to decide which route we’d take out. We made the decision to back-track (with deflated pool rings) to an old causeway we’d passed, hopefully we’d find the fire trail that led to the causeway and then take that up to the Pipeline Track. Not sure that Penny and Gigi were all that confident of us finding the old fire trail, but Louise nailed it. From there it was an hour’s walk back to the cars (mostly uphill).
On the Pipeline Track, I had in my mind’s eye a photo op here reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove riding on the missile, sort of worked out! (Gigi, me & Penny)
Take 2 … Louise, me and Penny.
Great day out in the bush – thanks Louise for showing us an area that none of us had been to before and thanks Gigi and Penny for joining us.
Might have to come up with another tune Viva Las Vegas, doesn’t really lend itself to changing the lyrics to make River Explorers a song with more than 2 words! Suggestions welcome.
There’s nothing glamorous about bushwalking, caving or canyoning, but it sure is fun! If you’re an armchair bushwalker, someone looking for new adventures, or one of my friends who just wants to see what I’ve been up to, this site is for you, sign up to get email alerts now!