Lawyer (blood sucking leeches) Creek

Once we decided to decamp our Canyoning Extravaganza at Mt Wilson due to too much rain, we headed back to the Central Coast.  So, our list of canyon trips had to be shelved although the core group was still intact.  So, what to do?  I’d taken them on an easy coastal walk the next day, what about something a little more challenging?  So, out came the wish list, and the list of “unfinished business”.

I cunningly selected Wallis Creek – unfinished business.  Back in August 2020, I’d planned a trip down a side creek of Wallis, we’d run out of time so exited up a spur and then negotiated our way up the very sketchy side of Wallis Creek.  Wallis Creek looked interesting, I thought it would be good to go down the creek and go right to the junction, so it became “unfinished business”.

Jim C, Alan C, and Liz McC joined me, Steph (very wisely) decided to stay home and have a rest day.

We started the walk from Barnier’s Road, I had hoped to drive further along the fire trail (as we would be exiting from the valley at the end of Barnier’s Road) but at this “puddle” I wussed out and reversed back to a convenient parking area. Jim said it was probably only 30 – 40cm but I wasn’t taking the risk in my 2WD.

From Barnier’s Road we turned left onto the GNW and at the junction of the GNW trail and Wallis creek, I showed them the lovely little canyon in the headwaters of Wallis.  The track to Wallis was a little muddy in places and we noticed that the leech activity was greater than normal (ie you didn’t stand too long in the one place).

After admiring the small canyon, we headed downstream.  About an hour after we started, we came across some pink tapes, these were helpful as following them meant that we weren’t in the creek but on the right side of the creek where it was negotiable.  Then we lost them, and found ourselves back in the creek.

I had told everyone that there were boulders in the creek the size of a caravan (these aren’t them), further down the creek I reassessed this description, they were the size of a small house.

Liz negotiating a very long and large log that we all walked across (avoiding going up and down boulders). Neither Liz nor I were happy with log walking.

Alan in amongst the boulders.

Eventually we got to a section of creek where it was hard to get down, the sides didn’t look good either and we were in the house-sized boulder area.  There was a bit of a drop with a big log that looked like you could step on it and get down easily, but none of us liked the look of the log.  Undaunted, Alan said, “looks ok to me”, and stepped across onto it, and it looked like it was bomb proof …. and then it wasn’t and I saw his head disappearing into the void (it was like he was riding an elevator down the void).  I was aghast, this wont end well, we’ll have to airlift him out, the void was at least 3m down.  “You ok Alan?” …. waiting with baited breath … “yep all good.”, he’d rode it down like in a rodeo and then jumped off at the end into a small pool.  Too close for comfort for me! We’re all now breathing a sigh of relief!

A waterfall where we had lunch.

During lunch, we decided that we couldn’t go down the next drop, we’d have to skirt around it.  I determined that the best route was to the left so off we went, and almost immediately we ran into the pink tapes again.  I’m guessing that someone has put pink tape all along the creek denoting the best route, it was a pity we lost them further upstream.

Alan was first in the group with the instructions “whatever you do, follow the tape”, it was getting late in the day and I figured we at least an hour and a half from the junction where I wanted to exit the creek.

As directed Alan stuck to the taped route and we were very surprised when we got to the junction, it had only taken us 1/2 hour to get there, whereas I was thinking it would take us 1.5 hours!  We accidentally happened upon a cleared piece of land and a few structures; we’d inadvertently found ourselves on private land. There was a section of private land on my very old map, but I’d assumed (incorrectly) that it had been absorbed by the National Park. Whoever owned the land had made a causeway across the creek, with an open section of it where the water could flow through, not sure why he had this causeway – where would it go?

100m from the green grass of the private property, we came across this camera in the bush, so, we high-tailed it at that point, what is the landowner looking for? (photo Alan C)

Looking at the map, we had two options, go up the spur and at the top go left, walk 500m and then another 500m to access the road. Going right at the top looked like there wouldn’t be any cliff line and we could easily access the road (Barnier’s Road), so, we made our way up to the cliff-line.

The terrain wasn’t too unfriendly and the vegetation was dry and not too scrubby so after half an hour or so we were at the cliff-line and heading around to the right. Rooky error, the contour lines were pretty close together and I should have realised that we’d be heading to cliff-line.

We persevered for about an hour – trying to avoid leeches and lawyer vine and bloody scrub.  Alan was up above is looking (unsuccessfully) for a break in the cliff-line.

We then got to a landslip (you can see the cliff that we couldn’t get through). It was a case of turn back and do more than 500m under the cliff-line then another 500m to the road, or persevere.

We opted for continuing forward – crossing the landslip wasn’t that good either, it takes years for the loose rock to settle so you have to be very careful where you step – that’s me behind Jim and Liz. (Photo Alan C)

The going didn’t get any better and by now we’re all pretty much over this trip. The nice creek was a distant memory, all we could remember now was the scrub and lawyer vine, how hot it was (lots of sweating) … and the leeches.

And the terrain wasn’t easy either, at this spot we had to downclimb about 2m using monkey vines!

Eventually we got through the cliff-line, but the GPS was telling us that we still had a couple of hundred metres of scrub (and small hill), and the closer we got to the road, the more dense the vegetation was.  Cannot tell you how happy we were to get to the road and then walk the 3 -4k along the old fire trail to the car.

Jim suffered the worse with the leeches! (Photo: Alan C)

When we got to the car, everyone had a bag with clean clothes and shoes in it (plus I had water for washing off).  We put our shoes and dirty clothes in plastic bags and sealed them so no leeches could get out in the car.  I sprayed my shoes with Aeroguard before putting them away, and I kid you not, 20 small leeches wriggled out of my shoes!  I’d creamed up my feet and ankles with Vics Vapour Rub (leeches don’t like Vics) and then wiped the excess off onto my sox.  I probably had 1 or 2 bites, but certinly not as many as Jim.

We got home and unacked the car, and when washing off my shoes there was another bloody leech.  Then I found one the next day making it’s way from the garage into my kitchen.  Whenever we found one, we killed it (sorry but I don’t want leeches in my little garden!).

Three days later the group were still talking about leeches … Stephie was happy she wasn’t on the trip!

Big thank you to Jim, Alan and Liz, you were all troopers, no complaining whatsoever when the going got tough!  And Liz, Alan & Jim even headed off with me the next day to check out Mooney Cave.  Mind you, on the Thursday, when I said we’d do a bludge trip to the Timber Beach sea caves, Liz decided to have a rest day! I think I’d worn her out!

We’d done a solid

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4 Responses to Lawyer (blood sucking leeches) Creek

  1. Brad says:

    Wattagans and leeches.
    Say no more .

    • marilyn says:

      Yep, I know, but there were MORE than any other time! I have so many walks I’d like to do there, will just have to leech proof gear, like wearing panty hose!

  2. Kathy Leslie says:

    I always enjoy reading about your adventures, Marilyn , but This one about the leeches ——Not so much!!!! Absolutely hate Leeches!!!!
    Other than that I am binge viewing your adventures! Thanks for sending.
    Looking forward to reading more!!!!

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