Saturday, May 12, 2007

Map Reading

Raeville to Locks Ruin
Northern Guidebook, Maps 1.5-1.7

"That's the ruin on the left over there, see, just under that tree. Marker 'F', that's just coming up in the valley ahead," instructed Raelene. "Ah yes, indeed, I see, so we are here," I replied, also carefully comparing the map to the landmarks around us. "Yup, and 'Dunleath', that's over there on the left." Um, no. That would be it on the right. "Oh, just when you and the other person think you have got it under control, I then go and prove I don't," she stated. We laughed. We climbed down the shallow valley, through the creek, and back up the other side, past the ruin. A different ruin. Oops. Karma. I was wrong too. Quite obvious really, it was about 2mm off the trail on the map, making it about 200 metres in reality - not about 1 km away as the ruins we saw on the hill. Raelene had undertaken a bushwalking leadership course recently. "Maps aren't my strength, but now, I have such a better understanding of map reading. I'm practicing," Raelene earlier stated. Lyn was practicing too, a particularly difficult aspect - intepreting the contours. Perhaps I should have done the course too, but generally, apart from moments of stupidity, I'm not so bad with maps.

Today we walked from the 'Raeville' homestead, near Georgetown, to Locks Ruin, somewhat near Crystal Brook. Some 20km, a good start to the walking season for the End-to-End 2 group. Of course I have done a few indy walks recently, so certainly appreciated walking with others, not having to navigate and having a bus to drop us off at the start of the walk, so we could walk back to our cars.

Lots of farmland today, a bit of road walking at the start, and, unusually, a walk straight down the main street, such as it is, of Georgetown. And you know why that is so unusual? It means a shop! So icecreams it was for morning tea, sitting in the local park - a playground, green lawns, benches and toilets - this was unusual!

Stayed at Gladstone Gaol on Saturday night. Most people had come up Friday afternoon or evening, but I had come up first thing Saturday morning. Don't think I will do that again, leaving at 6.30am for the two and a bit hour drive. The gaol was positively eerie. The guys enjoyed a beer together as the girls showered in the only working bathroom, before we had our go. It was nice, all (almost) staying together in one place. By the time I went to bed, in my cell, I wasn't so spooked by the claustro space, all our night's activities had personafied the space. Earlier, a guide took us on a tour of the 1880's gaol - used right up to the 1970's. So very rundown in places, and somewhat yucky, although not quite as bad as Melbourne Gaol - but perhaps this was because the guide knew so little personal stories of inmates. I never did take any photos of the gaol, I had thought I could take some nice sunrise photos, but the angles weren't right, and I didn't feel adventurous enough. Thankfully though, the place was already booked for the June long weekend. Phew. I might go camp in the Wirabarra Forest for the next hiking weekend.

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