Beetaloo to Wirrabara Forest (old nursery)
Northern Guidebook, Maps 2.4-2.6
It was a tough walk. Some people, and at this point it would be worthwhile to retain some anonymity, were eager hikers today, walking far ahead of the others. Now the culture of this hiking club is all about walking at your own pace, however one should always stop to regroup at fences, gates, junctions etc. However, there just weren't many of these today, so the group got quite spread out as we each tackled the seemingly endless peaks and troughs. Our goal today was the tv tower on top of The Bluff, a distinct landmark in the South Flinders Ranges. We followed the ridge leading from the start of the Flinders Ranges, northwards. But each peak revealed yet another trough and peak, seemingly always falling short of the looming tv tower. As it turned out, the tv tower was enormous, and nearby were no less than three other towers, all dwarfed by this mammoth tower. So yes, back to those lines in the sand. They became a necessary control measure at these regrouping points. Us fast ones - opps, I mean, um, those fast ones - would spend some time waiting for the rest of the group to catch-up. Being eager hikers, they were keen to set off again, often not allowing those slower paced ones time to catch their breath. Normally, one would wait for the walk leader to start off again, but that's quite hard to do when you are so eager to keep walking! So eventually, Jerry was forced to draw a line in the sand at one of these regrouping points, which we were not permitted to cross. Russell, despite being the newbie in the group, thought nothing of crossing, sorry, accidentally falling, over the line. Sigh... so much to learn.
A long hike today, some 20km, difficult, but still fun. Lots of views over Port Pirie and the Spencer Gulf to Whyalla. After The Bluff, we had a steep hike back down to Wirrabara Forest. As predicted, by the time masters, Leonnie and myself, oh so humbly, we arrived at the appointed time of 5pm - just 15 minutes shy of sunset.
- Distance: 20km
- Total time: 7 hours