This walk took us through much more of Kuipto Forest. The walk was
supposed to be a week ago, but after some of the heaviest June falls on record (100mm+), we decided we would rather not have to wade through knee deep water. Being quite a bit closer to home this time we took the back way through Clarendon and Kangarilla. The big bonus in this was the fact that the Clarendon Bakery happened to be open this early on a Sunday morning. Whoo hoo! Next time we walk we are definitely having breakfast here!
This is a relatively easy walk with very few hills and nothing too steep. Cool morning at about 10 degrees with almost no wind. A bit of sun was breaking through the clouds every now and again. The forecast was cool with a chance of a shower, so we came prepared for a bit of wet weather.
The end point which was on a dirt road had a fair bit of water on the road. A couple of really big puddles we went through to get to our parking spot was of concern as neither of our cars are 4 wheel drive. It got me wondering just how wet still the track was going to be. Just as well I had given my boots a damn good waxing this morning.
Our group had grown this week, numbering six. Now Grant and I had arrived a bit early at the start point, and it was half an hour later when we got a phone call from the rest of our group trying to find the end point to park. The roads are not
particularly well sign posted around here. the end point was Old Coach road, however the trail book and Google maps both showed Old Coach rd coming off Dashwood Gully road. The reality however is that the turn off is Wicks rd with Old Coach rd starting 100 or so metres on the right on Wicks road. That had delayed us about five minutes, however, me bro and co, had got themselves a little more confused than we did. I have to say that studying the maps before you go, certainly does help, as well as having an up to date detailed map besides the trail guide. Thanks Grant for the new map book.
We headed off bathed in sunshine with the very cool brisk air bracing against our faces ensuring we were awake and alert. The road looked good. A little damp in places, but overall very walkable. We were prepared for rain, but quite honestly it just did not look likely. At the moment there is a “re-route” in Kuipto around the regular track due to tree felling in the forest. Now I had the re-route all planned out and even put maps on my brand new IPhone 4s (had to get that in), but as it quite often happens, we got chatting and seemed to have missed the turn off. How on earth did that happen???? Well, anyway, my spidey senses kicked in and we headed off on an infamous “browne’s” short cut. To my great surprise (yes mostly mine) we emerged from the forest exactly where we should have been, cutting substantial time off our journey. Cool! Grant thought it was just all good luck of course.
I have to say at this point, that my brother in law, Michael, had told me a couple of weeks ago that this walk is dead set boring. I know Deb was looking forward to doing Kuipto. So read on and you be the judge.
The start of the walk was on open dirt roads with either natural bush or pine forests (usually the later). Our pace was brisk, partly because we were fresh, but also to try to warm up a bit in the very cool morning. Mal, again in shorts, questioned his choice of attire being so cool, although 10 minutes later, he was expousing his wisdom on wearing shorts, now feeling pretty comfortable.
Now I reckon the distance from start to finish “as the crow flies” would be about 8 or 9 kms, however, the trail that we took took us back and forth, up and down and almost round and round for 16 odd kms.
There are some pretty unusual things we usually see on our walks, but they are usually animals rock formations or plants. This walk would be different. A few weeks ago there was a body found somewhere in Kuipto Forest. Well I think we found it, (the place, not the body) all taped off to preserve any evidence. The coffee cup we found perched on a makeshift bark table (very short legs), was a bit of a surprise. Could have been from one of the coppers I guess, although I did’nt see any donuts. If anyone thinks that the cup may be yours, I can give you directions to the spot.
As mentioned previously, wildlife is what we usually see on our walks, but one of the few
animals we saw this trip was a …..giraffe. Well sorta. It was a
headless cement giraffe! I think he was just resting, really.
Also, keeping with the “I found something dead” theme, as I do on every walk, I found a bone and wonder if it may be human and part of the skeleton of the body found last week?
Now that was all a little interesting. Most of the rest of the walk was pine tree after pine tree after pone tree.
I also found the ideal renovators delight positioned perfectly to take advantage of the lovely aromatic pine wafting forever across your front porch. Plenty of scope for improvement too, not to mention an original open fire place! I am sure any reasonable offer would be considered.
The Kuipto Forest headquarters gave us a civilised comfort stop which was a little nicer than baring your bits in the wild as we usually do. This was also a great time to munch into a Snickers bar. If there was ever a time where you would be allowed to indulge in such a calorie rich treat, it would be half way through a 16 km walk. Hmm hmm.
The track got a little wetter from here on through trekking through some light woodland. Plenty of folk around walking the various trails, orienteering, or huddled around a fire trying to keep warm.
From here on in we hit more pine forest, and then more pine forest, and then more pine forest. I can see why movie makers quite often use pine forests in scary movies. They tend to be very quiet, almost totally devoid of wild life giving a very creepy feel.
At one point one of our party who was lagging behind the rest of the group disappeared. Apparently she need a “comfort” stop, but due to her modesty she disappeared quite deep into the deep dark forest. It took quite some time to coach her back out to civilisation. Had we not stopped, she could have still been wandering amongst the creepy trees for days and days, maybe never to seen again!
Brookman Connor rd to Old Coach rd
Terrain = Dirt roads and tracks (some with substantial puddles. Open woodland and pine forests.
Distance = 16kms
Difficulty = Easy walking with minimal slopes. A bit wet in places if raining, definitely requiring hiking boots.
Time = 4.5 hours with two brief stops
Speed = 4km per hour