Kuipto Forest has been less than exciting, so it was with great
pleasure that we finally left the last of the pine trees behind. That is not to say there was nothing to see as there are some sights worth having a look at, however, 3 million plus pine trees pretty much all look the same.
Today was a bit miserable for walking. 11 degrees and very overcast, with rain starting to fall as we got out of the car. Ordinarily we start our walks early in the morning, but today Grant was not available till the afternoon. It was a 1:30pm start for us, which was a bit delayed because we had to drive right past the Clarendon
Bakery at lunch time. That was just not going to be possible, so we stopped for a very tasty lunch. Steak pie for me and cornish pastie and apple crumble for Grant. I have to say that it was more like a city street with so many cars and people in and out with all manner of pastries and fresh bread. There were cyclists all kitted up in lycra (Tour De France is on of course), motor cyclists, ZRX’s, hot Commodores and 4 wheel drives, with wife and kids tucked warmly in the car while dad nips in to buy pies and cakes.
Today was a 4 layer day and a must was a water proof jacket and definitely water resistant hiking boots. Grant even slipped on his water proof pants. He was now “water tight” from head to toe, and off we went trudging through the wet grass and mud.
We picked up a friend for a short while. Friendly little critter. Usually it is the cows trying to follow us. This time just a friendly little mutt.
The sky was very dark and low today with light rain falling often. The wind (fortunately) at our backs had quite a chill factor and it looked like this weather had set in for the day. After a couple of hours though the weather had cleared a bit. Well, actually the clouds just lifted a bit letting in a bit more light and heat. We were now nice and warm, and after a break and removing one layer we set off again picking up the pace to ensure we made the end before dark.
We had some awesomely big puddles to negotiate with most having a route around,
but some we just had to trudge through. My 10 year old Timberland boots were well up to the task with not a drop of water getting in. Grant could have waded in neck deep with a snorkel and not got wet with all his fancy wet weather gear.
There were again some unusual things to look at on the way. In one paddock there was what looked like a “tyre” sculpture, a rounded mound covered in white plastic with old tyres spaced evenly on top. However I am sure it had a more practical reason. Really. The outside dining table was pretty cool. Carved out of trees and on the side of the road. It was a pity we did not had time to stop and have a meal. I wonder if they would deliver pizza way out here??
Along this trek is one of the old Echunga gold mining settlements. The crumbling remains of a once bustling mining settlement was a nice interlude on such a dreary day. One of the old mines is still traversable, so with “boy scout” Grant who brought along a torch, we headed in to the 80 metre tunnel.
Right next door to the diggings is a police training camp, so if you are thinking of doing anything not quite legal, I would think about doing it some place else. Once again not much wild life this trek. Not sure if it is because of all the rain, or because we are getting closer to more populated areas, or because of the pine forest. Personally, I think the pine forests just do not support Aussie wild life very well. Pine trees = good for wood, but bad for wild life. We did see some sheep, cows, more Bobby calves and a couple of alpacas (they are so cute. Pity they spit).
Old Coach Road to Todd Road
Distance : 18kms
Speed : 4.5 km per hour
Terrain : Some dirt roads and forest tracks with a couple of fields near the end. Most flat with only 4 odd hills.
Difficulty : Easy walking on mostly good tracks. The hills are not that steep. The rain made some of the tracks very muddy and boggy.
Best part : The gold mines, and maybe the out door setting!
A note to Mal and company (who did this walk last week without us), love to get your thoughts on this walk and any decent photos you took. Just leave a comment.
The rest of the trek by camera.