A cold cloudy day greeted us at Cornvale Rd this morning. Chilly wind, 9° and cloudy with a good chance of rain. Did this deter us? Hell no. In fact both Grant and were both waiting by our phones the previous night after we saw the forecast for today, and we both expected the other with some lame excuse not to go. We are both however, just a little competitive, so neither of us picked up the phone.
Once we got walking though, we warmed up and the sun broke through occasionally for a very nice day. We had a couple of light showers, but had we believed the weather bureau, we probably would not have walked. The issue with the weather forecasts is that in the regional areas the forecast is very general and for a large area. Eg. for the mid north of the state the forecast may be for rain, however the rain may only fall in less than half of the forecast area, and it may vary in intensity. So, for a “rain” forecast in any area, you may have anything from sunny with a bit of cloud, to rain all day!
This walk was pretty easy with only one real hill, which gave us some awesome views. Most of the walk was on reasonable tracks along creeks and fields as well as the dirt (or muddy) roads. There was a little bit of wet greenery we were walking through thanks to the recent rains, but it was really rather pleasant.
Met a lovely lady growing Shiraz grapes for their “own personal consumption”. How cool is that, and the fact that she was originally from Denmark! Wine making is such a long Danish tradition!
Marchalls Hut is a well maintained cabin for use by anyone trekking the trail. Well appointed with sleeping benches for a dozen or more. Open fire place and a new toilet, albeit outside. Tucked into the side of a hill and elevated enough to give a great view. The beautiful landscape along with the sheep and an alpaca is plenty to keep you entertained.
We had a slight detour after losing our way for a short stretch after we left Marschalls Hut. Once at the top of the hill, recheck your map and trail markers. It seems we must have missed one of the signs.
Grant made a friend on our walk too. A four legged friend kept us company for a couple of kms marking his territory all along the way. He looked very happy, but what dog wouldn’t be happy having so many acres to roam.
The pub at Marrabel was a great spot. The locals and the publican were very friendly and they make a great coffee. Yep you heard me right. We still had 5kms to walk, so a coffee it was. It was very tempting to grab a beer or three and sit by the open fire for the rest of the afternoon. Marrabel is also one of the few places in S.A. you get to see a rodeo and bull riding.
Cornvale Road to Aunt Sues Road
Distance : 24 kms
Duration : 4 hours 36 minutes walking time. Two breaks totalling 36 minutes.
Speed : 5.3 kph (11 minutes per km)
Terrain : Good tracks and roads. a bit muddy when wet, but usually passable.
Best Bit : Marschalls Hut and the ridge walk.
A few more photos.