Spalding is the “centre piece” of our Heysen Trail walk this weekend. Very small town, but a great Aussie pub, with fantastic people. We did this walk over two and a bit days, with a 7k stroll in the late afternoon on the first day.
There is a good reason why they put wind farms here.
A month or so, since we last trod this great trail, enduring the chill, before nearing our Grail. Warm weather we get, with sun beaming down. Unlike the last time, with the bitter cold so unkind. There is a reason though, why the windmills are here, for there is more than a zepher in this atmosphere. The hum we could hear from the green gods standing tall, is that a headache I feel? Infrasounding and all? The land abounds though, green fare in all shades, surrounding Canola fields, bright as, the sun’s rays. Brings colour and contrast to the opaqueness of view, and will bring good yields to those farmers, bringing nutrition to you. Alpaca’s on guard, with a hundred or so ewes, rush over with glee, and intent to enthuse, themselves with a chat and attention from us, who do not bleat or baa, but know how to discuss.
I’m home on the Range. The “Browne Hill Range” that is.
Easy walking today, on the ridge and few hills, enduring the open, with the wind and it’s chills. Then down off Browne’s Range, with a few roads we traversed, and out of the wind in the sun we immersed. Our pace on the flat did quicken this day, as we strode aside the Channel, at a mighty 6k. More green and gold in the fields all around, just like our sports flag, right here on the ground. Bundaleer is our friend, keeping near all this way, waiting for rain, for some 30 odd k, to the dam in the north, quite a feat in it’s day, heritage listed it seems, to retain it this way. Round hills and through fields, and even over bourns, this aquaduct looks flat, but is sloped, it is sworn.
Stepping on Lizards
Our mate in the grass on the track by the creek, copped a size 10 on his head, letting out a faint squeak. He survived the size 10 and went back to his task, sunning himself, camouflaged in the grass. To Spalding we get, half way on the trail, and where do we stop? The Barbed Wire we hail, for a beer and a chat and to rest for a spell, looked after by Geoff, with a tall tale to tell. The beer and the wine refreshed our spent state, and the food from the boss, was honestly first rate. The steak and the lamb, was cooked with the know, very tasty and tender to make a man glow, and what would you expect serving beer from the bar, but a lass from the Rhineland, a Germanic superstar.
Our trek to the north took us back to the channel, on a clear sunny day, no need for the flannel, shirt or a coat, by this heritage ditch, such an easy going walk, on a Bundaleer pitch. Winding our way through the anaesthetised land, on a rhythmic march, so hypnotic and harmonic. Catatonic we were, before being attacked. The Cracticus, all black with patches of white, with intent on our eyes to remove our clear sight. The stick not enough to ward off our new foe, so resorting to measures, small rocks did we throw, retreat it so did after diving again, as we strode on our way resuming our zen.
Gazing around this landscape, smooth and so bare, makes me wonder if the trees, were ever once there. And what of the life in those times of the tree, will we ever again, be privy to thee? So the dam we did reach, and disrespectfully passed, for our legs care not, for the historical past. Bundaleer it is called and with water it so fills, for where else would a dam be, but , among those damn hills!
The walk now all done with spare time up our sleeve, to pick up some wares before we pack up and leave, this wonderful land, of fields green and gold, not far from another where a valley unfolds. Heading south now to where, the fruit from the vine, gives us the best of, Clare Valley fine wine. And today’s recommendation for those that so care, is GSM from Kilkanoon. It’s very good fare.
The Walk : Booborowie Rd to Hacklins Corner Rd
Distance : 7.5 kms
Duration : 1 hr 16 mins
Pace : 5.8 kmh
Terrain : A climb upto the ridge on the dirt road and then a bit of up and down on grassy/rocky/stony fields.
Best part : The views and the sunset at the end. Fantastic timing by us!
The Walk : Hacklins Corner Rd to Spalding
Distance : 25.3 kms
Duration : 4 hrs 33 mins
Pace : 5.5 kmh
Terrain : Continued up and down on the grassy/rocky/stony fields, but once off the ridge, dirt roads and decent track beside the channel.
Best part : Can I say the first beer at the Spalding Pub at the end? No. Definitely the Alpacas. So very cute.
The Walk : Spalding to (just passed) Bundaleer Dam.
Distance : 14.5 kms
Duration : 2 hr 3 mins
Pace : 6 kmh
Terrain : Dirt roads, but mainly the Bundaleer linear park track. Wide and flat. Well, actually down hill, at a rate of 40mm per kilometre (roughly)
Best part : Hmmm. Again pretty country side, but not very dramatic. Maybe our pace record? Over 6km per hour! Almost running!
The rest in pictures;