We arrived early in the afternoon on a wet and windy day, with something you don’t see very often out here. Rain, and we saw plenty of it on our way north. Hawker had received 18+mm in a couple of days, which is great for everyone in the bush. It was relatively dry when we arrived, but the wind was still gusting above 50kmh as we would realise when we got to the top of the ridge.
A short walk today of 9 kms, from Jarvis Hill to Leigh Creek Rd. Half of the walk was along the ridge of the Yourambulla Ranges. Climbing the rocky ridge to the lookout, with a panoramic view opening up before us, we shifted our city brains out of gear and just allowed our minds to take in the pleasures of the Heysen trail. A valley to the left gave rise to another ridge standing tall and keeping ours company on the journey north. To the right the flat plain stretched out with incursions of hills, peaks, and ridges seemingly placed delicately to give an interesting view.
The rocky ridge line jutting out at a 30+ degree angle was not the easiest to walk on, particularly when it is a little wet and the wind is trying to blow you off the mountain, repeatedly.
A classic rock overhang gave us some brief respite before battled those gales again. Our pace on the 4.5 km ridge was pretty pedestrian, and although the views were fantastic, we focussed mainly on keeping our footing. I only slipped 4 or 5 times. Thank goodness for sturdy boots.
We shared the trail with a few Wallabies and a couple of hairy goats, all of which were very shy, and disappeared down the slopes as soon as we came into view.
After coming off the ridge we meandered through the scratchy, thorny, stony scrub on a gentle slope before pacing it out along the fence line to finish at the old wagon adjacent the road with many names. Leigh Creek Road/Outback Highway/Barndioota Road/Parachilna Road(all dependant on which map you look at).
One of four walks done. This trip will take in four days of walking with one day break (to rest the sore feet). Today was a easy “break-in” walk of 9 kms, just to get us back in the swing of things. Tomorrow we will up the anti with 15kms, before we tackle the 30+ kms on walk three. Last day will see us do another 15 kms walking into Wilpena Pound. 75 kms in all for the week. We are staying in a comfortable cabin at Hawker Caravan Park for two nights and the rest of the week will be at Rawnsley Park.
Jarvis Hill to Leigh Creek Road
Distance : 9.8 kms
Duration : 2 hours 18 minutes
Pace : 4.2 kph
Terrain: Rocky and prickly
Elevation : Gain = 189 mtrs. Loss = 215 mtrs
Calories burned : 1351
And the rest in pictures.