Archive for November, 2016


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Bobby Creek Road

We played with the kangaroos again this morning on the way to Bobby’s Creek road. The Emu’s and the Wedgy’s were a little shyer though, keeping well away from the road. Fortunately the Roo’s tire pretty quickly of playing with cars, and so made their way through or over the fence.  One needing to learn how to jump a little higher, as he clipped the top of the fence almost completing a somersault with a half twist. Shame about the landing. Could have been a “ten”!

img_7660Sunny day, but with plenty of scattered cloud, which would persist all day. With a nice cool breeze, this made it a perfect day for walking in the Flinders.

Our trek today takes us from Bobby Creek road through to Jarvis Hill. Not far from Hawker. The road took us though the scrubby bush, slowly evolving into a off road track, albeit a good one. We meandered through the undulating grassy hills which were in the process of drying out. Although, there was still some water persisting in some of the creeks.

img_7674Water is always a rare sight up here, and it still amazes me that there are tadpoles a plenty in the remaining pools. Where do the frogs go during the many dry months? Life is truly amazing.

Plenty of hawks and kites circling for their breakfast this morning, as we continue on our hike through the waves of greens and yellows. The coloured carpet softening the harsh red and sandy earth below.   A quiet reverence filling the space within my mind, but seemed to extend in all directions to the visible horizon. Nice.

img_7685We wandered on in the bright sunshine, refreshed with the chilled breeze.  All external senses engaged, while the mind quiet and still while we drifted through the landscape.

We met the first of our scaled friends just after our first break. Lazing in the sun, this very sandy coloured specimen greeting us with the usual grumpy stumpy hello.

His blue tongue flashing a fairly decent warning.  This would be the first of many today. Stumpy’s rule this landscape.

img_7695Life abounds out here at the moment. From grasses, and wild flowers, to all manner of six and eight legged warriors, and of course the stately and confident lizards. Do I have to mention the Kanga’s, Emu’s and a vast variety of birds?  My favorite though (sorry Stumpy), was the Bearded Dragon. What a beautiful creature! Too cool to even be bothered by us.

We wandered on the plains adjacent the ranges, mostly on good tracks, but occasionally having to contend with loose rocks of all sizes. How many ankles have been twisted on these I wondered?

img_7717Patches of white were splashed carelessly about by Mother Nature’s artist, with the occasional curse of the Patterson, only finding salvation in the arms of Jane.  In spite of it’s reputation, purple looks good in any environment.

The walk along these ranges seemed to go on for ever, and was at times quite challenging with loose rocks on the trail. We did however finally “hang” a right, heading downhill and looking towards Jarvis Hill, visible in the distance as a slight “V” in the opposing hill line.

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Mt Elm Camp site dunny

We had a brief stop at Mount Elm camp site before our final leg. It looked like an internally troubled hiker may have “blown” the door off the camp dunny!  I was however, not game to investigate further!

Once again the last few K’s seemed the longest, and as the gradient slowly increased, it only confirmed my suspicions of this ever increasing truth. The trail also got a little “abstract” before we hit the road (thank you Garmin for keeping us on track).

img_7749A shortish walk up the hill and around a couple of bends before we arrived at the gate of our relief. The beer was especially cold today, as we shared our company with the smallest of lizards. As we sat at our table of recovery and satisfaction, two Skinks cavorted about for our entertainment.

With our catch up walks now done, we will continue our trek north of Wilpena Pound in 2017. The last leg of our Heysen adventure takes in Wilpena Pound to Parachilna Gorge.  But for the moment, I will have to cope with my PHTD.

In Short

Bobby Creek Road to Jarvis Hill

Distance : 25.6 kms

Duration : 5 hours 10 minutes

Pace : 5 Kph

Terrain : Good tracks on the flat and undulating hills. Rocky, uneven ground and scrubby in later parts of the trail.

Elevation : Gain  573 mtrs.  Loss  331 mtrs

And…. the rest in pictures.

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Recent erosion from the storms

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Shortly before turning towads Jarvis Hill

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img_7799A coolish and cloudless day greeted us this morning. Certainly much cooler than the usual October weather in the Flinders. The road to our start point had plenty of furry and feathered friends greeting us along the way, slowing our journey at many a point. Mostly Kanga’s who seem to want an early morning race. One hitting 44kph!  Just a young’n too.  Leaving our friends, we kicked up a trail of dust leading to the gorge. The rock face stood large in front us. An amazing rock  sculpture that is Buckaringa Gorge.

img_7816Lizards feature quite regularly on our two walks this trip. Lazing in the sun seemingly without a care. Right in our “boot scootin” way on the trail.  Until we get too close of course.

The Stumpy’s are always grumpy, flashing their blue tongues. Every bit as aggressive as a Maori, in full Haka.   The bearded dragons however are pretty chilled. Not moving a muscle no matter what we do.  Grant has also learned to look first before stepping on them. It only took about a thousand Km’s to learn that one.

img_7817Seems to be a very healthy ecosystem out here. The recent rains have transformed the normally dusty grey landscape into a myriad of colours. Muted greens, browns and ochre bleed into each other, just like a Monet painting.

Once at the entrance of the Gorge we hang a right heading across the creek heading North East and onto a slightly overgrown track.  Gaitors were a definite necessity today, as we were not keen to end up with porcupine img_7820socks.

The trail wanders along the edge of the range undulating a little up and down with open views to our right of scrubby grassland with the occasional tree line creek. Plenty of Roos to the left and the right, with one Mob numbering in the teens.

The scrubby bush persisted for the first 11 kms or so without any decent rest spots.  Not until we walked through the second gorge did we find a comfortable seat. The Heysen camp site with a seat and tank water was a welcome respite instead of having to sit in the prickly grass. Those grass burs f’n stick to everything.

img_7823A couple of wild goats welcomed us into the second gorge, but did not stick around to chat. The goats headed off into the scrub while we climbed the stile to the right and after a short rest at the camp site, we headed up the first of the two major hills. About 50 metres each. Nice views from the top, and even though there has been plenty of rain with the recent storms, it does not take much time for the land to dry out. This was evident today.

img_7849Off in the distance we could see a break in the landscape. A lighter coloured crescent splitting the land in two.  It became apparent soon that we would be heading straight towards this oasis in our muted Monet landscape.

Coming off the second hill, our “roman road” trail did not deviate until we reached the break in the landscape which is the “glistening” Willochra creek. But before we hit level ground, we spied a pelican circling high in the sky. I had not seen a pelican out here before.

img_7871Must be water in the creek I thought, or that jumbo of the bird world must be really lost!

The creek is a wonderful place to stop for lunch. The layered cliff face with whites and browns, stood silent watching over the still waters.  Wonderful clay pattern in one section. Looking just like a paved patio. If you do this walk, plan to spend your longest break here.

After a short steep climb up the cliff face, we were once again walking the fence line in the grass and burs, leaving Willochra creek to disappear from view. Once again swallowed up by the hardened dry landscape.

img_7878A couple of K’s later and after crossing Kanyaka creek, we hit the road. Although the walking was a little easier, the hardness of the road and the increased heat was starting to  take it’s toll.  Even though the road walking was only 4.5kms, it seem much longer and harder. Why is it that the last few K’s always seem to be the hardest. Strange that.

Our trail end today was Bobby Creek Road, and while we were still 3 odd kms from our end point, we could see a shiny blue glint in the distance. The bright beacon of my small piece of civilization parked in the harsh wilderness.  The thought of a soft seat and a cold beer teasing us for just a little longer.

In Short

Buckaringa Gorge to Calabrinda (Bobby Creek Road)

Distance : 21.4 kms

Duration : 4 hours 14 minutes (walking time). A bit over an hour of breaks.

Pace : 4.9 kph

Terrain : Undulating hills with only two major hills (50mtrs each). Rocky in places

And the rest…….

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Camp site just off of Buckaringa scenic drive

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Lone cyclist heading off into the wilderness.

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Feathered friends

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Looking back towards Buckaringa Gorge from Willochra Creek

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Willochra Creek

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The Camry still rockin on in The Flinders.

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