23 March 2016

Never too old to go walking

This is my Mum, Joyce Jones. She's in her nineties.

Back in the 1970s she and a group of friends arranged to go bushwalking together every second Tuesday, and for nearly forty years they have continued meeting. There has never been an organisational structure; no membership fees or committee meetings. At the end of each walk they decide where to go in a fortnight's time, where to meet, at what time. Anyone is welcome to bring friends,

the index
Over the years people have come and gone, and now Mum's the only remaining member of the original group. Every walk they have done has been meticulously recorded - where they went, how long it took, who attended.

There are 224 walks from the beginning of 1978 to the middle of 1989 recorded in the white exercise book; the blue one, "Book no. 3" records walks nos. 427 - 621, beginning at the start of 1999. I haven't been able to get hold of the current diary, so I don't know what number today's walk was.

on August 28 1979 the group climbed Cathedral Rock

Today the group had decided to visit the historic Ida Bay Railway at Lune River and walk out towards Southport Lagoon. Mum enlisted my services as driver. I must admit, herding five elderly bush walkers, three of whom are deaf and one practically blind, had its moments, but we arrived in time for the essential "elevenses" before clambering on board for our seven km journey to Deep Hole.

I love the Ida Bay Railway. It is a lovely clunky, rattling crawl through the bush; at the right time of year the wildflowers are magnificent. Today wasn't quite the right time of year, but the weather was perfect and a great flock of black swans was feeding in the bay.

The railway is also a bit quiet at this time of year, so they were running only one more trip today; this meant we had only two hours for a walk. So off we went towards Southport Lagoon.

Forty years ago my companions were striding out along the South Coast track and scrambling up and down mountains, but time has taken its toll. We ambled along at a leisurely pace, listening to birds and admiring the scenery and the party nagged each other about putting on hats and doing up shoelaces and carrying bags and jumpers in more sensible and convenient ways.

After an hour, we could see Southport Lagoon in the distance but we had a train to catch. An obligatory lunch break, then a slightly quicker return to Deep Hole as it's downhill and the scenery had already been admired. A very young and foolish marsupial, confused by our presence, posed for its photograph along the way.

We had a few minutes' wait at Deep Hole, a chance to stroll along the embankment that once led to a long jetty where limestone was loaded onto ships for transport to Electrona. Then back to Lune River on our train, accompanied by a large pod of dolphins frolicking alongside us in Major Honors Bay. Magic!

An icecream in the sunshine finished the day off nicely.

Mum has gone home to write up the Walks Diary.

Here are the photos.

fortification before the journey

the tramway runs alongside Jagers Bay on its way to Deep Hole

the track to Southport Lagoon
another essential ritual - lunch
the photographer
the subject
our ride home
Deep Hole Bay, Elliot Beach

This is a video I posted a couple of years ago about the Ida Bay Tramway:


The weather wasn't as nice on that occasion.

11 March 2016

Ups and Downs on the Peninsula

Some photos of a recent walk on the Tasman Peninsula to Salters Point, returning via Curio Bay.

reaching the lookout above Tunnel Bay

Tunnel Bay and Shipstern Bluff 

as above - ten minutes later as a sea mist rolled in

Salters Point
 This is an image from Google Map - it's the far side of Salters Point, beyond what you can see in the photo above.

the obligatory photograph

somehow a photograph completely fails to reproduce
 the sense of awe. It's a scary place.

it's a long way down to the water

impossible to photograph this blowhole - it's very, very
deep - but not very wide

So where did YOU have lunch today?

moving right along the coast

we went down

and up

down again

and up again . . . 

After that the track continues on, winding along the coast through dense, prickly scrub, up over what seemed an interminable hill and eventually back on to the forestry road where we'd parked our cars. It's about a six and a half hour walk.