Saturday 12 March 2016

Weather: Cloudy no showers about. Lots of blue sky
Diabetes: Good level – 5.1
Today is the day for the #bordertracktrek


Border Track Trek

Had breakfast of oats and a banana and a long black. Charlotte had taken off in the car to set up to receive the participants. I collected all the gear I was taking and found paperwork so headed up to O’Reilly’s with some of the gear and then walked back to the campground to ensure my tent was secure against the brush turkeys. There were three red-necked pademelons feeding on the grass in the campground (a mating pair) and their adolescent joey! So cute!

After lugging back and forth between campground and O’Reilly’s I covered 5.5km,  Hope I haven’t overdone it! I estimate my pack to be about 20 kg in weight!

Having signed in, and collected my O’Reilly’s lunch I then had to deconstruct the lunch to fit it in the pack.

We then gathered for departure and John took a group photo and then we boarded the two buses. I boarded the O’Reilly’s 4WD bus and sat in the front with Cathy and Gary Forbes and Salena Horne.  Charlotte and Allana boarded the second bus which contained the rest of the participants plus other guests going over to Binna Burra.  Finally about 8.30 am we departed O’Reillys. The drive down was good with lots of mirth and it gave me a chance to see the sights which I miss as I am usually the driver!

We arrived at 10.00 am at Binna Burra after I had forgotten my phone was on silent and Charlotte tried to contact me! Luckily Charlotte rang Cathy and I spoke through that phone. Once we were on the main road from Canungra, I gave everyone a briefing about the walk especially about the total walk along the Border Track which was not originally planned but due to the time of departure at Binna Burra needed to cut some kms off the distance.

At Binna Burra broke up into three groups, with Charlotte and I in the first group, and Michael Simpson, Karen Franklin and Peter Constable as leaders in the last group. The middle groups informed that arrows would be put up for their comfort to ensure they wouldn’t go astray. Charlotte finally looked relaxed at this stage, and with the weather I was full of optimism. The groups were separated by five minutes and off we went. The first thing to be done was the pathogen control station, and by the time my group had sorted that out and started walking, we were caught up by the second group. Due to the lack of people on the track I could see no problem with this, but was kept mindful of having to open the gap if there was more use.

After about 5km and a fantastic pace, with some mud patches we arrived at Joalah Lookout, for a morning tea break. The view over the Gold Coast and Springbrook was great. When all were ready we then headed off with the aim to get to the lunch spot, Chakoonya Lookout, some 8 km away.  As we started to get into the headwaters of Canungra Creek, namely, Bower Bird Creek, Dragoon Bird Creek, and other watercourses, the track went really muddy, and it was interesting watching everyone’s approach to not getting muddy, including straddling the mud!

About 12.30 pm we arrived at Chakoonyah Lookout for lunch, with a view to the north. Gavin settled down to lunch, out came the leeches. My BGL was 4.8 so was travelling really well.  The O’Reilly’s lunch was well received by my stomach, but the leeches drove us away.  The call then went out for a toilet break so the ladies went ahead to “find a tree”. The rest of us hung back for a while, and then headed off. After about 300 metres we cam to a dead stop. The leading lot had not finished their toilet, as it was one at a time. Charlotte then decided to go and after a while asked everyone to turn away as she had “stage fright”! I then remarked how nice the tree ferns were and everyone laughed! can’t understand how hard it is to bare your buttocks to the fresh air!

Once the job was finished off we pressed to the next lookout, Nyamulli Lookout. This lookout was small and the view was back over the range we had walked and down into Limpinwood Nature Reserve. The track at this stage switched between Queensland and New South Wales as it traversed the actual ridge that formed the border. After a quick break, and a slight medical situation, off we pushed to Wanungra Lookout. On arrival at Wanungra Lookout we viewed across to Mount Warning, the centre of the Tweed Volcano which formed the country on which we stood.

The we headed off and stopped at Toolona Lookout with another view of the Tweed Caldera. After another rest, off we went and the forest started to change to the Antarctic Beech, which is a feature of the Bithongabel area of Lamington National Park. On the way photos were taken of the impressive old trees, which are up to 900 years old. At this stage, the mud had become a non-event, so less care was being taken in getting through it.

The next stop was Bithongabel Lookout in amongst the best specimens of Antarctic Beech anywhere and we were 6 km from home, and downhill all the way. The unfortunate part of this last stretch was nothing worth looking at, as the rainforest did not change and there were no watercourses with rapids, babbling etc. to break up the walk. In this part, due to my continued concern for all participants, as any problems here was on my head, I let my personal guard down and tripped over a rock and bashed my right elbow. This was the most serious injury sustained.

O’Reilly’s was reached just before 5.00 pm with the last group arriving 20 minutes later.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the casualty count was 1 x hypo, 1 x lack of electrolytes and fluid, 1 x bruised elbow, unknown leech bites ( I am aware of three), and unknown number of blisters (I am aware of two), and a plethora of sore muscles.

After group photos etc. on arrival and the day visitors leaving, the rest went off for showers, and then dinner and bed.


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