Monday, February 4, 2008

Part 2 of the Ada Tree

Jason managed to procure a sample of something called the Helmet Hero, a small video camera from Kathmandu to test out. We’ll see how it went when we get a chance to download the footage, but it seemed to be the goods!? We shall see!

With the climbing all going reasonably well, we came to Starling Gap where we happened across a NavRun, a 4wd ‘orienteering’ event. They have a list of photos and GPS ref’s, and they have to get to each one and work out which photo matches the location. The truck with the most points visited and matched is the winner. A pretty neat setup really, and the competitors were extremely courteous which is nice. In fact they even helped us on our way!

Heading off on the next section of the Walk In History, we actually got some downhill which excited us no end. Jumps, slide and lots of woohoo’s got us all inspired once again! Right up to the point that I rode juuuust beside a snake, I’m sure Jason had to jump it and everyone else came to a screaming halt! Certainly a good fright for all of us, and you don’t reckon every stick moved after that point!! Tiger snake Tommy moved on after giving us all a good eyeballing, and we continued on, a little more mindful of the situation these Epix find us in. It’s the whole unpredictable nature of these jaunts that make them so enjoyable. Snakes are out here too, we just have to share.

And then the trail went to hell…

I wouldn’t really care to remember how long we had to bush bash for, but the trail was almost non existent for many kilometers. Pushing through solid bush, skulldragging a bike, climbing over fallen trees, ducking under the bigger ones, and generally just bashing our way along the trail, it was all getting pretty amusing. The dulcet cusswords coming from the back of the bunch was hilarious, with some people obviously not totally over what we are about. Pushing through solid bush, we found another animal that this area has in spades- leeches. And boy did we find some leeches!!!

As I type this, I’m still bleeding and it’s been nearly 24 hours. They got into everything, and those that hadn’t experienced leeches much before, they weren’t that keen to share their blood. Inside gloves, plenty in the socks, between toes, ankles, arms, wrists, legs and any other exposed skin.

We all looked like blotchy pin cushions combined with the razor ferns that ripped us to shreds all day. Legs and arms were just butchered, and I think I could hear screams when everyone got a shower at home that night.

At one point, the trail just died. Well the direction we were hoping for did, except the trail hooked around to spear off in another direction. After sending out some scouts in different directions, we came to conclusion that was indeed the right direction, and headed down into the swamp. To get some more leeches.... Tyres seemed to be a favourite, every time you looked down, there was a moving sea on your tyres, before they flicked up onto your legs. After getting though that, the trail seemed to open up again and we came to 2 conclusions. Firstly we were going the right way, and secondly, Parks Vic are midway through an attempt to join the two sections of developed trail. They just aren’t done yet…!

Atop a collpased bridge, the view was quite plesant. Still, you couldn't avoid those leeches!

Climbing upwards, this time on a bike. It really did make a nice change, as it felt like the first half of the ride was seriously spent making trail.

Careful careful, a slip here could ruin everyones day, not just your own.