Motorcycle travel, especially when aiming to be self sufficient, is not for everyone. Even for those who enjoy the challenges of this style of travel, there are times when roughing it is not such a good idea.
I have always considered myself to be a reasonably sensitive individual, who is aware of others’ needs, however our last weekend gave me cause to reassess. More about that later.
One of the many great things about my job is a nine day fortnight.
Every second weekend I am usually thinking of where I can head off to. Last long weekend we decided to check out Mt Walsh National Park.
Mount Walsh is 84km west of Maryborough or 50km south of Childers. Turn off the Maryborough-Biggenden Road 2km east of Biggenden or 79km west of Maryborough.
Mt Walsh is a rugged granite outcrop, rising to 700m above sea level, resulting from our volcanic past. The granite is very smooth which makes it slippery. Care must be taken when climbing.
Here is a link to the DERM web site for more information:
I learnt a few lessons on this trip.
The first one is do plenty of research before you leave. Find out what facilities are available. I love to take spuds wrapped in foil with butter stuffed into them and roasted in the fire. Fires are prohibited at Mt Walsh National Park so the spuds were a waste of time. Mind you the council rest area at the base of the Mt has the best free gas BBQs I have ever used.
The second lesson was don’t be up until midnight packing the night before. This can make for tired cranky people.
The third, travelling with a pre menstruel partner is fraught with danger. Pre menstrual partners dont always say what they mean and often what they say is loaded with landmines that will blow up in your face. Always make sure there will be a hot showers available at this time of the month.
The forth lesson is do not carry any weapons during this time especially to remote places where heinous crimes are tempting and possibly executed.
We arrived on Friday with enough daylight to set up our tent and get diner underway. Here is a picture I took from National Park Road on the way in.
We set up our tent and cooked a yummy dinner and crashed out. As soon as we went to bed the wind started to roar arond the mountains, with gusts up to 50 knots. Our trangia stove, frypan and ……were blown all over the rest area, while the tent flapped violently and groaned under the strain. This freaked my partner out. Unfortunately this lead to us both not sleeping very well.
The next morning my partner, feeling worse for wear, said she just wanted to stay around the camp. Fair enough, I thought and upon hearing, “you go for a walk”, I was off and up the mountain. I should have been aware of the land mine laying under the surface of these words!
The vegetation around the base of the mountain is open eucalyptus woodland dominated by ironbarks. The gullies, which are less effected by fire, are vegetated with dry vine scrub. There are a few rare species in both the woodland community and in the vine scrub. Interesting stuff for a plant nerd like me.
Here are some pictures I took on the way up.
Unfortunately I did not make right to the top of Mt Walsh. I could feel my partner willing me to return and the slippery finely-grained granite presented a high risk to a lone bushwalker.
Upon my return, I sensed things were not good. The day had warmed up and lying in our tent was not pleasant. Things were a little tense and it seemed that no matter what I did or said things were not going to improve.
I know my partner pretty well these days. Those who do know her are aware she is really a mermaid spending time on land. Realising this I made the decision to pack up camp and head 30kms around to Utopia road were there are waterfalls a fellow rider had told me about.
We found a community at the end of Utopia Rd, predictably called Utopia Wildlife Reserve. We found our way to the National Park boundary and went for a reconnaissance walk. We were unable to make it to the creek so we ended up camping in the bush on top of a ridge. We both slept like babies.
Next morning, after breakfast we packed up our gear, stashed it in the bush and found the creek and waterfall. I felt the mood change as we sat beside a stunning rock pool feeding the native fish.
I had carried our gear in and out of the national park and once loaded back onto the bikes we headed for home. On the way we had lunch at Woolooga and spoke with a the women that ran the little store and a really neat little antique/junk shop.
Upon our arrivval home and we debriefed and vowed that if we go away on the bikes again around my partners period, we would stay in pubs or motels.