08 May 2010

Frenchman's Cap Jan 2003 - Day 6

Mary Creek Plain to Victoria Pass

Sadly, the tent leaked profusely and puddles were very evident the next morning. I had devotedly seam-sealed all seams in the tent, but the rain sweated through where the floor joined the wall (a vulcanised bond). This was most disappointing, as both fabrics are supposed to be water proof, but I think the joining process has left them less than so. We later found a small hole in the floor and resealed the corners later, to make a much happier tent. During the night, the expelled leeches had gathered in the fly. Getting out in the morning then became a running of the gauntlet as the hungry little vampires had attached themselves to everything I had to brush past. The boys elected to have breakfast inside, but we all agreed to leave as quickly as possible.

Remarkably, the clouds broke and we ended up climbing up to Flat Bluff in sunshine. By the end of the day, sunburn was feeling unavoidable, despite the sunscreen. Flat Bluff was an incredibly beautiful place, covered in delicate plants and flowers. We felt like vandals even walking there. A very strange mix of emotions. We pushed on through increasingly scratchy scrub (richea scoparia) up to the Ragland Range, where we met the fire-trail.

Very easy walking which we thought we'd spice up by making a "short-cut" over Bub's Hill down to Victoria Pass and the Lyell Highway. Seemed pretty straightforward. The spur basically went down. As counselled by Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings, short cuts make long delays, and we found ourselves struggling through thickets of teatree and rainforest scrub as our deadline with the bus grew nearer and nearer, kids grew wearier and wearier, and parents grew crankier and crankier. However sheer grunt prevailed and we hit the highway in time. By now the temperature had resumed in the mid 30sC and we were very pleased to simply sit and wait for the bus.

The trip proved to be a really good mix of good fun, some big effort and grand views, spiced up with some traditional rain, hail and sunshine and a touch of vampirism.

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As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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