Mud, Blood and Laundry

From Robyn Colman…

So many new walks in a week! How to choose? With several boring, responsible activities in competition, the clear answer was, “Just do all the walks.” 

First, was Christine’s walk to the Yellow Cliffs, over the back of Collinsvale. The cliffs are spectacular – a narrow path below takes walkers alongside multi-storey sandstone cliffs, textured with honeycomb here and there, and coloured with golden striations. 

The track in took us through pleasant open forest, with a steep descent to the Glen Dhu Rivulet, whose spate made crossing interesting.

The cliff path also gave us a lovely view across forested hills and farmland to Mt Dromedary. The forest track changed interestingly from drier to wetter, with plenty of treeferns and mossy logs as we got closer to the rivulet.

At the end of the day, a spectacular afternoon tea at Christine’s added to her and Dave’s reputation for legendary hospitality.

The second new walk (for me) was Chris, Bob and Karen’s botanical ramble in the Ryton Hills. Here we had a most delightful stroll through woodland, dancing over all the delicate little flowers at ground level, looking up to the varied eucalyptus trees overhead, and keeping a weather eye on the dramatic roiling storm clouds to the west. This was very much a “Look down, look up, look down, look up” walk.

Between them, Bob, Chris and Bob’s friend Karen had a wealth of botanical knowledge, generously shared. Bob helpfully remarked at one point that “Repetition helps” with Latin names, so I’ll just have to stumble along with “Mitochondria tetris” and “Echinacea eritrea” as my fall-back until I’ve heard the proper names about 43 times more.

The countryside and views, once again, were lovely. From a ridge we could see Maria Island’s Bishop and Clark nudging a tuft of cloud, while the view to Mt Hobbes to our west (?) brought reminiscences of an enjoyably scary trek through Split Rock a few months ago.

And once again, we were provided with a lovely afternoon tea, this time beside Bob’s envy-making cabin. There was even a little fire and a billy, which brought more reminiscences of happy camping “back in the day”.

And so to the mud, blood and laundry. Usually at the end of a walk, I look at my dusty or lightly muddy trouser cuffs and shirt and think, “Will I wash you, or will I leave it …” Yeah, nah … Might as well leave it another week, they’ll do for now. 

No doubts, however after the Yellow Cliffs walk. Having taken the bumslide fast route down to the Glen Dhu Rivulet, I wore mud from pack top and bottom to ankles, shoulders to wrists. A swim rather than a wade across might have been more useful. So, into the wash went everything.

Then again, after the Ryton Hills. So many leeches! Lots of us had at least one bite, I had three. It was dramatic, but! Sarah looked as though she’d been stabbed in the stomach and I looked as though a vampire had been at my neck. (Perhaps the light-coloured check shirt and white singlet hadn’t been such a good idea.)

So once again, back into the wash it all went, after an overnight soak. I am the cleanest I have been in months. Oh yes, didn’t I say? Thorough showers followed too!

Now I’m all anticipation to see what laundry adventures Marg’s walk from Geeveston brings tomorrow … detergent is at the ready.

5 thoughts on “Mud, Blood and Laundry

  1. Thanks for a great read Robyn about two walks I’ve never been on, both look and sound amazing. The leeches were about on our Thylogale wander on Saturday but not quite as numerous as your encounter!


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