We were a bit more organised this morning and after another rainy, but mild night were up early, packed and away by 7.30am. Our plan today is to get to Paddys River Campsite but we will see how we go as that’s just on 29 km including a morning of hard terrain.
We head down the hill in bushland before walking on management road for a short period and then it’s back into walking through rural properties. All the weaned calves are in a couple of paddocks and they expect to be fed but aren’t quite sure if we are the ones. A young bull calf mock charges a few step before running away and we are followed by about 40 of them until we move on to the next paddock and it’s another walk straight up the hill to bushland. There is some snow on the southern side of one mountain which shows we are nearly into the high country.
To start with we are walking around the hills following the gullies on a steady but mild incline so we make good time. The terrain starts to get steeper and we can hear the sound of water which turns out to be the Lower Buddong Falls. We cross the falls at this point and now it starts to get hard; and I mean really hard. The gradient is less than 1:10 at this point and as bad as 1:3 in some areas. The track is very narrow and has been washed out in a couple of points so care and attention is needed with our footing. We pass the upper Buddong Falls and skip the side trip for the better photo opportunities. From any angle the falls are impressive!
We stop for lunch at the Buddong Picnic Area at just on 4.5 hours after we start which is not bad going since the recommended time is 5 hours.
The going gets easier at least from a perspective of the slope but now we are back on management road and the week of 4WD use has left its mark turning sections of the road muddy. We reach Buddong Hut not long after which tends to be a typical high country hut. We stop for a quick visit before pressing on.
We are starting to ascend again and the landscape is charging and we come across our first Brumby. It’s small and doesn’t look well and the fact that we get as close as we do is an indication it’s not well. It finally decides to move and in the process falls over before getting up and quickly moving off.
The other thing that starts to appear is snow, gradual at first but by the time we reach the high point we are walking through solid snow and the trail becomes hard to follow. We expected snow on this trip given the time of year but this year’s falls have been light.
The choice of white trail markers becomes questionable at this point and at one stage we had to take stock of our location before committing to a direction. There is really no opportunity to stop early with no water (apart from melting snow) and no flat ground so we press on making good time. We exit the bushland and while the snow is still around we are back on management road on heading straight to Paddys River Campsite.
We arrive around 5.00pm, tired but pleased we have reached our destination. There are 4WD vehicles around so we pick a site away from everyone else under some low trees. Two fisherpeople pass by and while they haven’t had any luck they have seen a Platypus so we are hopeful as we continue on in the morning.
Back to our evening routine of setting up camp and cooking and by this time the cold has set in so we eat inside our tent. We record for the podcast and we can see our breath so know that it’s going to be a cold night. We discuss what we going to do tomorrow which is just under 22 km to Junction Campsite. We may add another 6 km to get us to the Henry Angel Track Head but that’s a decision for tomorrow.
We were a bit more organised this morning and after another rainy, but mild night were up early, packed and away by 7.30am. Our plan today is to get to Paddys River Campsite but we will see how we go as that’s just on 29 km including a morning of hard terrain. We head down […]