Tuesday, February 5, 2013

White Sands to Lake Monibeong, Great South West Walk, Victoria. Winter 2012


view of discovery bay from nobles rocks
Discovery Bay from Nobles Rocks

Do you know what? Just the other day I realised that any links placed in the blog can be set to open in a new tab. Mm... Maybe I should have been doing that about a million posts ago? It's strange why I haven't picked up on that earlier, as I'm a bit of a hyperlink freak. Within reason, I generally click on any I find online and get peeved if they don't open in a new tab. Yeah, I know, I could right-click and do the same thing, but who's got the time and energy for right-clicking a mouse? I've got way too many things on the go, such as sleeping and sitting on the couch. Oh yeah, don't forget eating as well. I like to eat.

Right. Now I've discovered that, I'll get you in the mood as there's a link coming up. It's going to be used as an intro to this post for the never ending saga of the Great South West Walk hike. Did you click on it? It opened in a new tab didn't it? Are you now sitting back, smiling to yourself and feeling happy with life?

There's no stopping me now and I'll be going link crazy. Oh yeah, I must warn you that they may not have anything to do with hiking at all. As an example, during my last post I was researching towns with stupid names and came across one that fits the bill. It's a town in Austria called Fucking. Come on. That's perfect and it's a genuine link as well. Don't worry, I won't be leading you astray with anything offensive, such as. 'Tony Abbott covered in baby oil humping a blow up doll'. I'd probably draw the line on that. Okay, I lied. If I found that I'd give you a link for sure.

So, guess what I did over the weekend? Well, I went through about a hundred old posts and converted  any links I could find, which is a good example of what living on the edge is all about. Actually, when I was doing that, I found in one of my most popular posts a brutal misspelling. I'd written 'traditional' as 'tradtional'. How did that get through the system??? I wonder how many people read that post and didn't come back because they thought, "What sort of a wanker can't spell traditional?!" I lost some sleep over that one, but I should get over it by mid next year.

One more blogging update. I've jigged the pages in an effort to help them load faster. There used to be a slideshow on the side, but I've ditched that, plus the widget that displays 'followers'. I still love having followers (I'm not even taking the piss) but it's an experiment to move the load speed. Oh yeah, I also altered the blog, so that it displays the latest post rather than two which it previously did. Pretty exciting, huh? Yes, I thought so. I'm also having trouble with people not understanding the column on the right hand side which was named 'labels'. All that does is give a link to other walks I've done and it's visible on any blog post for quick navigation. In order to help anyone who wondered what it did, I've renamed it, 'Index to my blog entries for other walks I've attempted'. Yeah, I know, it's a crap heading, so that's a work in progress. I'll think of something better this week. Now, I wonder if this will work now...?

Back to the walking I guess. Smuffin and I had spent the night at the White Sands camp site. It's about the only one on the entire GSWW that's not accessible by vehicle, so it did have a remote feel to it. It also had something that its name describes. It's really, really sandy. In fact, it was summed up by an entry in the hikers logbook (why don't I have a photo of that?) which commented, "There's sand everywhere". Yep, that's about it.

In the morning the weather was looking good, so at first light I made for the beach to get some photos. It wasn't too bad either.


pink and mauve coloured sunrise over beach


We had a short day ahead of us, so we weren't really rushing to get moving. Then again, even on the big days we had trouble hitting the road before 9 am. There were some interesting relics lying around the campsite. This bone was one of them. What is it? A whale bone? A model for a roundabout?


holding large whale bone


If I'd found that on the beach, I would have taken it, but instead I left it where it belonged. On the table. Anyway, I had enough crap to carry, as I loaded up with the 'treasures from the deep' which I'd found the previous day. Here I am ready for action. Helmet under pack lid, flipper strapped on and buoy tied on by the 'knot guru', Smuffin.


backpack with helmet, buoy and flipper strapped on exterior
Does my bum look big in this flipper?

Now, if you didn't realise by now, none of this crap was ultralight. Why don't they make cuben-fiber flippers? Titanium helmets? Papier-mâché buoys?

I had a grand plan to show you how much all of this stuff weighed, as an example of the absurdity of carrying it. Not many grand plans come through with the goods though and this can be filed under, 'the intention was amazing, but the photographic results are a fiasco'. In fact, I'd so lost my mojo doing this I couldn't be stuffed fine tuning the photos. I'll show you what I mean.


weighing swimming flipper on scales
Flipper weigh-in

weighing buoy on hanging scales
Boy oh buoy

weighing helmet on hanging scales


See what I mean? I've no idea what the weights are, as I need an electron microscope to read the scales. I think it was just under 3 kg all-up. Oh yeah, did you notice that I don't have a caption for the last picture? As an example of how stupid online searches can be (I'm sure you know this already), I typed in, 'words that rhyme with helmet'. Guess what I got? One website gave me one match which was 'Helmut'. Yeah, thanks for that. I'd have never thought of that one. I kept Googling, but gave up when one website proclaimed, 'WORDS THAT RHYME WITH HELMET!!!" and as a result gave me 'football helmet'. I can take a joke, but that's pretty stupid even for my standards and I generally run off a pretty low baseline.

Oh yeah, one thing I must mention which has just become explanatory is that all of that crap I found, I brought back home! Don't worry, I didn't lug it all the way for the next week of walking. How did I get it back then? Well, in order for you to come back, I'll drag out the answer by keeping you in suspenders until the next post.

We hit the beach and the sand wasn't too bad for walking.

walking on discovery bay beach

Not that we had a lot of beach walking to do anyway. There's an inland track to avoid rock outcrops which we had to follow as the tide wasn't in our favour.

First up was a stretch called 'McEacherns Rocks'. We found a 4WD track that headed inland...

sandy track inland


...and as per usual, Smuffin was off and racing miles ahead.


inland sandy track

On the beach the previous day there had been plenty of man-made objects to be found. This day was no different, but the results weren't very inspiring. Hey, owner of '1D-8HS', I found your number plate. I know what you're thinking as well. "Don't tell me he brought a number plate home with him as well?" Of course I didn't. I don't just lug any old crap.

victorian number plate lying on track

This inland section was quite good though. It was flat and being elevated we had a good view of the coastline around us...

cliff top walking approaching nobles rocks


view of surf beach from cliff top

During this inland walking we passed a large group of old seashells. I was wondering if it was an old Aboriginal midden? Then again, it could be a left over from an old sea bed? Who knows, but it was quite interesting nonetheless.


hundreds of seashells lying together inland


We wandered on until reaching a nice lookout at Nobles Rocks...


view of surf from nobles rocks


...before descending down to the beach...


sandy discovery bay beach


...and passing a quite attractive green fishing buoy. If I wasn't carrying half a boatload of things already, I would have snapped this one up.


green fishing buoy lying on beach at waters edge


There's an option at this point to either continue along the beach or follow an inland track to Lake Monibeong. The sand was feeling a little soft now, so we elected to head inland. Before leaving the beach I noticed some paw prints in the sand. There seemed to plenty of these on the beach, but so far hadn't seen any animals. I assume they're feral cats looking to decimate the birds or scavenge on the beach...? Then again, could it be a dog? Or the world's smallest sasquatch...?


paw prints in sand


Once off the beach we found the track...


old fence posts next to inland walking track


...but before continuing on it was time for lunch. Now, do you remember the last post where I was talking about the missing lunches? Well, just to put you out of your misery I'll explain what happened. Mind you, I didn't work this out until the hike was over when I checked the box I'd left at Nelson. When packing the food drop I was quite diligent in writing down what needed to be in it and ticking off those items as they were packed. Guess what? I think the next picture explains things...


list of items in food drop which was at nelson


There seems to be a slight problem. The 'lunches' aren't ticked off!! Well, that's a balls-up, and there I was accusing the staff at the Nelson store of stealing some dirt cheap muesli bars that I normally couldn't give away. Mystery solved, but it didn't assist me much on this day, as once again I had to beg Smuffin for some food. Luckily the emergency jar of peanut butter was on hand.

Before moving on, there's one more thing about that list. Do you see how funky I can be when writing? I'm such a busy bloke I haven't got time to muck around and write 'jocks'. Nope, I went with 'jox', which is way more hip and I reckon it saved about 0.7 seconds of my life which would have been wasted if I wrote it out correctly.

Anyway, with Smuffin's lunch done, we moved on and this section was pretty comfortable going. Walking on a hard surface, flat ground and only a measly seven kilometres to the next camp meant we were moving quickly. Well, when we didn't have to negotiate trees that blocked the path.


fallen tree across path
Yes, the path is in there somewhere.

This was quite rare though and most of the time we had an open path...


walking on open inland track


...which was interspersed with huge, bare trees.


large bare tree

By now the lake was getting closer, but I do have one small problem. I've no idea of its proper spelling. On the map it's pronounced as Lake Monibeong, but against that name there's another in brackets called 'Lake Mombeong'. So there you go. I assume it's the former and the latter is its original name?

lake monibeong
Lake Monibeong

In the picture above, the camp site is at the far end of the lake. It was about this point in the walk that I had a slight problem. My stomach suddenly did a back-flip, rotated a couple of times and then declared to my brain, "Comfort station. Now." These were desperate times as I slipped into 'full-throttle-bolt-upright-like-a-penguin' mode. I quickly powered past Smuffin leaving him to chew on the dust from my boots, as he uttered, "That's the fastest I've ever seen you move!" The whole scenario was a frightening one, but I still sneaked in a quick picture as my stomach contemplated detonation.


track near lake monibeong


It seemed to take an eternity to reach the campsite, but when I arrived I hurled the backpack away and kicked down the door to the Gent's as if I was in the SAS during a room clearance. Whew.

Well, that's it for another day. Smuffin collected a food drop and we settled back for an evening in an absolutely cavernous, but empty camping area. What did the GPS reveal for the day? Well, that's the problem as it didn't give me a track to upload at the end of the trip. It had been acting a little strange since the first day, but at least it appeared the distance travelled was still correct. In all, this was a short day of about 14 km, although a bit of guesswork was required. I was quite glad it was over though, as the 'treasures from the deep' were a bit heavier than I thought.

With the day done we sat back to watch a nice sky as the sun set. Red sky at night...?
     

red clouds during sunset at lake monibeong

4 comments:

  1. I can state with reasonable certainty that your bone is a whale vertebra, as I picked up a similar one on the south coast of Tasmania on that big walk I did there an eternity ago. I really think you should have carried that out, it would make a beautiful addition to any lounge room bookshelf!

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    1. Ah yes, I do remember you started some posts on that walk?! I thought it was a whale bone, but I didn't want to be too confident. If I'd actually found it on the beach then I probably would have kept it, but finding it next to the table at the camp took the gloss off it a bit. If it was my find then it would have gone in the pack!

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  2. Hello Greg, loving your posts, very funny and well written!
    If you have one of those fancy mouse for your computer, you can press that button on links and it opens in a new tab (for most browsers)
    Cheers! Dan.

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    1. Hey Dan, glad you liked my waffle. Hiking shouldn't be too dull!

      Yes, I did know that I can open everything in a new tab on the mouse. The trouble is my brain doesn't seem to ever register that, even when I'm aware of it. "Link? Click." Then I'm abusing myself whilst trying to go back. Automatic link opening in a new tab is perfect for my brain!

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