Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two blokes called Hume & Hovell

The Hume & Hovell Walking Track is a 440km-ish stretch of track (find it or not!) that stretches from Yass to Albury in New South Wales. I've been feeling a strong itch to get out and do some hiking/walking lately and the other week, His Travel Romance managed to secure the collection of maps that cover the entire track for me. Booya!

On Wednesday last week I took the opportunity to walk a 16km-ish stretch of the track about 80km out of Albury and, after walking 22km through five and half out of six hours of rain, I finally managed to make my way to the car we'd left at the drop point that morning! I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't thoroughly enthralled with the walk whist I was doing it. The weather, even though I knew what I was getting myself in for, was terrible. The lighter I took to start a fire so I could eat my lunch decided it didn't want to play any longer, so I survived on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a few almonds (because it was too wet to stop and open up my pack for more food). The track requires some maintenance in order to prevent walkers getting lost three or four times and backtracking 3km (twice!) on the off chance that the obvious route wasn't the right one after all (I've provided feedback on that too)... In all honesty, the first two times I lost the track had me mildly panicked - Australian bushland is not the best place to be lost in by yourself, especially in the middle of winter**.

But, having said that, it was a pretty awesome walk. The variety of land was interesting - thick bushland and hills, creek crossings, open farm land, plenty of wildlife and stock to be seen including kangaroo's, wild dogs, beautiful native birds, and sheep, and almost seen (wombats!)... in better weather, with lunch, and minus the whole getting lost thing, the stretch I covered would be quite an enjoyable day out. It's definitely on the 'to repeat' list!

**Not that I was unprepared. I had means to construct a shelter, a thermal blanket, GPS, basic first aid kit, my leatherman equipped with handy wine bottle opener, and my phone. In reality, I could have just pointed myself towards a road found on the GPS and walked in that direction until I reached civilization/a pub. I could also have whistled for Skippy for instant rescue at any point in time, but where's the fun in that?

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