SATURDAY 7 MAY PUNGALINA
There were still storm clouds around, some days, but these rarely translated into any rain. Today was a grey sky day.
Tomorrow was meant to be our day off, but O wanted us to assist him, so we kind of took it today.
After the usual morning watering of the gardens up at the house, we set off for some exploring.
O had told us that there were some interesting falls and rapids at Hot Dog Creek, which we’d crossed on the drive in. A lot of the tracks to interesting places were still not dry enough to travel on, so our choices were a bit limited. But we could access the good part of Hot Dog Creek by going back down the driveway and then walking across country for a couple of kms.
We had asked O about the origin of the name. A sad story. Early in his time at Pungalina, his oldest dog – Scunge’s mother – came off the back of a vehicle someone was driving out there, then ran after it. She died of the resulting heat exhaustion by the creek crossing, so O named it after this event.
We had no trouble finding the small pull in area, north of the creek, that O had mentioned. From there, we just struck south-west, there being no track to follow. The creek was running almost parallel to the driveway road in that area, so we were certain to intersect with it.
The walk in was pleasant, and not too hard, although it was hot.
What we found was well worth the effort. There was quite a bit of water still in the creek, and some very pretty water holes and rapids.
We spent some time scrambling alongside the creek, exploring in both directions.
There were some interesting rock varieties there. We saw some good slabs of what we called ripple rock – sedimentary rock that showed the effects of shallow wavelets at what was once the water’s edge, some millions of years ago.
There were some excellent examples of conglomerate rock too, where rocks and pebbles from earlier times had been “glued” together by later forces.
The creek valley was surprisingly deeply cut, in places, forming a gorge. As we explored upstream – to the east – the surrounds shallowed out somewhat. Of course, the place where the driveway crossed the creek was not too much further upstream from where we got to, and there was no deep valley at the crossing.
Hot Dog Creek originated off to the east, then ran generally westwards into Karns Creek and thus eventually into the Calvert River.
In one area, where there was a little side stream coming in, the creek widened out and formed pools, rather swamp like, with paperbarks fringing the edges and with water so calm that there were water lilies growing. It was quite different to the rest of Hot Dog Creek that we had seen.
I remarked to John that the natural landscaping effects in this area were such that one would pay a designer a small fortune, in the city, to achieve something like that.
There was a very attractive small pool in the main creek, with a small waterfall at one end. I suspected that was where O brought camp guests, to swim and cool off. A trip out to here, with an associated picnic lunch, could take up much of a day.
After a most enjoyable time spent exploring at the creek, we set off for the less exciting walk back to Truck. A low, rocky rise that we had scrambled down on the way in, was more obvious from below.
With no signs, no discernable track or much in the way of features to guide him, John did a great job of navigating, and brought us straight back to Truck. Had it been left to me, we would probably still be walking!
Back at camp, John headed off to the dining tent, where he’d set up a camp stretcher for his daytime naps – cooler than the van, and hidden away. Today, he was most disconcerted to find a large tree snake (we hoped that was its identity!) trapped in the tent and rather frantically climbing the tent poles, trying to escape. We opened up the tent as much as possible and helped it in the right direction! It was hard to think of a reason why it had gone into the tent, in the first place – maybe just idle curiosity?
John reported that he had trouble napping in there, after that.
O came for the evening meal at the van, featuring mushrooms, of course! Arrangements were made for tomorrow.