FRIDAY 1 MAY CAMP BLACKMAN
Last night, as expected, was very cold indeed. It got down to 3 degrees in the van. There was little incentive to get out from under the warm doona.
Eventually, needs must, and once I’d crawled out of bed, up I stayed. It was well before John surfaced. I sat outside writing up my diary, drinking coffee. Then went for a walk around the campground, had a good study of the walks booklet, maps and tourist information.
Breakfast and lunch happened fairly close together, this day!
John wanted to know the details about the walks available. I suggested we try some of the easier ones, to see how we would go. But then he looked at the maps and decided we would have to try the Breadknife/Grand High Tops walk while we were here. We did the Grand High Tops Circuit Walk in ’97 and I remembered it as tough, and I was a darned sight fitter back twelve years ago!
As it was too late today for even him to start out on the more ambitious walk, I did get him to agree to some more moderate ones, first. After all, we were here for at least a few days, no point in killing ourselves at the outset.
So we set off to do the two nearby short “Nature Walks”. Drove around to the Visitor Centre to do the Gurianawa Track, a 1km loop from there. It was an enjoyable little walk, giving views across the flats and to the peaks.
It was designated a wheelchair suitable walk, so was a very easy one to walk. The highlight here was when John spotted a very pretty, golden, streaked little bird in some bushes. He correctly guessed that it was a Golden Headed Cisticola – he is really good a bird ID’s. We had seen one before, but not very often.
Drove back around to the day use area at the Canyon Picnic Area. Stopped by Wambelong Creek there to look at some birds. These days, it was getting hard to spot a bird species that we hadn’t seen before – apart from the really rare, elusive or remote ones – so seeing a Diamond Firetail drinking at the creek was a real highlight. Alas, could not get a decent photo of it though.
The creeks here seem to only have occasional waterholes at the moment, so that affected the chances for bird spotting. This area seemed to have missed any significant recent rains.
The Wambelong Nature Track read like it was going to be really interesting, following the creek through a little gorge, with some notable volcanic related features. However, part way along the walk, the track was blocked off, for safety reasons. so we ended up doing a back track instead of a circuit. I think we thus missed the best bits.
That was enough to start to loosen up the legs again.
Set our camp fire in our fire pit and had happy hour to ourselves, after which I cooked up some fish and french fries for tea.
Ever the optimist, John decided to have a fiddle with the TV and was delighted to discover that, not only was there TV here, but the picture was excellent – and on all channels. I was not so delighted.
The night sky was full of stars, so it was going to be another cold night.