Distance: 10.4km (7km there then 3.4km to Mt Kuringai Station.)
Today I went on my first big walk from my new home at Berowra. The town is surrounded by national park so as soon as I had moved into the area I had picked up a copy of a bushwalking map sold by the local scout group. The Great North Walk passes by the town so that was an option, but the trail head that I saw at the local train station intrigued me.
The first part of the walk was a decsent to the water via a series of switchbacks. I must have been the first out today as the spider webs were thick and I found myself using my trekking poles to clear the way rather than balance myself.
At the base of the hill I was met by a little stream that disappeared into a hole to emerge lower down along the river. I could have sat there for an hour listening to the trickling but I had a goal in mind today- I’ll pop back another day and bring a book or something. After I crossed, another hiker appeared behind me. She had her stride on so I stepped aside to let her pass. I was tired of clearing the spider webs so was happy to pass the job along to someone else!
Soon I was at the water front. The river was well populated with boats, so many that I noted that the noise of the cars had been replaced by the noise of the boats! It was still pleasant though. A few speed boats created large lapping waves against the shoreline and I wondered if the increased erosion was measurable or significant. The terrain had levelled out now and it was a matter of making my way around the rivers edge toward Apple Tree Bay. The heat was starting to get to me though- it was to hit 31c today.
Continued after photos: After two and a half hours of walking I finally arrived at Apple Tree Bay and I was delighted to find an ice cream shop (yeah it sold much more than that but it’s all I could focus on!). The bay serves as a boat launching point and I could see some kayaks heading out too. It was also a popular fishing spot. A young family had hiked down from Mt Kuringai and I wondered how they managed it with the little legs tiring so easily. I found a shady spot to eat my ice cream and lunch. I took my shoes and socks off as I was feeling blisters starting to form and I wanted to air them out (that was a tip I picked up from the Appalacian trail hiker blogs). I noticed a fair amount of small rubbish on the ground and noted that I can’t really be upset about it and not do something about it. So I cleaned up the area around my bench and took it to the bin before heading back.
The walk up to Mt Kuringai train station was almost vertical. Or at least it felt that way in the heat. At one point there was a massive rustle in the undergrowth and a huge goanna shot out of the bushes and clambered up a tree. I took a photo but it was a bit poor. He’s there on the left blending in quite well with the tree.
I passed a couple of guys in their late teens fishing together. A little later I passed two girls about the same age. I had also been noticing arrows on the ground made out of sticks and it clicked. The arrows were there to guide the girls down to the fishing spot. Awwww! (Edit: romantic notions destroyed! I later found out it was some kids just having fun making arrows. I like my version better!)
I really struggled with the last climb, having to pull out the emergency apple, but I was soon on level ground. Four and a half hours after starting I arrived at Mt Kuringai station feeling very satisfied with myself.
When I hopped off the train at Berowra I was greated with the view over the national park.
What a lovely place I now live in!