Gym Trip 2020: Hike Cataract National Park Day 3

Day 3 Started with a shuffle… then a shake… then a group massage! In a time where touch is prohibited in the city, this was a powerful bonding experience! Once we were warmed up we followed an old telegraph line down the mountain, which was taken out by the fire and not replaced. It was fairly easy going but we had some funny “pee” stories! This first happened early on when i hung back from the group so i didn’t have to hide in the bushes. I had no sooner squatted down and was getting ready to start when i noticed a huntsman spider, square between my feet, staring up at me! So i did what anyone else would have done – took a photo then took a step to my left and continued!!

On the way down to morning tea Sandra also had an odd “pee” moment… managing to turn her phone off mid-stream! She didn’t notice until later that day which meant the hike wasn’t on Strava for her. As we say in Hiking Group “if it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen”!! And we want credit for our achievements!!!

Some of the local fauna!

We had coffee beside a 13-metre deep waterhole, of course we couldn’t resist going in! It was glorious.

Beside our morning tea spot was an abandoned silver and gold mine. The lease was still current but it was operating on 1970’s technology and the investor has since committed suicide. We learned that the spot we were in used to be a Gold Mining town bigger than Byron in the 1800’s which was owned by a man named Richard Eldrich. He was known  as “Singing Dick”, but Debbie heard “swinging dick” and no-one corrected her! According to local legend, he was an ex-convict, and his very young wife who died giving birth to their first child. We visited the grave and remembered “Mary” on our way up the hill to lunch.

The team powered up the hill today! Kudos this day went to Louise, who thought she struggled in the heat but disproved it today! Debs wasn’t far behind, and it was with great satisfaction that we sat down to lunch at Sunset lookout again! Gemma had made falafel balls over hot coals and they were delicious.

Steve – he had dinner with us every night and taught us a lot about the history of the land

In other news today, Dave’s heart rate hit 160bpm for the first time, and he tried falafel for the first time too!

We walked down the hill to camp, passing the “Two Waters” and “Valley View” lookouts. Our guides had us play a game where you have to think of as many sing lyrics as you can with a certain word in them, like “fire” or “run”. We played in teams and it helped pass a long, hot 4km! Mukta and I also got into making up verses to “She’ll be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain”, including “She’ll be swearing like a sailor when she comes” and “she’ll be grumpy as a donkey when she comes”! Gemma surprised us with icy-poles at camp, and they were devine!

Most of us were too tired to swim, but Sandra and I decided to have a quick dip while waiting for the showers. As per usual, I took Sandra literally and started running towards the river because she said “a quick run to the river”, when she replied “i’m not running”, I decided to cartwheel there instead. I had not seen that the bell tents had been erected and their occupants were watching me cartwheel across the campground singing “shall we cartwheel there then, Sandy”? They were thoroughly entertained. It didn’t take long for Sue to show up too, and be unceremoniously bitten on the butt on her way out. It doesn’t hurt but it is a bit of a shock!

We slept well that night!

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