Our most popular group on our adventure program, Hiking Group, ended today! Hiking Group, as always, was an epic adventure with new discoveries, a few tears, and just a touch of drama peppered among the beautiful vista’s! We got reasonably lucky, in that for 12 weeks we only had to hike in the rain once or twice… but we also had a week of this level flooding!
After spending the October Long Weekend in Jannali, we came back pretty fit! The program ramped up a bit, and we had a couple of local hikes at Red Hill, as well as some more challenging moments out at Mount Kuring-gai. The walks from Mount Kuring-gai to Berowra were very different depending on what side of the hill you hiked, and we enjoyed the diversity in the bush along each side of the train tracks! Highlights were checking out a goanna with an old skeleton in it’s mouth, trying to point to Mark and Jen’s house in Cottage Point from various vantages, and exploring the ruins of an old Ferry Factory that is now in national park!
Clare was away one week for her wedding anniversary, and gave the team a week off. She was delighted to see half of them still showed up to hike Manly Dam, which they didn’t get to do a few weeks earlier as it was flooded out! That box ticked we had one more hike to complete today, a loop from Roseville Chase to Davidson and back. This hike was 17km, a loop (so you can’t turn around early), and somewhat littered with wildlife – the team saw stink bugs, cockatoos, water dragons, copious leeches, and one enormous tick.
Slightly off topic, but we have had more ticks this year than ever before, so keep a lookout if you’re going hiking!
Today we also got to use the first aid kit for the first time! Louise cut her hand on some ribbon grass, and Alex sprained his ankle not long after! Alex managed to limp out to a road where we had a car waiting. He didn’t escape hanging with the oldies for lunch, while we celebrated the end of another great program!
We need to give a HUGE round of applause to Louise – she made every single hike without fail. That’s a pretty huge achievement! Second biggest round of applause goes to Gaye who only missed ONE! We owe a massive thanks to Jade, for taking the group when Clare was away, and another thanks to Rod who helped out today – running about 5km on his titanium hip to get a car for Alex.
Sandra gets a shout-out for having the patience of a saint, bringing her 3 kids hiking most weeks and staying wonderfully chipper in the face of their “tween” angst! We’d like to acknowledge Mukta for being brave enough to join our group – knowing NO-ONE and embarking on this very new experience completely on her own. It was a very courageous thing to do, and we are happy to report that she is safely ensconced in our social group now, living the #intoyoulife ! Belinda has inspired her husband and son to come hiking, and we wish her the best of luck in their own adventure in Peru in a few weeks! Mark and Jen are still married despite hiking together with us each week – some of the sessions were hot and challenging for Jen, but she persevered and came back cheerful even when she thought she was lost and we had abandoned her!
Kass returned after a fairly significant illness, and did 15km in the searing heat straight off the bat. Trishie did her best comedy from the rear of this group, and completed one of the hardest 10km hikes we have ever done despite a loss in confidence. As always, Kathy was quiet and determined, did her best then sweetly went home after coffee. Debbie is always an inspiration. She uncomplainingly manages diabetes and hip spurs while all we have to worry about is a sore foot. Teresa is another quiet, dark horse, who managed to inspire her husband and son to take a trip to Tassie – okay the husband always wanted to go but she got him hiking up Cradle Mountain and some other trails! and Finally Mags, who has to take her shoes off every 2hrs to return the circulation in her feet, but is always trouping in between – you’d never know she was sore!
As this group demonstrates, year in and year out, hiking is for everyone. The challenges are mostly overcome in our minds, and if not, we always have the EPIRB.