Thursday, 17 September 2015

Lake Mackenzie to Walls of Jerusalem Failed Attempt

I wanted to try my luck walking from Lake Mackenzie across to the Walls of Jerusalem NP, the only problem is that there is no track fro the most part so it would require some navigation and walking into the unknown.

My day probably didn't start early enough but I was up at the start by around 10:30am.

I met another walker, a lady that uses a forum I use who was walking into the Blue Peaks as a day walk. So we walked in together to Middle Lake.

There was quite a bit of snow around and being now mid morning it was hard work post holing through some sections.

There was also a massive amount of snow melt making the Blue Peaks Track very wet, almost like a river in most places.

But within and hour or two we had made it to Blue Peaks, had a quick bite to eat, said our goodbyes.

It was now where there is no track and my navigation started. I spent quite a bit of time researching the area on maps, google earth and asking a couple of other people who had attempted it. So I had a good plan that should see me make it.
However, when I was on my way in I ran into a gent who likes to fish in the area and after I told him my plans he assured me I wouldn't get past the water crossings and I would be better off going all the way around to the West of the main lakes as that would be my best chance.

So against all my research I took his advice and went to route he suggested. He sounded like he knew the area well.

I navigated my first water crossing ok, just!

And then continued around the main lakes.

However, every lake had an inlet and every inlet was deep and just too wide to jump across. There was a lot of snow melt so the water was fast and dangerous.
I was taking risks. I was already wet up to my waste and not making a lot of progress because the inlets kept pushing me further away from my destination.

I then took one last stupid risk. I had one last inlet to cross, it was wide, flowing very fast and deep.
I stepped in, it was up to my waste and just as I was about to get across the bottom dropped out from under me and in I went!! 
The water was freezing, so cold it was taking my breath away. I was struggling to keep afloat with my heavy pack and the rushing water pushing me down stream. 
Just by some miracle I managed to grab some trees and drag myself out the other side.

So, here I was, late in the afternoon having made very little progress towards my destination, saturated from head to toe, all my electronics wet and some no longer working.

I had no other option at this stage to make as much progress as I could and find a camp site for the night so I could get some dry clothes on.

It was at this stage that my phone died so there were no more photos!

I finally found a very rough camp site right on dark. Set up, got dry, fed myself and laid in bed pondering where I was in relation to where I wanted to be and made the decision that I would be crazy to continue on so the next morning I would walk out.

There was just too many unknowns with all this water around. I decided to walk out the way I originally wanted to walk in, but again I had no way of knowing if the fisherman was right and I wouldn't be able to get across the water crossing. His way after all nearly killed me ;)

Navigation was coming to me easy. The main lakes are easy to find as soon as I got some elevation. And by some luck my phone started to partly work as I was having lunch.

I took the opportunity to try and dry some socks as my feet had been wet for most of the trip and I was also trying new leather boots so it was a recipe for bad blistering.

I made my way back to the blue peaks track quite easy!

No more photos because my phone died for the final time but in hind site the fisherman was very wrong and all my research was correct.

What took me 8 hours the day before only took me 4 today. The only water I had to cross was easy enough and had I went this way in the day before I would have been over at the walls by now.

But you live and learn. I wont let this beat me, Ill have another crack at it at some stage.

Just as a side note, my go pro and gps survived the dunking, my $1600 phone did not :(

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Melbourne Weekend

Our eldest daughter lives in Melbourne and my football team was playing in the finals so we went on a visiting, shopping and football weekend to Melbourne.

We flew over on Jetstar, caught a bus to the city and walked to our Hotel room.

We did all the usual site seeing and shopping in the city.

We went out to Dinner that Night with our daughter and her partner.

Michelle took Adam to the Casino to show him how to gamble!!!

Beginners luck would have him win of course.......I was sure to make it clear that there is only one winner when gambling.

The next morning we went to the Queen Victoria Markets.

Then to Sealife Aquarium.

My favourite section was the penguins

Then back to the city for some lunch

And off to the footy at the MCG

We tried a few different seating positions

That was our fun Melbourne weekend.