The Great North Walk – Day 3 – Cowan to Hornsby Heights

I’m going to hike the Le Tour du Mont Blanc that lies in France, Italy and Switzerland this June 2016. As part of my training, I decided to do The Great North Walk of Sydney to Newcastle. Section by section and only the ones that are accessible by public transport on both ends of the route. Not camping, just an all day hike on most weekends. Mapping my tracks, taking photos and writing travel diaries along the way.

Day 3 – Cowan to Hornsby Heights

God damn spider webs. I can’t see them and they are everywhere in the trail, always getting into my face. I disembark off Cowan Station, continuing on where I finished last weekend. Pretty straight forward hike as the track is well signed. I still suggest to have a GPS or a map and a compass with you when doing this walk just to be safe.

The uphill walk to the viewpoint on Berowra Waters was challenging but I was rewarded with an amazing sight. So peaceful and so much serenity. Saw a couple of houseboats, plenty of yacht and a car ferry boat! It’s hard to believe that people built houses along this creek. Hard work, dedication and plenty of sacrifices, just to have this beauty. I, too would like a house around this area. From here on, the track pretty much follows the Berowra Creek.

#Erosion. #Bushwalk a section of the #GreatNorthWalk from #Cowan to #HornsbyHeights

A photo posted by Carl MC (@iwrite2remember) on

Due to the geography of the area, salt marshes are abundant here as the creek is still close to the sea delta. Thus flora and fauna are abundant in this place. I would like to commend the local government for putting up information signs, explaining the environment around the area and its habitat. It’s very educational. The disable access to some part of the track is a nice touch as well. Getting the people to nature is very important for our well-being, both physically and mentally.

#Kayaking the #BerowraCreek. #Bushwalk a section of the #GreatNorthWalk from #Cowan to #HornsbyHeights

A photo posted by Carl MC (@iwrite2remember) on

Kids are everywhere at the Crosslands Reserves. Its nice to see them though exploring the environment. Very jealous of the people kayaking the very still water of the creek. I really need a kayak now! I can smell the barbecues in the air. Not a good thing as I’m hungry myself. I was a bit tired and this is a good area to lie around. I think I snoozed for quite too long, almost an hour in fact. Oh noes, I was looking at my clock and there’s no way I could make it to Thornleigh from here let alone Hornsby. So I set myself back up and try to see if I can make it to Hornsby.

It was getting dark when I approached the Galston Bridge. I could not continue to go on to Hornsby Station as I did not bring my headlamp with me. Going through a forest without a flashlight is suicidal. Especially when an unforeseen circumstance of the Hornsby Rifle Range closing off all the routes to Hornsby trailhead from here. I could get shot! I’m disappointed about the bureaucracy surrounding the shooting range. Apparently I will need a permit in order to walk the area. How could they make the decision to block all access when The Great North Walk trail was established here first. This is an OUTRAGE!

I tried hitch-hiking and have put my thumb up near the bridge. But when I saw the disgust on the lady’s face, I felt ashamed. I can’t do this. Fuck all y’all. So I walked that winding Galston Road going up to Hornsby Heights. I don’t think a person is allowed to be walking this particular road. Its narrow and winding therefore dangerous. I could hear screeching noise form cars as they try to attempt a speed record for the fastest U turns and they have plenty of U turns to drive if you look at the map.

Oh what a day! I made it Hornsby Heights unscathed. Thank God, there’s a bus that goes around this suburb. I was fatigued, my shin splints are starting to hurt again and all I want to do is go somewhere where there is food. Damn bus doing plenty of hard turns at lightning speed, I was close to puking. What’s wrong with the motorist around this area?

Fuck, I should be more realistic about my time schedule. How could I possibly do 30 or so kilometres a day when I’m only starting out hiking after a long break. 5KM in an hour is like power walking. I need to take into account the uphill and the equally harder downhill walk. With my current fitness level, I should be estimating my speed to be 3-4KM an hour. I’m hoping that in a few weeks’ time, I will get better as my fitness builds up.