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 8 – Ourimbah to Wondabyne
Drunken people of Newcastle catching trains to go home after a night out in town. A typical scene that happens early hours of every weekend at 3AM. Lovers eating kebabs together. Young man, no one to keep him warm, going home alone. Couple of friends who are starting to develop homosexual feelings towards each other. A male whose stomach is filled with nothing but alcohol, vomiting clear liquid. Giggling drunk women, laughing hysterically at a guy’s desperate joke. You got to love public transport.
I got off at Ourimbah station at 4AM in the morning. Opposite the platform is a dodgy looking person in a hooded jumper, observing me while I prepare for my longest hike. Come at me bro. High on coffee and buzzing, I started walking the along the Dog Trap Road that connects Ourimbah and Somersby. The absent of artificial light brings out the brightness of the stars. The glittering of distant heavens provides the aesthetics to the dull darkness. It’s like the Gods have painted the night sky to keep me inspired, motivated and entertained. Audiobook for the day is to finish the final chapters of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
It was a still and lonely night. Not even a sound from an insect can be heard. Occasional noise of trucks driving along the distant highway slightly ruined the placidity of the night. Crisp, cold air force me to cover up but a noteworthy observation was some sections of the road that are covered with dense forest trapped warm air and gave a pleasant temperature. I wonder what this area look like during the day. Though, I am annoyed that I need to stop and piss every half an hour. Is it the coffee or is it the MSG laden Asian Takeaway food that I have eaten the night before.
I can understand why most people doesn’t like walking in pitch black darkness. You’re venturing into the unknown. The real dangers of getting assaulted by degenerate humans, stray animals, witches, goat man, Bigfoot and aliens are all the possibilities. So far the weirdest sight I have seen in my night hikes through the years are a fat ass Wombat of which I thought at first was a small child crawling and drunk insects flying towards my face. Fully charged head torch and a knife in hand are prerequisite. Preparation is a must.
Morning has broken. I finally made it to Somersby. The small town have that classic country vibe. The smell of firewood emanating from people’s houses and of course their big ass fenced yards provides the scenery. I maybe hallucinating but I saw a couple of deer crossing the road.
As I approached the bottom of Robinson Creek, I’ve notice somewhat a disturbingly enchanting area. The site have that dreamlike atmosphere. The dense forest blocks the sun and thus present minimal light. Luscious greeneries, moss infested rocks and the noise of flowing water gave a sensation of being in some kind of Brother Grimm’s fairytale. Not the kid’s version, the real Grimm version where the ending is as grim as their names.
Most people could get crept up being in this situation. You could probably sense that someone or something is watching you. Nature’s spirit? I don’t know. I don’t get that feeling when I’m in this kind of surroundings. I mean, I have force myself to imagine or think of the beast that hides innawoods before, but it did not scare me at all. I get more fearful watching, reading or seeing spooky media inside a room. Maybe because I’m in an enclosed space whereas when I’m in nature, I’m in the open and hence there’s an opportunity to run 🙂
Most of the trail’s elevation are flat, at least that’s what it felt like. And it follows the creek. Eventually you’ll walked underneath the Mooney Mooney Bridge. I could not believe the monstrosity of this bridge. I can’t even imagine how they build this. It is enormous. Great contrast among the rivers and the woodlands underneath. They were plenty of fishermen quietly and patiently reeling their lines along the river.
I have missed my train home. I was on top of the hill when I saw the train stopping by. If I was 5 minutes early I could’ve got on it. Now I have to wait for an hour for the next train. Those damn slow Germans in front of me! Hahaha, nah I gave up trying. An hour earlier, as I was walking along the top of the mountain, I was uncertain of whether I should try to run and catch the train on time or take it slow and enjoy the walk. Same situation as my Day 6 hike of Patonga Beach to Wondabyne. Five kilometres and one hour to do it. I was very indecisive and also very annoyed. Do you accept the challenge or not Carl McCracken? I did run but stopped then run again. I did this for an hour. I wasn’t tired, I was only stopping to think if it’s worth it. Bizarre reason, I know.
I was kicking myself for being hesitant. I guess I learnt a valuable lesson today. Decide on what I wanted to do and stick to it. No second guessing. Whether if it’s right or wrong decision, I got to be responsible. Being indecisive creates wasted time and time is the thing I don’t have. Lost time is never found right? Wrong decisions does occur, I just need to learn from it.