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 6 – Patonga Beach to Wondabyne
My fitness have improved significantly since my first “training hike” a few weeks ago. I had no trouble walking uphill. I was actually running uphill sporadically. The dreaded downhill walk was so easy to me now. The way I traverse those rocks, hopping from boulders to boulders was insane. Although I still stop for a breather every now and then, but overall, I’m impressed.
I did this hike the “proper way”, going from south to north. Reason being is the frequency of public transport is limited in Patonga. There used to be a ferry that run from and to Hawkesbury river but is now discontinued. So currently, bus is the only option and there’s only two buses per day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon, going to Woy Woy. While in Wondabyne, there are trains that comes in every hour.
After ordering a coffee from the local cafe and admiring the view of the beach, I set off from the foot of the hill. A few seniors are also preparing to bushwalk from the starting point, it was 10AM. Audio books for the day are The People Of The Abyss by Jack London and also finishing the final chapters of Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne.
Murder of crows are all around me. Its like a setting from a movie where the crows are watching me intently, looking for sign of weariness. Waiting for me to drop dead and then proceed to eat my inside. The eerie caw sound they emit and the stillness of the surroundings made the situation creepy. I’m in the bloody or should I say smelly Woy Woy landfill. Ohh, now it makes sense.
After passing that horrid area, I made it to the top of the hill. I love the view, you can see most of Brisbane Water National Park from up here. My feet appreciates walking the soft and smooth eroded sandstone. This trail reminded me of my favourite trail, The Coastal Track at Royal National Park.
When I arrived at Mount Wondabyne Campsite, I accidentally stand on one of the ant mounds scattered around. Holy crap, I never jumped and wriggle my legs so much, it’s almost a cartoonish scene. It was in the middle of the day, very bright and therefore hard to see those mounds. I’m very lucky to never be bitten, we’re talking 20mm length ants with massive mandibles.
Run, Forrest Run! Hahaha. The deal is, trains comes in every hour, I’m about five kilometres away from the station and I have one hour, so theoretically, I can make it. But I am not in flat land and the terrain is hilly and have to pass over slabs of rocks. Disregarding all of this dilemma, I made it my mission to get there in an hour. I did things that I never thought I could do. Running uphill with no issue, leaping from boulder to boulder and running downhill on loose rocks while constantly checking my GPS coordinates and time remaining.
Midway through the run, I felt a cramp on my leg, Oh no! Not now, I will miss the bloody train! I stopped for a minute or two to relax, then went for a run again. The cramps persisted from then, but I just stop and let it loosen up for a minute. I did this routine for several times. I have a goal and I must achieve it by any means necessary. I got to the train station literally just in time on what the timetable say it will arrived. Did I miss the train? I waited for 10 minutes and it finally arrived. All this running and the train was late! I’m not faze though because I found $40 along the trail!!! I’m sorry but that money will be going to my European travel account.