Jan-Jun 2016

“Eighteen walkers set off from Lisarow Station in cloudy conditions on their 13 km trek back to Gosford. Some initial road walking on the flat soon turned into a steady ascent which took us after about forty minutes to a clearing for morning tea and the removal of layers of clothing. After that, a fire trail was followed which turned into a road, leading us to St John’s lookout with views out to the coast at Katandra Reserve.
Our route then took us for more than five kilometres by bush tracks and fire trails along a ridge on the Mouat Trail with sound of Bell Birds in the background, to arrive at our lunch spot at the Yango Picnic Area in the Rumbalara Reserve. As well as eating, lunchtime was spent removing leeches and inspecting mozzie bites. Progressing along part of the  Flannel Flower Walk we reached the Casuarina Walk which led as via a series of steps down into Gosford and to coffee.
The coffee shop provided an opportunity both to enjoy refreshments and for a surprising number of leeches to emerge from boots and backpacks to end their lives on the pavement in small puddles of blood but in the true undaunted HVB spirit, this event was greeted with much laughter and amusement.”
The walk supplied multiple Johns, as seemingly usual. Towards the end of our route there is a memorial to John Eyre; at the MT spot, HVBers John G and John M posed at 'their' lookout.
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View along the track. The bushfires of December 2004 have left their mark.
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A sad end to an angophora, but the fungi on the right is OK. (Any help with identification?-Ed.)
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The lookout at the lunch spot, a view from the Brisbane Water through to Palm Beach.
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"... our lunch spot at the Yango Picnic Area in the Rumbalara Reserve." Anne G struck up a conversation with the yellow-shirted local already seated. His response to Anne's 'Are you here to serve us coffee?' was cordial and he moved on only later to enjoy a cigarette. In the background, centre left, Sheila sits attending to a leech. Further along this 'hospital wall' were other walkers also de-leeching.
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On the Casurina Walk, amongst the tall trees, heading down-hill towards Gosford township.2016 04 08 Plus Susan P1290392 Copya

It was a very special coffee session. Homeless millionaire John M 'shouted' everyone. Thanks, John, and best wishes. Pictured is half of the group; the other half at the 'other' end.
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Coping with leeches. Speaking to the photographer, Sheila said 'I should have refreshed my nail-polish.' and Claude said ' Hurry up. I'm dying; I'm dying.'. To be fair, Claude had 3 leeches on the one part of his ankle.

And a postscript from one walker. 'My end of “the leech tale” was to do a load of [bloodied] washing this morning and find after I’d taken all the clothes out of the washing machine – yes, a leech! I have to say he wasn’t looking particularly well – I suspect the washing detergent must have had much the same effect as salt.'

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For the record the walkers were: Maurice, Polly, Elaine E, John G, Claude, Deidre, Helen A, Susan, Ros G, Sheila, Nick, Wendy C, Clive, Anne R, Anne G and John M.  The leaders were Celia and Bert.

Words by Bert, photos by Wendy C (1, 3-5), Helen A (2, 10, 11) and Susan (6-9).

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