Day 2: Monarto to Preamimma Mine
Well, it was, luckily, hot cos with my small backpack I hadn't packed anything much extra to keep warm, no rain stuff either. Everybody was rugged up when we met, ok, the morning was cold, but they all set out on the hike like it - jackets, beanies. And me? Shorts and t-shirt. Yes, it was cold in the shade, but not for long. Soon, everyone had those jackets, jumpers and beanies off, it was a clear, windless, sunny, warm day. Although someone did remind me it was, in fact, still winter, and not really that close to summer. But there was me longing for the hot summer days. Can I make summer come sooner by dressing summer-like? I think so (you may not).
Starting at the entrance to Monarto Zoological Park, we followed an old rusty railway. Yes, I've seen the Don't Play with Trains tv ads, clearly the railway could still be used, but it wasn't in too good a shape, so I walked along the tracks whilst the others walked along the track next to it.
Surprisingly, there were lots of photo opportunities today as we walked along little-used dirt roads and across paddocks and along creeks. Good views from Highland Road in both directions - to Mt Barker and over to the River Murray.
We walked across a paddock, past a sign that left us in no doubt we were not to wander off the trail at all, and hiked past the remains of Preamimma Mine, complete with a chimney, ruined buildings and some tailings. But we couldn't have a closer look, which was disappointing. Looking in the Google Map (map view) below you can see that the trail at this point is following a public right-of-way, but as is often the case with these trails, no actual road. Bev said she had read somewhere that this chimney was somewhat unique because of it's square base. From a quick google search, the remains are considerable, and it was an arsenic mine in 1854, 1862 and finally in 1899.
An easy walk, but surprisingly scenic. Looking forward to future hikes along the Lavender Federation Trail, the next scheduled one is October 21 (2007). Pity they aren't more regular, I heard murmurings that perhaps George would seek to schedule some extra ones in during November.
- Distance: 15km
- Duration: 4.5 hours (9.45am - 2.15pm)
- Weather: 17 degrees, clear, sunny (hoping for summer!)