Saturday, September 1, 2007

15 koalas plus 1

Our next exciting installment of the Yurrebilla Trail. Kate brought along Marie, a Japanese student teacher exchange. She was keen to see some koalas. "Two. Tops, if we're lucky," we said. We saw 15. Plus 1.

The Yurrebilla Trail
Section 3: Norton Summit to Summertown
Section 2: Summertown to Eagle on the Hill

Seriously, she said she was keen to see some koalas. I suggested we make koala-mating sounds, you know, to bring out the koalas. Kate's was the best (I didn't even try). We had learnt last hike on the Yurrebilla that they sound like wild pigs. Within fifty metres we came across our first koala, and, thanks to Kate's koala mating sounds, a wide awake one (any Aussie would know this is rare). After stopping and letting Marie take some photos, we hiked on, coming across another koala. It soon got tedious, another bloody koala. Although we saw two baby koalas too, very cool.

All the koalas, except one, were within about 500 metres of each other, on the descent into Horsnell Gully. I quite liked this gully, I've never been here before, beautiful. A couple of really cool ruins too. And Jenny had said it was a tough hike out of the gully, which it was, but not as hard as the one out of Ambers Gully near Athelstone.

The day's hike started with what looked like was going to be a long road hiking section. Hey, yeah cool, welcome to an real Aussie bushwalk Marie... not! Thankfully, the map was shit, and it ended up being not so far, relieved to see this arrow leading onto a secret winding path.

Good too, that much of today's hike was also along the Trailblazer trail. Although we didn't walk very fast, we did the 16 km in 4.5 hours walking time (I think), that's 3.5 km/h. Jenny hiked the Montacute to Mount Lofty section, similar to what we did today, on Sunday, as in tomorrow, which was today, cos even though this post is labelled Saturday I am actually writing it Sunday night.

Walking through Waterfall Gully, from Mt Lofty to Eagle on the Hill, was beautiful. Now I know what you are thinking right now... "Jeremy, he's a keen hiker, born and lived in Adelaide, he would surely have hiked the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty summit hike before, if not many times?" Well, no actually, I never have. It's a real beauty though, but not so keen on the bitumen path.

Hiking up out of Waterfall Gully, we over-shot the car - because of my poor map... or poor map reading skills... I have purchased a GPS unit on Ebay, and had I been using it today (today as in Saturday - remember we're pretending I wrote this on Saturday) we would have known we were about 30 metres from the car and not have over-shot it. However my Express Post - "guaranteed overnight delivery to major cities" will take over a week to arrive ex Sydney, thanks to next week's APEC summit.

A good day's hiking. Nice photo below, but I think Tim and I should be on the far side, not the near side... we look like giants compared to Kate and Marie...

Oh, the plus one? Tim found a foetus on the track later on in the day. We figured it might be a koala, fresh one it was... but really hard to know.

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