Both Vickie and I were in high spirits, but I really couldn’t be bothered to run up to Khancoban town this morning. Again, I wanted to run today; just not now. But with 40km to cover I couldn’t leave it to the afternoon, and as we all now know with the BNT any number of things could delay my arrival.
I crossed the river almost immediately when I left Vickie. I don’t mind running with wet feet for 40km, but the water this side of the boarder is somewhat colder than I had been used to, and it froze my calf’s, before they had even warmed up for the day.
The first few km this morning followed the river through the valley, and I was watched on by a huge mob of kangaroos, grazing in the long grass. Why is it that some kangaroos just stand there ground, I ran with caution, but he really couldn’t care. The map said that there were many old mountain huts on route, and I passed to two within the first three KM, I didn’t stop as I wanted to at least get a little chunk knocked off, before investigating things along route.
It wasn’t long before I was climbing once again, only gradually, but I knew it was the only climb for the day and the rest was going to be undulated terrain through to Khancoban and a lunch stop at the Maui Mather Ship.
Once again the views were not a letdown, and as I climbed a little, I would turn around to get a view of Mount Kosciusko dominating the skyline behind me.
Once the other side of the climb, it was a steady downhill to the river below. I put myself in auto pilot and just let myself go. It was quit, and I was relaxed and enjoying the serenity, just me in the mountain bush, fresh air, sunshine………………and HONK! I stumbled to a halt, shuck my head to get out of the trance I was in. “Where’s the truck” I thought! It was so loud that I thought I had come head on with a four wheel drive of something. And then 20 metres down the track I see a red dear taking off in front of me antlers and all. They make some funny noises these dear. They roar like lions and can honk like a bus! Not enough time to get it on camera, but took me out of my mediative state.
Next I came across a lady out riding with her daughters. Nice to see horses on the BNT, it is a horse trail after all, and it’s the first time I have really come across them since leaving Healesville. I stopped for a chat and a pat of the horses, that’s about as much as I can do with them, they scare the hell out of me and horse riding, to me, is like an extreme sport, to go out riding is like base jumping the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
I got to a gate that said Private Property, this seems to happen a far bit on the BNT, and I understand that the trails committee have negotiated access to BNT’s. But being in the middle of the bush, with no one else around, I have visions of famers with shotguns!
The gate was on the edge of the National Park and once the other side the views down to the lake at Khancoban where fantastic, and I was looking forward to getting down to run alongside it.
I turn right on to Waterfall Farm Road. Sounds like the name of a kids show, but it’s appropriately named. No waterfall that I’m aware of, but, fields of cows and sheep, paddocks full of horses, little ponds with ducks, parrots fly over the road, there was even a dear farm, you know the ones that look like Bambi? Just, picture perfect.
I stop to watch the eagles fly overhead, and they disappear as soon as a get out my camera. I put the camera away, and then a flock of cockatoos fly over with that loud squawk that they have.
Lost in the Waterfall Farm Road show, I run the next 5km with a smile on my face, wondering if I was dreaming the whole thing up.
I cross the bridge that goes over the……….I stop, and what is the bridge going over? Huge white pipes coming down from the mountains and in to the lake below. Have I just come across the world’s largest waterslide? And then I remember that it’s the Snowy Hydro. Pretty amazing piece of engineering and something I wasn’t expecting to see.
The road flattened out, as I ran lakeside and only 6km until I would meet Vickie for lunch.
I run through the town centre, well the half dozen shops and information centre and of course a pub that makes up the town.
Vickie has everything ready for me when I arrive, even a seat so I could rest my legs and I much on sandwiches and a sports drink, before she had me back on my feet for the final 15km for the day up and over the back of the town. I take a detour through the golf course, as Vickie had met with Charlie the coordinator for these parts, and he said that the owner of the land that the next section I went through didn’t like people on his property, so I tried to take a wide birth as he had suggested.
As I’m running the track through the power lines, I think about how I would take a wide birth? The track I was on ran straight through the wilderness, so to take the wide birth option I would have to skip this part of the trail altogether! Well the trail goes this way, so if Mr Farmer didn’t like it, then he should go and take a leaf out of Mr Waterfall Farm’s book!
It wasn’t long before my day was over. What a treat seeing so many animals today, both wild and otherwise. I jump in the Maui Mother Ship, Vickie has me fed and showered and we are then off to the pub to meet Charlie. Charlie? He could have been the owner of Waterfall Farm, but that’s a whole other story.