Friday, 1 June 2012

Day 64 and 65...............A little French

I had one of the latest starts to date I didn’t leave until 11:00, now that’s what I call a lay in.

I would be starting 4km down the road from the Rouchel Sports Ground where we had stayed the night. It always tickles me that towns if they can be classed as that with three houses. Have things like a sports grounds. Even if the families were big at each house there still wouldn’t be enough to make a whole football team never alone two so they could play each other. Where did the name Rouchel come from, and how did it end up here in the middle of country Australia? I half expected the farmers to have garlic around their necks, wearing beret and making delicious cheeses, while smoking in their stripy t-shirts.

Reality, didn’t see one person there, there were more headstones in the “towns” cemetery opposite where we had parked than people.

The run out of town took me through rolling countryside on a dirt road. Going by the map, it looked like Vickie could spend the day with me again. But in true BNT fashion that wasn’t to be the case, as the road came to a gate and the trail turned in to more of a single track as it headed up and over the mountains. Great news for me, getting back out there on some real tails, but, it added to a longer drive for Vickie, having to take the Mothership the longer way round.

The run over the ridgelines was amazing, just rolling countryside as far as the eye could see. There were no properties, or signs of life, it was bliss. The climb up from the road was a little torturous, but what’s new? It seems I must be a little sadistic putting myself through some sort of pain like that each and every day.

Country like this is a pleasure to run through, but in the back of your mind is always the thought that you might not be going the right way, as there is no track to follow. I put so much faith into the Garmin device that holds all the daily maps for the run, without it I would be in real trouble!

It was hard to take it easy as I started to drop down one of the spur lines towards what I hoped would be a dirt track, I was having way to much fun to be worrying about pulling up sore in the morning and after being on sealed roads the few days before I was happy to be back trail running.

The back end of my run took me through a couple more small towns, just like where I started there would have been no more than four houses.

I finished up at the end of a dirt road, where I met Vickie and the Mothership. Tomorrows run was going to be a climb up and out of the valley we were in, and where we would be spending the night.

Day 65…………Gulf Bridle Track – Barrington Tops National Park

Looking for the track to get started was hard enough, what an earth was the day going to unfold. For the best part the BNT is on management tracks or tracks that go through private stations, sometime you have to work out which corner of a field you should be heading for a gate, or work out if the trail goes up or around the mountain, other times, like today, you wonder if you are even looking in the right place, no markers, no signs of a track even the farm gate was over grown and hadn’t been opened since way back when.
On days like this the trust has to be in the Garmin GPS unit that I carry and the hope that I put the right waypoints into it! So with that in mind I kiss Vickie goodbye and head out in to the overgrowth.

The first few KM were I bit of a bush bash along the side of the river full of stinging nettles, my shins throbbed all over. I the crossed the river where the Garmin told me too and struck luck the other side as I could make out a sort of single track. This was meant to be the Gulf Bridle Trail that would take me all the way to the Barrington Tops National Park but, this trail hadn’t seen anything for a long while, except wildlife. And there was lots of it.
Of course the usual Kangaroos and wallabies were in abun
dance, but there were birds of all shapes and sizes, including an eagle, what a way to start the morning. Further down the trail I ran with wild goats and their babies, I stopped for a while to watch them climb with ease the steep sides of the valley walls.

After following what I thought was the right single track or at the least the one that was marked on my Garmin I was a kilometre away from the road, but when I got there it was still a single track making its way across fields. I follow this for a further 2km before crossing a river and getting to the dirt road that would take me into The Barrington Tops National Park.

It was to be a climb, a constant climb for 26km from 200m to 1450m and after the 8km of running up and over valleys it wasn’t what I really needed.

I started the climb and tried to not think about the fact that it was going to be like this for the rest of  afternoon. I hear a beep and it was Vickie just in time to take my pack and leave me to slog out the next 26km up and in to the Barringtons.

The temperature plummeted as I climbed I stopped to put a jacket and a bennie on, only to see three eagles circling above. Its times like these that make the pain all worth it, not only great views but eagles to!
More to come I'm playing catch up!

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