Getting lucky when you least expect it …

Remember this from June?

The I've Never Been to but Soon Will Challenge Map

I drew it up in response to a realisation that I’d lived in the central west of NSW for nearly 25 years and yet there were some iconic places that I’d never visited. Here’s the original story if you want to play catch up.

Bit by bit I’m trying to get out and see these places.

Abercrombie House was a no-brainer. I did that in the first week. It’s 3 minutes from Bathurst.

Kanangra Walls? I’m leaving that till last. I hate heights, just the thought of them sets my stomach churning and they’re not going anywhere so they can wait. Surely the photos do it justice? Apparently not. So looking forward to that one.

The Bridle Track? Well it’s had its difficulties too because there’s been a landslide in one of the trickiest stretches of the road and Council has closed it to traffic but today we thought we’d take a drive and see what we could see. We watched The Way a few weeks ago and got all fired up, thinking wouldn’t it be amazing to do it, to walk the Camino de Santiago from France to Spain, all 800kms of it but after an initial rush of blood to the head and a friend telling us later that much of it now runs beside a motorway, we shelved that idea and thought we could do something local. And shorter. Significantly shorter. And cheaper. So let’s just say we’re in discussions with our artist friend Harrie about turning it into a painting trip with pack horses and the full shebang. Far more likely is that it will turn into a Sunday drive with lunch at the Hill End pub but it’s fun thinking about it.

That’s a long winded way of saying that Steve and I did a reconnaissance trip out there today.

Strap yourselves in. I get car sick so I’m driving.

Warning sign at the start of the Bridle Track

Here is my interpretation of this sign.

No guard rail + steep edges + steep inclines + falling rocks = one thing.

Heights.

Fabulous.

I know how you feel little mate …

Tortoise on the road all tucked up

The Track itself is old…well, old by Aussie standards. Gold was discovered in Hill End in the 1850s so I’m assuming the Bridle Track was built around that time – correct me if I’m wrong – and yes, that’s a hunk a hunk of burning gold … The Beyers and Holtermann Specimen - the world’s largest single mass of gold.

Crowd gathered around the Beyers Holtermann specimen

After about 30 kms of tar, the road really does become a track, a dirt track that winds along beside the Macquarie River and four stunning camping spots for another 10-15 kms.

Beautiful view of the Macquarie River

And it’s in those last few kms that she turns nasty.

Cliff looming overhead ... very unstable

Real nasty.

I wouldn’t like to drive it after rain. There were about five or six rocks littered along the way ranging from the size of a bread box to the bonnet of a car. The cliffs look so unstable. Very shaley country.

Anyway we made it through OK and came to the road block at the base of Monaghan’s Bluff. Steve took one look at the hill climb and said “You’re kidding?”

There was nothing for it. I said, “If you climb it with me, you might get lucky.”

He was off.

Setting a pace a sherpa would be proud of.

The circle marks the landslide.

Monaghan's Bluff with the landslide circled

Up top, I was hugging the cliff face, figuring it was better to be taken out quickly by a falling rock than face an ugly tumble down below.

Looking down the steep drop to the Macquarie River

Looking back from the landslide, the road is closed just a bit further down from the “x” on the photo, so this gives you a sense of the walk. It continues over the hill but that wasn’t part of our deal.

Looking back from the landslide to where the road is closed

At this point the camera ran out of battery. Such pros!

The landslide at Monaghan's Bluff on the Bridle Track

So there was nothing for it but to walk home.

With a little detour to explore the river.

And as my son Darcy would ask at the end of a story with a weak ending…

“So did you find $5?”

And you might ask.

“Did the earth move?”

And I would say,

“Thankfully not” ;)

Let’s just say it was a win win situation.

Close up of the landslide on the Bridle Track

 

______________________________________________________________________

Photo of The Beyers and Holtermann Specimen courtesy of this website.

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    4 Comments

    1. Leah Moulden
      Posted 18 November 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Your art is amazing! Do you sell it?

      • Marg
        Posted 18 November 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Hey Leah. Hope to. Down the track :)

    2. Posted 20 November 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      What an adventure and I can totally relate to the batteries our son always runs them right down and the camera never works when I pick it up.

      I love your art work it’s just gorgeous…have you seen a site called ‘Journey Jottings’ I think you’d like it
      ciao for now
      love lisa x

      • Marg
        Posted 20 November 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t Lisa but I’ll take a look. Thanks. x

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    • About me

      Hi I’m Margaret, a creative soul
      fuelled by wanderlust and big dreams.
      A full-time mum, wife and graphic designer
      at red moon creative.

      I live and tell stories from Bathurst, Australia, a couple of hours inland from Sydney. In 2016 my husband Steve and I are planning to blog our way around the Mediterranean. In the meantime I'm doing it virtually over on the facebook page.
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