More Kingborourgh Trails

Friday, 21 July 2017

I haven't had time to do any big jog/hiking adventures lately, so I've been continuing my exploration of the local Kingborough trails I've previously ignored.

The photos above are from the Dave Burrows walk just south of Margate. It was only about 2.4 k, but a delightful run to the water and back. It was so nice that I took the kids along to run it later in the week - their first ever training run. I wasn't allowed to join them of course, so I just sat in the car. I snuck some photos of them heading off though!

 

As the Dave Burrows walk was a bit short, on the day I ran it I combined it with a short drive down the road and then a run along Snug River trail to Snug Beach. It was also lovely..

 

 

I suspect a smaller trail continues up the river past Snug Primary School, I explored it for a little while but then turned around to do the published route plus a little bit extra at the beach on the other side of the river.

 

Today I went to Howden and ran along the very inappropriately named Stinkpot Bay trail. It was only 1km out and back but it was beautiful.

  

As it was so short I combined it with a 2km run along the road to join up with the Wingala Gully Track.  This track wasn't anything special but nice enough. The stretch along the road was more interesting as it allowed me to sticky beak at all the lovely houses and farms. It's a really lovely area.

It's been really nice to stop and visit these places that I drive past so often!  Kingborough has so many lovely beaches and waterfront areas.  

 

Seagulls and Clifftops

Monday, 10 July 2017

After hanging around the house for most of the day fruitlessly waiting for someone to come and measure the kitchen bench, I finally went out for a run at 4pm.   The extra time at home gave me an opportunity to browse the kingborough trails website and find a brand new run to do from Blackmans Bay and along the Suncoast Headland Track which was really nice. 


Vanilla Slice & Vanilla Slush

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Over the last few years I have conducted extensive research into the attributes of the perfect vanilla slice.   I have decided that for my taste at least, The Tasmanian bakery chain - Banjos,  make the best option when considering price, filling, overall texture, size & quality of icing.  This is what their version looks like (but usually they are a bit bigger) - the photo is taken from their website:

 

Having settled on this as my role model, the next step for a food scientist such as myself is to attempt to recreate it at home, so after further research I   settled on a recipe from Donna Hay.  I think my first attempt turned out pretty well..

The only thing I wasn't too happy about was the pastry, it seemed to go soggy very quickly.    

My second attempt a few weeks later turned out very similar to the first, possibly with a yummier filling,  but once again the pastry was a bit soggy. Seeking improvement I started researching other vanilla slice recipes and they seemed to use a different method for cooking the pastry to Donna's recipe.

Armed with this new technique, I was pretty sure that my third attempt was finally going to produce the perfect slice...

 

not so much..

I mean.. not if you like your filling to set anyway..

 

We've called this the Vanilla Slush, and everyone was so busy trying to keep their portion from dripping over the side of their plates that they weren't able to compliment me on the miniscule improvement in the crispness of the pastry. Hmmph.  I'm sure you're wondering what could have gone so wrong, well my first thought is that it was because I forgot to add the sugar until after the filling had thickened,    I mixed it in afterwards and wondered if that maybe broke down whatever had started to bind it all together. But then I read the comments on the Donna Hay site and discovered that swapping the prescribed thin cream for thickened cream would cause it not to set, due to the added gelatine.  I had in fact used thickened cream for my third attempt as we didn't have any thin cream - who would have thought the results would be so drastically bad! 

So clearly there needs to be a forth attempt. 


 

 

Garden Projects - Part 2

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The other project I worked on this week is the Secret Zen Garden, outside the Green/Oslo room. Until this week it was a dead triangle of space under the deck with just the air conditioner outlet, a dead man-fern, and an overgrown NZ Flax bush.  The NZ flax had grown so large it was actually pushing the retaining wall apart so it took a few hours of hard work & sweat to remove it (and yet another trip to the tip), but it eventually surrendered. 


I cleared up the rest of the area then used some scrap wood and collected river rocks to create a small zen feature.  It didn’t look all that ‘zen’ though with the air conditioner unit right behind it, so I bought some cheap pine (thankfully only $1.87 per metre since I confused my calculations and bought twice as much as I needed) and built a screen which I am pretty happy with.  

in progress - air conditioner screen and feature done.. 

The other thing that needed screening was the bottom half of a doorway which is a leftover oddity from when we extended the deck. The half of the door above the deck is covered by a blackboard, which has left the bottom half a metre off the ground (including a cat-door for athletically talented cats). As I had leftover pine (clever me!) and some other wood scraps, I made a cover for that which I think looks cool and is a nice contrast to all the horizontal lines of the air-conditioner screen. 

 

The last job to do was to get some nice pebbles to fill in the rest of the space.  I could only put a tiny plant in the very corner of the garden as that’s the only section which gets wet when it rains (that’s where the flax grew).  

 

The rock pile on the stump covers up some pvc plumbing, and I found the horse shoe in another section of the garden. 

 

  

Overall I’m really happy with it - particularly the two screens - it’s so much nicer than what was there (sorry - again no proper ‘before’ photo!).

Garden Projects - Part 1

Saturday, 8 July 2017

This week I’ve been working on a number of garden projects including continuing my work on our very steep and a bit shady bank that is next to the driveway.  About six weeks ago I finally finished removing all of the ivy from it which took a few weeks and a few trailer loads with of green waste.  Since then the slope has been sitting waiting for something new to happen. So this week I bought some sleepers and pegged them into the slope, then planted some new plants there.  I left the old plastic sheeting (installed by the previous owners) to make it harder for new weeds to come though (I’m sure the ivy is just regrouping somewhere, waiting until I go back to work before making a new attack!).   


Anyway - it still doesn’t look all that neat and tidy, but it’s a big improvement on the weeds and ivy which were there. I wish I’d taken a 'before' photo to prove it! You'll have to make do with the 'after' photos.

 

 

 

Motivation

Saturday, 8 July 2017


When we turned up to a local orienteering event on Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, the kids weren’t too keen on running the Medium course (the smaller events only offer Long, Medium and Short courses).  The medium actually wasn’t all that long (3.3k) but it was quite a hilly area which was putting them off.  The short course was only 2.2k but it looked a bit too easy to me- so I was trying to convince them to run the technically harder & longer medium course (which was the one I was going to do).   My reasoning was that since they beat me in a race the previous weekend, they we’re totally capable of running the same course as me. They weren’t convinced though.


Then I  had an idea: At the moment the kids and I are sort of competitive - They are faster on shorter easier legs but my navigation is a lot better which gives me the edge on the harder legs. This will only be the case for a few years as the courses I run are only going to get shorter and I’m only going to get slower. The kids are of course going to get faster, stronger & smarter. So we may as well enjoy this ‘crossover’ time as it won’t last very long !


My cunning plan involved offering the kids $1 for every individual leg that they beat me on if we run the same course. At this event the medium course had 13 controls which meant 14 opportunities for them to make money.  If they muck up one control they can still earn cash on the other legs, the overall time doesn’t matter.  (Orienteering’s electronic timing system makes it possible to see who was fastest on each leg - a fun way of dissecting where you went wrong! )


So before I’d even finished explaining my idea, the dollar signs lit up in their eyes and they’d both signed up for the medium course and were ready to go. 


Suddenly the kids were super motivated and so was I - I ran around that  3.3k course like someone with a lot to lose - $28 to be precise. I pushed myself up the hills, ran hard on the tracks and tried to follow my compass through the scrubby sections like Thierry Gueorgiou. There were lots of short tricky legs through the scrappy forest so I knew I had to be accurate to stay out of bankruptcy,.  36 minutes later I sprinted into the finish and then had a satisfying wait of about 25 minutes before the kids came in one after the other.  The kids had struggled a bit in the areas of low visibility and lost a bit of time but had some good legs as well.


And the final payout? Well I ended up owing Jett $2 - one dollar for a longish leg up a hill and although I pushed myself he beat me  (and everyone else on the course) by 20 or so seconds.  Hmmph. The 2nd payout was for the 2nd last control - he took a cross country route whilst I chose to stay on the track and run the slightly longer way around.   Zali ended up claiming  $1  - I sprinted as hard as I could to the finish control but she beat me by a couple of seconds anyway- double hmmph. 


Funnily enough I ended up winning the course by almost 11 minutes!  ha!  I suspect I would have won anyway but that extra motivation certainly helped. 


We’ve since had the opportunity to do the same thing on another course - this time a “cryptic” course at Rosny. The clue descriptions were just cryptic clues you had to solve, then you had to work out where the control actually was, as it wasn’t within the control circle. Unfortunately it too us a while to work that 2nd part out, so we all lost time.  Sadly for me I didn’t’ work out that there were also decoy controls so I mispunched 3 controls and ended up owing the kids $5 each. Ouch!  And expensive way to be reminded to check the control numbers!


Today they’ll have another chance to get some cash as we race around the Domain. I’m resting up in preparation.

Worst. Night. Ever.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

If you are squeamish, don’t read on.  In fact, it’s probably best not to read on anyway.. it’s not pretty.


Monday started out normally. The kids went to school, Jon went to work, and I lazed around before heading out for an adventure hike (as per previous blog post).  


When Jon arrived home at around 6.30 he immediately mentioned being both cold & exhausted. As he cooked some chicken for the kids (I can’t bear to touch raw chicken) he expressed concern at the possible lateness of our own dinner (as I’d only just started making the pesto pasta) -  he claimed he was pretty hungry and his stomach was doing flip-flops.  


So it was pretty strange that about ten minutes later he suddenly headed off to bed for a mini-nap.  That’s weird for someone who’s hungry I thought to myself, then just a few minutes later I started to feel a bit nauseous. Not too bad, but just a little bit.   I pressed on with dinner preparations however by the time it was ready,  Jon revealed he was staying in bed for now.  Hmm..   I wasn’t feeling great either but I’d hardly eaten anything all day, so I forced myself a small bowl of pasta, and since that was delicious, I had a little bit more.


An hour later, Jon was still in bed, and I was feeling worse. The kids were busy bashing balloons from Rob’s party all over the living room and I was lying on a beanbag with a hand over my eyes in the middle of it.  Zali suggested to me that I wasn’t looking too good and I should maybe go to bed so I took her advice.  Jett was also feeling a bit tired too so he went just before I did.  Zali tidied up the worst of the mess in the kitchen before heading off to bed herself. It if wasn’t for that, Pinto would have had the Best. Night. Ever.


Half an hour later Jon and I found ourselves as involuntary entrants in a synchronised spewing   competition (thank god for that 2nd toilet we didn’t used to have!).  Had we discovered our scores I think we would have fared well in both the volume and voracity departments, but perhaps lost points for presentation, as after a few minutes we were both looking pretty shady.  


A few hours and billion trips to the bathroom later, Jett joined the spew party himself in the most dramatic of fashions involving his bed, the wall, his new carpet, and pretty much the full length of the corridor.   Thankfully Jon was able to take care of most of that cleanup (in between his own spews) - I only helped out a bit at the end when I got up for my own purposes. Ugg.


As Jett had fouled his room we put another mattress in our room and all hunkered down together, trapsing in and out to the bathroom as required through the night.   It was gross. Really gross. Really really really gross.  Zali (who was miraculously unaffected) claimed it was pretty bad for her too as she’d be just drifting off to sleep then she’d hear someone walking down the corridor followed by the unmistakable sound of expungment, which we all agree is a pretty horrible noise particularly when echoed through the house in the small hours of the night.


Thankfully my last spew was at 4am  so although my stomach still wasn’t completely better (and still isn’t)  I had a few hours of reasonable sleep before waking up in time to realise Zali was going to miss her bus for school. We quickly agreed that she should skip school anyway as she was so likely to catch the bug and it came on so fast we wouldn’t be able to save her.  Funnily enough she ended up sleeping in even longer than the rest of us that morning. Teenagers!


Dr Google has since diagnosed our illness as Norovirus, and we both had the complete set of symptoms, that being:


Illness often begins suddenly and symptoms usually last 1 or 2 days. However, during that brief period people can feel very ill and vomit, often violently and without warning, many times a day.

Common symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal cramps.


By about 10am I had the energy to have a shower and wash the vomit out of my hair (look I said it was going to be gross and you chose to read this),  and by the afternoon we were all able to start drinking small amounts of liquid, which was a big relief as I was desperately thirsty and Jett and I both had dehydration headaches.   

I pretty much spent the entire day in bed, Jett and Zali binge watched Brooklyn 99 on Netflix while Jon had to drag himself off to town to take his car in for a compulsory end of year service, which can’t have been much fun but he managed it and had time to catch a few episodes and have an afternoon snooze.


It’s Wednesday today and after another quiet day spent mostly at home (except for Zali who was sent off to school), we’re all feeling better.  Everyone will be back to school and work tomorrow and I’m never eating pesto pasta again.


Arm End Reserve

Monday, 26 June 2017

Summerleas Road in Kingston affords great views of Mt Wellington and Cathedral Rock. In fact Cathedral Rock’s peak is so prominent that when we first moved to Kingston I’d often drive down Summerleas Road towards home and think about how cool it would be to hike up it.

It took a few years to finally get the opportunity to do so,  but once I’d been to the top it was nice to be able to think about how fun it was every time I looked up at it. Since my adventure run from a few weeks ago I can now look up and know I've been up and over all of the rocky peaks behind it too. Cool.

On a similar theme, today I finally visited another part of the Hobart area that I see ALL THE TIME, but have never visited.  It’s a big arm of land that is right opposite Kingston, but via the Tasman Bridge it’s almost an hour’s drive away. I found out a few weeks ago that it’s called both Gellibrand Point and Arm End Reserve. It’s just past Opossum Bay, a place I’ve only been once on a driving trip with Granny and Grandfather about 7 years ago.


 

There are grand plans for Arm End Reserve, including a golf course, mountain bike tracks, walking trails, bird watching thingies and a whole lot of other stuff. It even has it’s own web-site - but for now, it’s a fairly barren bit of land which has some pretty amazing views all the way up to the city. The current walking trail is more like a mown strip of grass but it does do a satisfying loop of the Arm. 

It reminded me a lot of Maria Island settlement with cleared fields, long yellow grass and windy hills.  It lacked the historical remnants but it did contain the triple decker vault style grave of Gellibrand and a few of his descendants, dug by Mr Gellibrand himself every day after breakfast until it was done. Uff.

  

When he died in 1840 the area was apparently renown for the 'tallest timber in the colony', a winery and an extensive orchard.  I think he'd be disappointed that you could pretty much count the trees on one hand now, and aside from a few birds, the only wildlife I saw was a mouse that scampered across my path at one point.   

Nevertheless, I was surprised at how nice parts of the coastline were.

 

 

although in one spot I was equally surprised at how much rubbish there was on the beach - unusual (and disappointing) for a Tasmanian beach. It had obviously washed up from the sea (rather than having been left by picnicers) which is even more of a worry. 

  

I only saw two other people during the 6.5k loop - which added to the eerie sense of loneliness the point has.

All in all it was a fun trip, and now when I look across the river at Gellibrand Point I'll know more about what I'm staring at. Whilst I don't love golf courses I do hope the plans for the development of the point go ahead - the place deserves some re-forestation and more visits. 

If it has to be fruit cake...

Sunday, 25 June 2017

 

As a sufferer from Dried-Fructophobia I don't like fruit cake.  I don't like making it, I don't like decorating it, and I absolutely wouldn't eat it. 

However when Denny asked me to make a cake for Rob's birthday breakfast,  I thought that adding a heavy chocolate mud cake to the feast of yummy breakfast foods might be a bit much, so I suggested I make a cake-shaped-fruit-sculpture instead. 

I was confident in the concept, but the whole process was a bit nerve wracking -  I couldn't really practise it beforehand (due to winter fruit prices). I just had a vague idea in my mind (inspired by other creations on the internet) but I didn't know exactly how it would work, or even how long it would take to make. Until the day before I wasn't even sure I'd be able to buy the fruit I needed - although as it turned out everything was available including a whole watermelon.  In the middle of winter - amazing!

So after shopping for the fruit the kids helped me cut up half the fruit and we put togther a few test pieces the night before.

  

I wasn't sure how I was going to support the skewers but luckily I had enough bits and pieces of foam around the place, so I carved something that would fit into a cake tin..

 

Arranging the structure in a tin turned out to be quite clever as it stopped it dripping everywhere. 

On the morning of the party I got up at 6.30 and continued cutting fruit and making fruit skewers. My intention was to have two tiers of the skewers but it wasn't really working out, so I tried out a few other ideas and eventually settled on the watermelon middle tier and blueberry top tier which I think worked really well. The number 40 is carved out of watermelon skin.

 

The whole process was pretty messy and time consuming, but I just had time to finish it off before we had to leave.. 

 

The party itself was really good - Denny had done a lot of work with decorations and the rest of the food, and I think the cake was a success. Aside from being unusual, once it was cut people were able to help themselves to the fruit skewers and slices of watermelon. There wasn't much left by the end and the spare bits of fruit that I didn't use were served with the pancakes.   Perfect.

 

Nice Places

Thursday, 22 June 2017

This photo looks like it could be from one of my recent long adventure jog-hikes. But in fact it's Boronia Beach, just a 10 minute run from Kingston Beach. Nice huh!

 

Other Milestones

Thursday, 22 June 2017

In other news Jett can no longer say he's never been to Mona with the sigh of someone who has led a culturally barren life.  

We went on Sunday - it was pretty packed but good fun.

 

Milestones

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Today was Jett's last ever primary school sports carnival.  I volunteered to help with the judging so I was there the whole day.

It was only as the final relays were happening that it dawned on me that it was the last time I'd be watching one of these! 

 

Jett swam really well and I'm really glad I got to be there. 

 

Launceston Sprint Orienteering Weekend

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

We've just had a super-fun weekend in Launceston.  Not one, not two, but 6 orienteering events in three days including 2 hilariously fun night events.  I love these shorter format events - they are generally held in parks or around school campuses and each race features lots (20-25) of controls, so your mind is kept absolutely immersed in this high speed challenge as you turn left or right, run up stairs, down ramps and around buildings and flowerbeds. It's great fun. 

 

And whilst I had a great time,  the best thing about the weekend was that Zali and Jett loved it also.  They made a few mistakes (like everyone else), but generally ran really well on their medium courses - 1.5-2.5k each.  (Jon and I ran the Long courses which were between 2.5-3.3k).  One of the night events was a score event - which means  you don't have to visit the controls in a particular order like normal orienteering, you score points by visiting as many as you can in a set amount of time. If you go over-time you are penalised some of your hard earned points!  Zali and Jett ran so well together through the dark of the Prospect Golf Course that they got a higher score than absolutely everyone else in their division, as well as everyone in my division, and half the people in Jon's  (we all had the same amount of time for this race so the results are comparable) - and that's even with Jett bumping into someone so hard at the start that he got a bleeding nose. With only 20 minutes running time there was no time to attend to it until after the race! They are also really getting to know the other orienteering kids so they are having a nice social time as they hang out before and after the events.   It makes me so happy that we can all enjoy orienteering together - I can't think of many other sports where the whole family, in fact in some case 3 or 4 generations of the same family could drive to the same venue and all compete at the same time.  Orienteering is such a great sport.  

Before and After #41 - Offcut Pathway

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Our neighbour has recently replaced the retaining wall behind his house and as a result he had a lot of pine sleeper offcuts.  He was piling these up right next to where I was pulling out ivy a few weeks ago so I noticed he had quite a supply of both long and short lengths of timber.

Some weeks earlier I'd been thinking about how to make the path on the side of our house a bit nicer - it's just a gravel space next to the external wall and the gravel isn't very nice to walk on - especially with bare feet. I'd sort of given up on doing anything as purchasing pavers, sleepers or anything else was going to become very expensive very quickly and it wasn't worth a whole lot of cash to change it.

Then I saw Geoff's sleepers..and had an idea.  He was happy to give them to me to save him a tip load, and I was very happy to take them.  There was a mixture of long sections and short sections so I had to find a pattern that could accommodate both and also stretch the length of the wall - my final solution used every single piece he gave me!

 

As I was doing this on the cheap I didn't want to pay for any sand (which is a very handy resource when laying any sort of paver), so I just had to excavate the existing gravel with a mattock and a selection of spades.  It was hard work laying every single paver as I needed to take into account the slope of the ground (8 degrees) and lay each paver the same depth.   I used an app on my phone and a giant level to help me with this. Also I tried to heed my string lines but it was difficult with all the different widths!

 

 

It's taken about 2 weeks to lay all the pieces bit by bit and the result isn't perfect but I am pretty happy with it!   I ended up spending $70 on a tin of decking oil to extend the life of the treated pine), but that was it.  

 

Cathedral Rock & Montague Thumbs Loop

Thursday, 8 June 2017

I've always been curious about the do-ability of the loop from the top of Cathedral Rock (which I've done a few times), along the Montague Thumbs Ridge, across to Wellington Falls, back to the Pipeline Track, down the Siphon track back to Northwest Bay River then back to the start - so when I happened to see someone's recent Strava post of that exact loop that they'd started at midnight (for specific training reasons) I figured that if they could do it in the dark, I could certainly do it in the daytime.

So I picked the most sunny looking day of the week but as it was still very cold in the morning I left later than I usually would so the air could heat up a bit - I think it was still only about 7 degrees when I left at around 11am though,   

It took me just over an hour to make it to the top of Cathedral Rock, and I was surprised (and slightly concerned) to find frozen puddles and frost right up to the summit.   Still, the views were amazing as always.

 

From there I had to traverse along the rocky ridgeline, following a faint (and often slippery) track.  As I scrambled up and down I wondered how anyone could do it at night but perhaps it was easier because you couldn't see how close the drop off was!

I got some nice views looking back towards Cathedral Rock (it's the pointy thing at the end of the ridge):

 

 

After that the track slowly descended towards Wellington Falls and it alternated between various forms of unpleasantness including being overgrown, rocky, vague & soaking wet. Parts of it must have been an old hunting or logging trail as there would be sudden sections of wide mossy track, followed just as suddenly by tight forest, or small boulderfields. It was generally hard going and the overgrown sections that I had to push though got me completely soaking wet which wasn't fun as despite the sunshine, it was still cold.    This was a good section of it:

 

After what seemed like hours I finally made it to the river just above Wellington Falls - I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief at that point as the track markings had been so vague for so long that I had become a bit concerned that I might have accidentally ended up on another track.  From memory I knew that after crossing I would join the well maintained Wellington Falls track to take me back to the Pipeline so the going was going to get a lot easier.

 

Only that was where I made a mistake. Actually I made two, no make that three, or possibly four mistakes. - the first was not having my Mt Wellington paper map with me (duh) as I'd decided just to use Strava's map on my phone to give me my locaton (and it didn't fit into my small bag).  Strava didn't show that there was a crucial turn I needed to make once I was on the Wellington Falls track, in fact it didn't show any other tracks at all, so I ended up on a different track, climbing a lot higher than I needed to. I did wonder what was going on as I remembered the Wellington Falls track as being smooth and pleasant, and the track I was following was rough with steep bits. Neverheless I reassured myself that there was only one track in the area and it must be the one I was on so I must be remembering it wrong.   So it was a good half an hour of arduous trail before I emerged at what was undoubtably the Potato Fields (a rocky boulder field way above the Pipeline Track and not near where I wanted to be). It was also at this point that my phone started to get very close to flat (mistake number 3 was starting with my phone on 60% of charge and listening to podcasts without thinking about battery!).   I wasn't sure whether I should continue in the same direction and hit the Snake Plains track which I knew would drop me onto the Pipeline, or to heartbreakingly turn around and retrace my steps back to Wellington Falls.  I tried to bring up  a more detailed map on my phone but I couldn't and I wanted to save a few % of charge in case of emergency (btw I also had an EPIRB with me in case of real emergency).  So after a brief stop for snacks and to consider my options* I decided to turn around. Backtracking wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be as it felt like it was more down than up and 25 minutes later I was back at the vague track juction. 50 metres past that I saw the big signpost which confirmed I was finally on the right track! And the track was as nice and smooth as I remembered, in fact the next 10 minutes of running were the nicest of the whole trip despite the fact I was pretty tired.  Due to the battery issue I couldn't take any more photos on my phone which was a shame. I do have the Strava map though.. my out & back diversion is pretty obvious..

and take a look at the climb, the bumps after the halfway point is where I had to retrace my steps..

 

Once at the Pipeline Track I just had to cross it and descend what is known as the Siphon Track. It follows a large pipeline straight down the hill and is impossibly steep and slippery. Luckily it's also quite soft underfoot (good for landing on) and parts of it are quite incredible where it has been cut through the forest.  It was quite an experience coming down it - I pity all those involved in making it!  I tried to find some history of it on-line but all I could find were other blog tales of equally arduous adventures doing this circuit - some people mentioned it took them an hour to get down this section of track - I was lucky that it only took 15 minutes or so, others mentioned that the entire loop took them 10 hours. Gosh!  The people who did it at midnight the other night took just under 4 hours all up and I took around 4:30 including my detour.  I notice that Strava has assumed that I was stopped for a lot of that time and has told me that my total moving time was 2:54 which is complete rubbish as I stopped for maybe 20 minutes altogether it was just that some other sections were so slow it thought I was stopped.

Anyway - I slipped and slid my way back down the Siphon Track back to North West Bay river and crossed easily (the river is quite low at the moment) then had just a few ks along the river's edge to make it back to the car. My total journey was 18.9k.  The route without my Potato Fields detour is about 15k. I had been out for a lot longer than I expected so I was pretty happy to make it back to the car and drive straight to the supermarket for some late lunch!   

* I decided to turn around for two reasons - firstly I didn't know exactly how much further along I had to go before there was a trail that cut down to the pipeline track, then I would still have had to backtrack along the Pipeline to get back to where I needed to join my next track. As it turns out the trail back down to the Pipeline would have taken me an extra hour or more but I didn't know that at the time due to mistake 1.  Secondly,  Jon knew my intended route, and although I still had a bit of phone battery and my EPRIB, if anything happened and I couldn't contact anyone (say after a fall),  no-one would have expected me to be up around the Potato Fields area. 

 

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