Having made them put in a full day of gardening on Saturday, so on Sunday Snuva allowed her slaves to take her on a bushwalk. Usually having a cache in an area spurs Snuva to finally go to a place she’s been meaning to go to for ages. Strangely, the reverse has been true for the tracks around The Dragonâ€™s Lair. Since we don’t have the proper equipment and had to miss out on doing the cache with orac7000 and Swampy last year, I have been putting off doing this track at all. We filled the female slaveâ€™s rucksack with caches and provisions and headed off along the Pipeline Track. (Note to self: must train male slave to wear rucksack as well so we can take more caches along.) It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the puddles were full of mud, and the black cockatoos were squawking.
We walked for a while, then turned off onto a side track to stash . . .and Snuvaâ€™s sensational and have some lunch. Signal strength wasnâ€™t great, but thatâ€™s the hazard of this area, so we let the GPSr average while lunching. And made certain there was a good hint! Iâ€™m such a nice puppy we even cleaned up the ends of a dead branch that might have poked cachers in the head (as it did for the female slave â€“ hahahah!).
Back on the main track, we continued on until we were on top of The Dragonâ€™s Lair. I didnâ€™t want to risk either of the slaves â€“ I need two so one can massage my paws while the other makes dinner â€“ so weâ€™re saving it for another time.
I wasnâ€™t ready to turn back yet, so we continued on and took the track that continues on to Wellington Falls. We enjoyed what the area has to offer and stashed a cache. We saw signs for the Wellington Falls Track which was posted as a difficult track that takes 4 hours to get to The Springs. We looked at our map and consulted the contour lines and figured it couldn’t be that hard or take all that long. Tracks often have approximate times that are way out – Basic Brownâ€™s trailhead says, I think, 4 hours and we do it in 2 1/2, including lunch and it’s not like my slaves are very fit! Anyway, so we decide to give these other trails a go on the way back to make a big loop – and can I just say I was punished for my hubris!!
After the initial hill, which we thought would the be the only difficult part, we went through swampy bits, with the mud suctioning our feet, desperately looking for rocks because the track itself was 5 cm deep in water and crowded on both sides by cutting grass. We couldn’t really tell where the track was in many places and had to rely on my nose! And I wasn’t enjoying it because of course all the cutting grass was at eye height. Then we got to boulder fields. Ugh. When your foot, calf, and thigh muscles are exhausted from gardening, having to brace at all sorts of different angles etc is ‘interesting’. A couple kilometres of this, then we get to another track – and find more of the swampy stuff – with the added bonus that parts of it were going downhill. The female slave fell over rather spectacularly several times and looked like she’d taken a mud bath by the end, which was the only bright spot in this part of our adventure. After 7 hours of bushwalking, we finally got back to trailhead – and then realised that Snuvas aren’t allowed in the area. Ooop!