Wednesday 7 December 2016
Photos by Philip, Erika and Bob T
The last bush walk of 2016 started from a cleared area just off the Kings Highway about a kilometre east of Pooh’s Corner, on the slopes of the Clyde Mountain.
The group of five set off in a gentle morning mist under the low clouds cloaking the mountain. We walked gradually down a large spur, through areas of juvenile grass trees, spindly wattles and native holly. From time to time, as we pushed our way through the scrub, we would receive a light shower from the branches overhead, which were still wet from the previous night’s rain.
About an hour into the walk we turned south and started down the side of the spur towards the creek below. Our descent to the creek was undertaken with care due to the loose wet surfaces underfoot and the steepness of the slope. As we neared the creek the vegetation became lush and the canopy gradually closed in above us.
On reaching the creek we stopped for morning tea in the soothing surroundings. We found ourselves in a world filled with rounded rocks, ferns, tall palms, slow flowing water, mosses, logs, vines and fungi.
Following morning tea, we set off downstream following the creek bed with an occasional detour around deeper water, fallen trees or slippery rocks. The air was filled with the scent of decay and of new life and each turning of the meandering creek revealed a vista apparently more beautiful than the last. At one point we came upon a large log jamb, in the middle of which was trapped a small Pooh Bear. He had presumably been swept down the gullies from Pooh’s Corner and into the creek. He had endured the ordeal well, and once extricated and cleaned up a little, he was found to be in reasonable condition. He was placed atop the log jamb so that he might continue his journey.
We walked on, the water flowing constantly and relentlessly past us, seemingly babbling stories from the primal time of Gondwana. After about two hours of walking down the creek we reached the top of Gorgeous Gorge, where the creek narrowed and started a steep fall through the time worn rocks. The sides of the gorge were steep and narrow, and flanked with dense vegetation. We could hear the water cascading and we tried to find a vantage point from which we might see the waterfall, but to no avail.
After a break for lunch we commenced the return leg, back the way we had come. It had become clear by this time that the estimated six kilometre total walk length was closer to ten or eleven kilometres. We retraced our route back upstream to an exit point from the creek a few hundred metres before the point where we had earlier entered. From there our ascent back up to the top of the spur was once again slow. On the top of the spur the going was easier but after a tiring couple of hours we were glad to reach the clearing and see the cars again.