By Lexi Richards
Showing up to the UCSA carpark marked the start of our 2019 Freshers journey. A slow start at that, we made our way to Culverden where I couldn’t help myself from buying a pie from the local bakery. I held up the cue for a while trying to decide between a mince and cheese or butter chicken, in the end I went with the slightly spontaneous butter chicken. The fresh buttery pastry and punchy filling definitely delivered. I would give it a solid 8/10 and would recommend.
The moderate track was the most inviting route for me, although the numerous tree roots attempted to trip me more than a few times. This was mostly because I kept trying to take in the great view while maintaining a reasonable pace.
Quote of the day was: “The quality of the socks is just as important as the quality of the shoes” – very useful information at the beginning of a walk rather than halfway through. So, while waiting at the second swing bridge, I relaxed on a rock letting my blistered feet soak in the Boyle River.
It was in this relaxed state that I encountered some nasty sandflies. You wouldn’t believe the lengths they go to just to bite you. Despite having applied insect repellent, they sought out the one spot where I failed to protect myself. I am now nursing two particularly itchy bites, one on each cheek – not on my face.
In the evening, Mitchell proposed taking a group up to the Boyle Flats hut, and reluctantly I volunteered. Didn’t realise at the time that I had signed up to a partial jog. However, the people who followed behind me provided sufficient motivation to move on. Even though I lacked enthusiasm to begin with, I recommend taking any opportunity to explore more of the track, because it certainly becomes worth it once you make it just that little bit further.
The next morning after a fulfilling breakfast of creamy rice (which later leaked in my pack), Fei and I wandered down to the riverbed. I saw some stacked rocks so thought I would try my own hand at it.
A minor mistake on Sunday was wearing my long johns. A fine plan in the chilly morning, but it made for a difficult exercise removing them from underneath my shorts during the return trip. If anyone was wondering why I disappeared off into the bushes for a while, that’s your explanation. So for future self: either purchase some of those pants/shorts combo, or just brave the cold in the morning like a normal person and stop being a wimp.
Overall, a great first tramp with the tramping club – looking forward to many more.