Lower Glenelg NP – part 4: River bank

 River Bank

 

The river seemed in no hurry. It’s surface even, subdued, and glittered in sunlight. I could usually smell it before it came into view, and so even when not in sight it had a presence. It had a lure to it, perhaps a little bewitching in that I think, each of us could have stayed put at any one place and let time drift by without any seeming consequence. What did anything matter?

 blue water blue sky

This post brings to a close my account of a four day hike with friends in the Lower Glenelg National Park in SW Victoria. It focuses on the Glenelg river and its bank that we connected with multiple times as we walked westward on a trail of the Great South Western Walk (GSSW).

The trail that we were walking on kept us, for the most part in the native forest that bordered this lower section of the river. Our encounters with the river then were either glimpses through breaks in the undergrowth or trees, staged viewings from purpose built platforms higher above the river or on the river bank where thoughtful, well serviced campsites took up position. It was at these sites where I connected most with this flat, gently flowing river that starts its life in the Grampian NP and ends where it spills into Discovery Bay in the Southern Ocean.

Glenelg River

The river for me was about replenishment. It was where we stopped to eat, rest on grass, or the solid timber of picnic benches and jetties. Unlike many other walks I have done over the past few years we seemed to have time up our sleeve. The days started with casual efficiency, our lunches were extended and often included a doze and we frequently finished the days walk around 3:30 and due to the spring enjoyed a surplus of time to unwind, set up camp, cook, eat and still have time to read a book or write in my journal.

pattersons

As the walk drew to a close a subject of conversation was which of the camps we had preffered. The first night at Picannine Ponds because it was the first taste of sleeping out or Lake Monibeong because we had set up a modest camp only to realise that around the corner lay a choice of camps with shelters (with clothes pegs), water tanks, fire pits and even a flushable toilet. We willingly moved. Patterson’s with its serene quiet, gorge face backdrop, cute bunk houses and unusual trees or Skipton, a river access only site with a ground fed spring, vibrant bird life and the clincher for me, an ethereal, early morning fog that drew in from the banks to rise silently upwards like a twirled mohecian. That was sublime.

rising mist 1

The river seemed in no hurry. It’s surface even, subdued, and glittered in sunlight. I could usually smell it before it came into view, and so even when not in sight it had a presence. It had a lure to it, perhaps a little bewitching in that I think, each of us could have stayed put at any one place and let time drift by without any seeming consequence. What did anything matter?

the restful river

When we set off on our last morning away from the river, from trail to track to road, ever close to  the built environment, we knew that for us, on this walk, time had run out. The river still had a way to go before it ran out and I regret that there wasn’t time on this occasion to follow it to its end. Happily though this justifies a return visit and on that occasion I would like to travel on the river in one way or another.

pattersons canoe camp

So that’s where I’ll leave it for this walk. As I think I may have indicated in earlier blog accounts of this walk I came to this area with disquiet. But through the days and over the landscape I found the calm me I sought. So at the end of the walk I felt as though at the beginning, refreshed and renewed.

full moon rising

Please feel free to leave a comment, share your own stories, thoughts and feelings about this or

your own wollemi moments. Thanks. Ewan

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s