12.7.10

Staples Lookout to Patonga via Rocky Ponds - Overnight Walk - Day 1

I had stayed by myself overnight at Rocky Ponds when I was sixteen years old. This time I was carrying a heavier pack, I wasn't as fit, it was a lot colder and a monster of the night tried to eat my food. With a over 18 kilo's on my back, if I fell backwards I could be stuck in the middle of the bush, looking like a turtle with it's shell to the ground. Read more to see if such a thing happens.


With my father leaving me at Staples Lookout I walked down Woy Woy Rd and started to walk down Thommos Trail like a I did a few weeks before. 1.85Km's down the track I left the Great North Walk that goes Girrakool to the right and I went to the left on the fire trail. As the track went up hill I started to really notice the extra weight on my back. I then left the fire trail and went a across a bush track that goes across several large rock platforms. Here there is a good views of Mt Wondabyne.


At the end of the track I meet another fire trail. This one is used to service the Sydney to Newcastle railway line at Mullet Creek. I headed east along this trail instead of using the track that almost goes to the top of Mt Wondabyne and back down. Arriving at the intersection of another fire trail I went south.


The trail winds up the hill crossing a small creek passing the track that comes down from Mt Wondabyne to the right. Soon I arrive at a intersection, with Dillons Farm track straight ahead and Rocky Ponds fire trail to the right. On the Rocky Ponds trail on the left there are views of the valley which contains Patonga Creek. Soon I arrived at a rocky outcrop just off the track with views of the railway line running along Mullet Creek.


Further along the trail I stopped under a tree for my lunch. A couple of walkers passed me here. This was the last human contact I had for the rest of the day. I was soon was where the trail turns into a track. I was within a kilometre of Rocky Ponds, but instead I decide to go down a trail to Patonga Creek for a bit of a look. I hadn't been down this trail before. There is a nice creek that runs near the track. It look like a good place to cool off in summer.


Just after taking the above photo I slipped and fell backwards. For a moment I did feel like a turtle, stuck on my back. After a small struggle I manage to lift me and the pack back up. 
I soon crossed the creek. Again there was a nice sandy spot to cool off in the heat of summer. Up the hill I went. The track here is the remains of a old fire trail. It is quite eroded and in places hard to walk on due to small broken rocks. Most of the way is down hill, steep in places. Arriving at Patonga Creek it was relief to take my pack off and look over to the oyster leases on the peaceful creek.



With the pack on my back again, I headed back up the hill. This time it was 3 times as steep as when I walked down it! This little trip added almost 1 hour and half extra and 2 km's more to the walk.
I arrived at the Rocky Ponds Track. It goes mostly down hill. It also is very eroded. Much more than the last time I had walked it. In fact the first time I went to Rocky Ponds in the late 80's there was a stolen car burnt out sitting at the top of the Rocky Ponds falls, there is no way that could be done today due to condition of the track.
Arriving a Rocky Ponds I had a quick look at the ponds then setup my tent, sleeping and cooking gear. I then went for a walk exploring the falls and ponds. I then treated my water to purify it and went back to camp for dinner.



 

After listening to footy on the radio I soon went to sleep. But I was woken in the night several times by a wild animal trying to get into the tent which was lent to me by a workmate. I will soon write about this and the rest of the walk ahead very soon.


Walk date 17/6/10

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