Monday, October 31, 2016

MUNMORAH SCA - THE SW TRACKS - MTB - 31 OCTOBER 2016

The last few days, I had good waves at Wamberal Beach. The hamstring injury hurts when I'm paddling out but no problems on the wave itself. Feeling good.



Well today, the wind was onshore so I made my way to Munmorah State Conservation Area. There were some tracks in the south west of the area that I wanted to try.


The track was partially blocked at the beginning but soon followed a well defined track through dry bushland.


Eventually, it reached a wetland area, where I saw a wallaby and just then I slid over a wet branch and down I came. Not hard but the wallaby was gone!


The track became wide at times and at times very narrow as it followed the edge of the wetland. At one stage, the track lead to deep water and mud. Backtrack!


The track was a challenge with parts of the track going through water and mud, deeply grooved so I had to glide through on my momentum as well as fallen branches, low branches and tree roots.


What a great 4.92 km ride. I think that it would be better to do in the reverse direction.




Friday, October 28, 2016

WYRRABALONG NP NORTH MTB - 28 OCTOBER 2016

A cloudy morning with the possibility of rain.

I went to Wyrrabalong National Park North for a bike ride.


I did part of this the other day as a hike and so I thought today I'll bike it.

The tracks were very sandy but passed through some very pretty bush scenery.



I started on the red gum trail. There were heaps of flannel flowers in bloom and of coarse, huge red gums. The area is basically sand dunes between the sea and the lake that is covered in vegetation. Below the surface is a fresh water aquafer. Amazing as it lies between the salt water ocean and the brackish Tuggerah Lake.


The next track was the burrawang track.


This was such a great ride meandering through the trees with their low branches. A lot of fun.


Next, was the new cycle path. It was also fun being like your own private road. I was able to build up some speed in this section.


The path ended near the start of the wetland trail.


The striking feature of this track were the number of small birds flittering from tree to tree and their numerous calls. The track joined on the red gum track which I followed back to the start.

A fun 6.26 km figure of eight looped ride.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

STRICKLAND STATE FOREST - NEW AND STONEY CREEK TRAILS HIKE - 25 OCTOBER 2016

I parked at the top carpark (Banksia) at Strickland State Forest.


My plan was to hike the new trail and return via the Stoney creek trail.


The new trail - can't find a name for it and it isn't sign posted - was so good. The main feature being the rainforest.


I started off walking on a well groom track past blooms of wildflowers. One type of wildflower seemed to dominate for awhile then around the corner was a different species. Pretty.


The track crossed a bridge and became a rainforest. Shade, moss and silence dominated now. I took a short turn off that lead to a cliff of moss covered boulders and trickling water. The silence was screaming.


Back on the track, I passed a number of creeks and mossy rocks and ferns. It was so serene walking and hearing only the stepping crunch of my boots and the occasional bird call. Now and again, a bird would appear briefly and flitter away on noticing my presence.


The track, crossed a wider boulder strewn creek and after a short distance, I was on the Stoney Creek trail.


This track ascend beside the creek and towards the end it veered off steeply and finished at the Banksia carpark.


This walk could be easily extended on to four other tracks.

I'm not to sure of the distance I covered as the thickness of the forest blocked my GPS signal but at a guess I would say 3 to 4 kilometres.

Monday, October 24, 2016

SUNRISE, BIKE AND WIND - 23 OCTOBER 2016

The day started chilly and sunny with thick clouds on the southern horizon.

I checked the surf and sunrise at Wamberal Beach.

Next, I drove an hour to Caves Beach to check the waves and maybe a bike ride if the surf wasn't that good.


Well, the bike ride won so I decided to follow the coastal track in Wallarah National Park.



What a great ride! The tracks were varied  with some steep sections, pools of mud, sandy spots, sandstone base, thick to open vegetation, narrow and wide tracks.



The scenery was awesome with beaches, coves, cliffs, bridges, creeks, old fences, open heath and forests.



Putting all of the above together made for an awesome and fun 8.10 km ride with a maximum speed of 38.2 km/h.

Later in the day, the wind picked up and so I went for a windsurf at Canton Beach on Tuggerah Lake.

It was blowing strongly but in gusts. So I had good runs but sometimes the wind would back off and I'd be floundering.


Still, a great 10 km windsurf with a maximum speed of 37.1 km/h.


What a fun day!

DINNER AND WICKED - 22 OCTOBER 2016

We went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant in East Gosford.


The meals were so big. I could finish mine even though I was very hungry at the start.

After dinner we went to see 'Wicked' at the Laycock theatre.


The Laycock theatre is small and cozy. The production was excellent with great props, an entertaining storyline and great singing from the four leading characters.

A good night.

WYONG RIVER KAYAK - 21 OCTOBER 2016



I parked at the Milk Factory at Wyong for a kayak on the Wyong River.

The start was a small weir with a notice that there are platypuses in the area - didn't see any.


The wind was light so many parts of the river were glassy and reflective. It was fun cutting over the glassy water and dodging under overhanging branches and weaving between semi submerged trees.



Along the way, I saw a few Eastern Water Dragons that were lounging on tree branches. One in particular, let me observe it at close quarters for an extended time.



Also, I heard a high screeching bird call. There were four Sulphur Crested Cockatoos chasing a Sea Eagle.  They all landed in a tree and all seemed well, until the Magpies took exception to the eagle and started swooping at it. The eagle flew off and, of course, that seemed to annoy the cockatoos who began screeching and chasing the eagle again. It looks like at breeding times, the eagle was not welcomed.


Finally, I could go no further due to lack of time and a large tree blocking the waterway.

A fun 6.69 km kayak.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

KINCUMBA MOUNTAIN - GLASSON TRAIL MTB - 20 OCTOBER 2016

About early afternoon, I got a bit restless and decided on a bike ride.


Drove to Kincumba Mountain and launch from the Glasson track sign. It was a fun ride but short.

On the way back up the hill via the road I spied another track on the eastern side and rode along it and back to the van.


I decided on another go on the trail. The last part of the return on the road was steep but I was determined to do it. Success.


Amazingly, I see a lot of riders coming up from the bottom of the hill. Maybe, I need another bike. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

KARIONG GLYPHS HIKE - 19 OCTOBER 2016

We arrived early at Kariong near the emergency centre for a hike to Kariong Glyphs with old mate Terry H.


It was a pleasant walk along the Lyle trig with a great variety of wildflowers in bloom - melaleuca, mountain devil, fuchsia, boronia.



In a short time we came to the turnoff for the glyphs. We started on the wrong track but a short scramble down the hill put us on the right track.


Later, we veered to the left on another track, that lead us to and around the northern side of the glyph escarpment. This ended up great as we came to a slit in the rocks and then scrambled under some very large boulders. Once through, we scrambled under some more boulders and there they were - the glyphs.


They were very impressive but I don't think they were carved thousands of years ago. I go with the theory that a return soldier from the Egyptian campaign, who lived in the Kariong area did the carvings. It also appears that some of the carvings were made later as the style was more currently modern eg toilet door type drawings and stick men.



Still, it was fun discussing the theories and trying to find evidence to back up a theory.

A great 3 km hike, especially, with a friend from way back.

BLACKWALL MOUNTAIN MTB - 18 OCTOBER 2016

Perfect weather today - sunny, blue skies and warm.


I started the day checking the surf at North Avoca. The waves were very small and the sun was just about to peak over the lightly clouded horizon.


I drove to Blackwall Mountain for a bike ride. This mountain stands out as it surrounded by flat land and Brisbane Water.


The start is very steep along an access road until the top. The road then meanders along the summit ridge and peters out into a track.


It is a short ride - 3.15km - but lots of fun with rock and tree obstacles and intermittent views over the ocean and Brisbane Water.


The tracks follow the edge of the cliff, diverting around trees and boulders.

After the ride, I drove to Ettalong Beach and had coffee at a café along the esplanade. Such a pretty view over the exit of Brisbane Water into the sea. The sun was sparkling and twinkling on the water.


Later that afternoon, I went to Toowoon Bay for a snorkel but the tide was too low so I settled for a swim and a short snooze on the beach.


A great day

KINCUMBA MOUNTAIN & TERRIGAL BEACH - RIDE, WALK AND BIRDY OUTING - 17 AUGUST 2017

I wasn't well yesterday nor much better this morning but by mid morning I felt okay enough to ride my new mountain bike. I decided on ...