Saturday morning treated us to clear sunny skies and a well known treat from cityrail – trackwork. After missing a couple of buses on account of our packs we were off to Blacktown and then Faulconbridge to start the hike. In Faulconbridge we loaded up on last minute treats and applied sunscreen with what claimed to be invisible zinc but had the look and consistency of wall paint.
The track followed a nice little stream down Sassafras Gully and was fairly easy walking, however despite the clear sky and the air warm, the unmistakable sound of thunder started to rattle through the valley. Shortly after the first menacing claps, one of the normally dribbling tributaries intersecting the track had developed into a fast flowing little stream and formed our first river crossing for the trip. After a number of chats, squeals and wet shoes we managed to all get across and push on through.
After about 3 hours of walking and only a couple of kms from the campsite, the heavens well and truly opened and with that the laid back dawdle of the group was miraculously transformed into an all out march for the campsite. Unfortunately, getting to the campsite didn’t do a lot for the spirits of the group as the site was largely underwater. Whilst most of the group ate some rain soaked lunch, Roddy ‘the Racehorse’ managed to find and inflate the blow up tube and along with Amirah ‘A Nasty’ and Lindsay had a float in the now raging Glenbrook creek. Meanwhile, a coalition of Will, Naser, Enrique and myself attempted to erect the perfect tarp, where we could eat lunch. In the end we did … just as the rain stopped and the sun started to poke through the sky.
As the weather improved the bull ants, leeches and alcohol emerged – each of which took their toll on the unsuspecting hikers. Once everyone had set up camp and had their go on the tube, two groups of card players emerged. The college kids who were seeking a weekend detox from their early semester debauchery quietly sat with Will playing 500 whilst the rest of the gang sat in a circle around port and scotch trying to avoid getting ‘on the bus’ (Rochelle and Will didn’t have too much luck there). After playing, on the bus, have I never ever, watermelon and a strange American game involving leg slapping and hand gestures we were out of booze so all crept back into our shelters for a nice dry night of sleep.
The next day we had a nice slow pack up and then headed off to Martin’s Lookout. Throughout the day hikers gradually peeled off on the express sidetracks to springwood station and by the time we got to Martin’s lookout about a third of the group were on their way back to Sydney. Martin’s lookout was the first real climb of the trip and although it really was only ‘another 100 meters or so’ everyone ended up drenched in sweat at the top. The clear sunny day lent itself to amazing views at the top with Cockatoos easily seen swooping through the Valley’s in the distance.
After descending Martin’s lookout we made our way back to Springwood where the remaining half of the group split off to catch the train back to Sydney and the other half hung onto the last dying moments of the trip, drinking beer, eating awkward pie pizzas and reminiscing about the fun of the weekend.
Thanks a lot to everyone for making it a fun and memorable trip!
Jeremy Platt | Schools Outreach Assistant Student Recruitment Unit
Student Lifecycle Management | Education Portfolio
THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY