Christmas Dinner Walk – 1993

by Penny Dorsch

This was my first Xmas dinner walk with SUBW. I was not prepared for the sheer laziness of this walk; I thought that the way it was described as a ‘bludge trip’ was somewhat similar to the way the PBT is described a ‘bludge trip’. But no; I had finally found a trip where the description of ‘bludge’ actually fitted extraordinarily well.

I have been on a trip that went on the six-foot-track before. I could recognise some of the places on the farmland that was around – the tree under which I had had lunch with some of my schoolmates on a bushwalk, the place where we finally ended our walk after four days in the bush. Thus, I knew the area around and was prepared for the fact that this track walked through farmland instead of the bush. Not prepared for this, though, was the bloke walking with David and I, a new SUBW’er, Pietro. He, I think, expected to be walking through thick Australian scrub and thus was surprised that our route took us through this farmland.

Unfortunately, David, Pietro, and myself dawdled, letting the other participants of the walk disappear off into the distance This, as I say, was unfortunate because neither Pietro or realised that David had very little idea of where to break from the six-foot-track to go down to the Coxs river. The result of this ill knowledge was that we left the main track far too early, and ended up spending four or five extra hours making our way down to the junction of the creeks, stopping to check out the views and for three or four swims on the way.

When we finally made it to the camping spot, where everybody else had been for the last three hours or so, I was unsurprised to discover that the majority of people were in the river. The depth of the water in the Coxs was disappointing; apparently, in previous years, there had been far more water, and thus far more places to lilo down rapids in. We discovered a waterfall that had a cave behind it, and took turns lying in the spa-like bubbles created in the river where this tiny waterfall flowed into it. We also discovered that, in the cave behind the waterfall, there was enough room for two people to fit, disappearing behind the waterfall. After discovering all this at the river where we were camping, David and I informed everyone that, further up, at the junction of Megalong Creek and the Cox ‘ s River, there was a great swimming hole and a water jump. “WATER JUMP?” everyone repeated, and grabbing towels and shoes, we all set off for the junction.

Within the junction there was a huge big rock. The oldies knew this rock well, observing how, usually, on the near side there was very little water; in fact, it was normally a sand bank. This time, however, there was heaps of water, making a water jump from the top of this huge rock possible. Wally and Frank jumped from the top of the rock after climbing all the way up, while Mr Bean suddenly appeared at the top after cheating, and walking up the back way They all jumped in the water, providing heaps of people with good action shots:

“No, don’t jump yet! I’ve just gotta take the lens cap off!”

“Wally, I didn’t get that. Could you climb back up the top and jump again?”

Finally, we made it back to the campsite in time for the fire to be lit and dinner cooked before midnight. The oldies decided that it was time to break out the grog, and there was much discussion about the flavour of the reds: ‘Hmmmm. A bit young, perhaps. Could’ve been kept another year.” My sweet white Sauternes was sniffed at, but I noticed that that did not stop anyone partaking when I opened it. The night was rounded off with a swim in the creek, following the National Anthem.

The next day was spent much like the first, with various swims in the river, and plenty of people attempting the climb up the rock in the creek junction. Tom Williams was there for this climb, and amazed us all with his attempts at climbing around the far side of the rock. Then he and his kids left soon after lunch, while the rest of us decided to stay for a while in the river. At about four or five o’clock we all left, and, this time, made it back to the carpark in an hour or so.

The walk was rounded off with dinner at the Ivanhoe, and plenty of drinks. That was a true bludge trip, and I made a vow to always go on the Xmas Dinner Walks.