Ferncliffe Nature Reserve hike Sunday 19th August 2018

Report courtesy of hikke leaser Julia Preese and photos courtesy of Alistair Nixon

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]

. A merry band of 8 people joined me on this hike whose centrepiece was intended to be Boulder Dam. They were Chris Dobson, Cathy and Alistair, Sean, Vladimir, Mike Perrin and Phillippa Lowe, a newcomer. Since, I, the designated leader, have no sense of direction and very little observational acumen, I asked two non-hiking club friends to assist me with a rekkie, accompanied by Chris Dobson who, I deemed, had the necessary assets to compensate for my own deficiencies. The hike, we estimated would take about 3 hours. I marked the path with green ties, since I was advised that the goblins were less likely to remove ties than a trail of breadcrumbs.

Thus, on a chilly, blustery Sunday morning, we set off. After a while we came across a tie that indicated we should turn left. Neither I nor Chris could remember turning left on the rekkie so Chris persuaded me that the goblins must have moved the tie and we turned right instead. As we approached Boulder Dam, rather more quickly than intended, it became very evident that the goblins had not moved the tie and we should have turned left.

1 All but the photographer
2 A sign from long ago
3 Storage shed
4 Small wild cat prints
5 Between the bamboo
6 Noxious weed
7 looking down towards Boulder's

8 Chris enjoying the break
9 Sean enjoying the break
10 Examining Boulder's
11 He struck the rock and there was light
12 Mike and Vlad exam the dam
13 Mystery graphics at Boulders
14 Here the path ends
15 Forest scene

So, now, with an extra hour to spare, Chris suggested we do a detour to my house, approximately 30 minutes  off piste from our designated route up a winding hill that would eventually overlook World s View. The wind had stopped and the sun was now shining, so we trundled along, with only minor injuries (a fall for Chris and a small slip in the mud for Cathy).

To everyone s amazement and delight, my little cottage, amongst a small cluster of similar cottages, on the edge of a farm provided beautiful views and tranquillity, with an active bird life. Neither I, nor my house, are used to visitors, let alone 8 in one go, but everyone fitted into my little garden and tea was served. In the same miraculous spirit of the feeding of the five thousand, my measly five mugs (all that I possess as drinking implements) managed to serve nine people. While people rested outside I provided some small entertainment from my baby grand with its sound echoing around my kitchen (the only space large enough for it to stand) and filtering into the garden.

16 Julia's front garden view
17 Julia's back garden
18 Looking towards the main house
19 Dam
20 Geese and family
21 being serenaded by Julia
22 Amazing rock work walls

As, is allowed on hikes, of course, we lost one person on the return journey. But the green marker ties led the other 8 of us safely back to our cars at the top of Warwick Road. Total distance around 12 kilometres, courtesy of Sean s footsteps tracker, or some such device.

Julia Preece