Booroomba Again

Neither of us were feeling wonderful last Wednesday.  I had had an energy-sapping virus for 4 weeks and Shirls was coming to the end of night-time shifts.   So, instead of  the longer hike I had planned, Shirls suggested Booroomba Rocks, only a 30 minute stroll from the car park, and then lunch afterwards.  The need for sleep won over lunch but I managed to extend the walk for another 30 minutes which probably was not very fair of me.  Lunch is now reserved for another day. (only recently I wrote a post on Booroomba Rocks)

As we drove up Apollo road we were treated to a close-up view of 2 magnificent Wedge-Tail Eagles testing out the updrafts from the tarred road. .

The dirt road up from Apollo Road to the Booroomba Rocks Car Park is now in urgent need of maintenance, but my little car managed to get us there .

It was a glorious mountain morning, sunlight slanting through tall, lush forest, birds singing, the usual crystal clear air up here, although the distant views were a bit hazy, and the path climbing up through the trees, understorey and huge granite boulders. Sharp sunlight gleaming on white trunks, shrubs, leaf litter fallen bark, highlighting vivid green mosses.   There was, however, a strong wind blowing, and although we were totally sheltered in the trees, the wind in the tree tops for all the world sounded to us as waves on the seashore.

At the top we sat for awhile on the edge of the cliffs, taking it all in.   Across the valley, Blue Gum Hill, at our feet, more or less, Blue Gum Creek,  off to our right one of the main Booroomba Rocks buttresses and beyond, dim through the early morning lowland  haze, Black Mountain and the Telstra Tower in the centre of Canberra.  As we arrived there, two young women left, leaving us to our beautiful solitude and peace.  And so we just sat there on the rocks, saying little, (close friends don’t have to always talk, there was no  uneasy space to fill).

Eventually Shirls stood up and I, ignoring her yawns and being a harsh taskmaster, suggested we just go southwards along the ridge for a couple of hundred metres to the next small summit at SH 1372 since she had never been along that way before.  Shirley, unable to resist a challenge, and gracious as ever, agreed. 10 minutes later we were on top.  But from that summit she saw the next summit, SH 1396, the highest point along the Booroomba Rocks Ridge.   Across the tree and scrub- filled gully, waves of granite slabs rolled up to the summit, with cliffs falling away to the east.   Showing no guile, I asked if she would like to go there since it was only about 15 minutes away.  (it turned out to be close to 25!)  Again, Shirl’s love of exploration and her wish to please took over and she said “yes”.  Once through the gully we wended our pleasurable way over the slabs, some of the heath plants somewhat purplish and reminding us of heather, whilst the micromyrtas were bursting forth into masses of tiny white flowers. On the way, threading our way between the heathy vegetation over the slabs we passed  a few delightful rain water pools.

Because of the wind, we decided not to have morning tea on the top and so dropped our packs just before the final uplift of granite.  I went ahead up the slab and looked back to see Shirls lying on the slab.  Initially I thought she was just playing her usual games and pretending it was so steep that she couldn’t manage it.  It turned out that she was just getting a ground level photo of me up the slope!

Once on top and   what a view we had.  360 degrees.  Canberra, The Tinderry Range near to Michelago in NSW, Mt Gudgenby and Sentry Box in the far south, the long line of the Brindabellas and Tidbinbilla and everything in between.  Once again, my pleasure, in addition to the pleasure of place and beauty and wilderness, was in seeing Shirley’s delight in it all.   So my deviousness in getting her there, whilst costing me lunch, was, I think justified.

I guess we had at least 10 minutes on the top before retreating to our packs.  We found a lovely, sheltered balcony on the edge of the cliffs , in the sun for our mugs of tea.  Far below us was the car, with Deadman’s Hill beyond, while further around, Bushfold Flats and Mt Tennent and then, of course, the Booroomba Ridge.

After about 20 minutes we reluctantly packed up to leave this slice of heaven.

Almost back at the main path and we met two rock climbers.  Shirls asked where they were going and received the answer “possum”.  OK,  the name of a climb, but it told us nothing!

All too soon we were back at the car and then the journey home, enlivened by some of Shirley’s work-related stories that had me in fits.  I am sure that she makes them up!

Despite our tiredness and shortness of the walk we both agreed that we had had a lovely day out together, as always.  Sometimes, too, it is wonderful just to saunter and have the time to see and to feel the wilderness and enjoy chatting while walking or just enjoying companionable silences, rather than “pressing on” to meet goals and schedules or bashing through scrub.  Today was one of those wonderful, easy, and utterly delightful days.  Thank you Shirls.

Namadgi Honeysuckle Ck Gorilla Rock Booroomba Rocks 17 2009 04 28

The shining forest as we start the walk up to Booroomba Rocks
(Photo : BRDR Images)

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Me, on the edge, captured by Shirley at Booroomba Rocks at the end of the path
photo by Shirley

Namadgi Honeysuckle Ck Gorilla Rock Booroomba Rocks 15 2009 04 28

the view!   Blue Gum Creek and Booroomba Rocks north buttress

Photo : Barrie

Namadgi Honeysuckle Ck Gorilla Rock Booroomba Rocks 12 2009 04 28

Blue Gum Hill
Photo :  BRDR Images

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Nearing the highest point
Photo : Shirley

NAMADGI I Honeysuckle Ck Gorilla Rock Booroomba Rocks Peter Wellman ldr, 7 rainwater pool on Booroomba

ephemeral pool
photo : BRDR Images

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Ephemeral pool
photo : Shirley

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Shirley close to where we had morning tea.
Deadman’s Hill in the middle ground, The Tinderries on the skyline.
Photo :  Barrie

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Photography?  Collapse?  Hmmm.  No, just putting away the camera. The final granite slabs to the top.  

Photo : Barrie

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See the prize-winning photo I can get when I lie down?  Wonderful rock, lichen and moss.  Even great clouds.   Don’t know about the bloke at the top, though, dragging me all the way here!
photo : Shirley.

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Help!  I’m stuck.   But lovely lichens, which from a distance look like water running down
Photo : Barrie

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Ah!  So this is how it is done!

Photo : Barrie

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Windswept Barrie at the summit cairn, SH 1396

Photo : Shirley

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Ah, the summit cairn!

photo : Shirley

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Must just go over to that furthest wave of granite, just to see what is there!

Photo : barrie

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Lost in wonder and contemplation
The vision splendid
The view south across Namadgi NP
Apollo road visible
photo : Barrie

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Can we go down and have our morning tea now?

Photo : Barrie

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Two happy people at the top.  

Photo : Shirley