Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Cougals

Following the border fence.
15 February 2009

We left our Mt Warning camp site and drove to the end of the Garden of Eden Road, meeting the Qld-NSW border.
With Carmen leading we trekked up the slope beside the border fence. The slope was covered in plants with sharp leaves. So Carmen relenquished the lead to me (Kevin). I was wearing mittens that proved useful in ripping the offending plants out of the way.
After a short rest at the top of the slope, Carmen lead us along open, well cleared fire break immediately beside the border. It was very humid. Our goal, The Cougals were clearly visible. Mt Warning on our left had a cloud blanket on its shoulder. Looking behind, we could see the sea, the sugar mill and the cane farms.
Entering the forest cover brought relief from the heat.
The track continued beside the border fence, becoming steeper and steeper. I used the barbed wire for rope occasionally, the mittens again coming in handy.
We passed a few places where the rabbits had felled trees across the fence in order to cross into Queensland.
We heard a loud crack as a tree or large branch fell in the forest.
Some of us made the last scramble up a steep, wet, rocky climb then ate lunch at the summit. And two of us recharged with lunch and a short rest before tackling the climb.
At the summit were views all around and a cane toad.

The descent down the rocky scramble had to be taken cautiously.

We diverted to inspect a cave by tourchlight. It was inhabited by many long legged crickets and at least one bat.

Descending the steep slope was taken quickly by some and slowly by others. One the way back Jill's boot threw its sole. Duct tape was the answer!

A tropical downpour at the final slope drenched the last of us to return. And made the dirt track out very slippery. Carmen's front wheel drive car needed a little assistance to gain traction up the slope.

A great day! Thanks Carmen.

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