Centenary Trail Section 5   Leave a comment

Saturday, 24 January, 2014

Today, I did a bit of a crazy thing! As part of the Canberra Centenary they’ve created a 147km trail around the city, which can be hiked in 7 sections (days) or cycled in days. I’ve already done one of the sections and planned to walk the section which runs for 20km from Black Mountain to Mt. Stromlo. The weather has been incredibly hot in the last week, but the forecast suggested that Saturday would be a lot cooler, however as the weekend approached it was obvious that we were in for another stinker. Sod it, I thought, I’m still doing it and so after cleaning the apartment and doing some fruit and veg shopping in Fyshwick market, I parked my car at the start point of the hike and set off on my own along the track to toward Black Mountain.

Of course I took plenty of water with me and I planned to top up the water bottles at the National Arboretum which marks the half way half, but I soon realised that, even with a bit of tree cover, I was going to struggle in the heat. Anyway the main track took me around the bottom of Black Mountain (There was an optional side walk up to the top, but I decided against that one!) and through the woods and out towards the National Arboretum on the other side of the Parkway, which runs north to south from Belconnen to Tuggeranong. I took a well deserve rest in the shade in the underpass, before setting off again to get up the Arboretum, where I planned to have my lunch break. This section of the walk was probably the most interesting as it took me through firstly some ancient woodland, where a mob of Kangaroos lay around trying to hide from the sun, then through a large Cork Plantation and finally into and up through the backend of the National Arboretum.

During lunch, I noticed that the much publicised storm had started to roll in from the east of the city with the wind bringing a lot of smoke from the bush fires burning miles away in NSW. I still had another 10 or 12 km to get to the end of the hike, so I pushed on along the ridge line of the hill that the Arboretum is sat on. However, not long along the ridge I came across a barrier blocking the track with a number of signs telling me that the reserve I wanted to enter was closed due to the Total Fire Ban that was in place throughout the ACT. After sitting down and looking at the map, I decided to drop down off the hill and down to Lake Burley Griffin where I could skirt round the lake and along the Molonglo River towards the end of the hike. This diversion wasn’t as picturesque as walking through the trees of the Arboretum, but it was a lot flatter and I made good time along the river corridor.

Of course all this time that I’ve been walking, I’ve been getting further and further away from my car that I had dropped off back at Black Mountain. Fear not, I had a plan! Early this morning I had rang Grainne to ask her if she or Aaron could pick me up at the end of the day and take me back to my car. So a couple of K’s before I reached the end point of the hike I gave them a ring and just as I was arriving they turned up and picked me up. So, after hiking for nearly 20km in just under five hours, I had completed the second part section of the Canberra Centenary Trail, only five to go, but I think I’ll let the weather cool down a little before attempting any more.



Posted January 18, 2014 by yermandownunder in Observations, Out and about, Travels

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