Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Snowy Trip, day two

G'day all!

Today I get to bore you witless with many pics from the highest mountains in Australia. See and weep o you people in Great Britain for our mountains far outdo yours! See and laugh o people of the Americas for our mountains do look pathetically small against the Rockies and the Andes....

Nathan and I stayed in the little town of Adaminaby (adam in ab ee) after our brush with the Dread Fell Beastie. Nice little cabin in a caravan park there run by a lady from Melbourne and her Swedish husband, who had a thing about his accent. We had dinner at the local pub. nathan enjoyed his dinner, mine was a disaster - my medium steak was done rare (I cannot eat meat that is bleeding still) and my gluten and dairy-free sizzling platter (oh so 70s!) had mashed spud smeared on it. I took the steak back to get it cooked a bit longer and it came out again, carried by a woman who looked like she would prefer to throw it at me. Then I burnt my middle finger on the sizzling platter. OW OW OW OW OW! I was very nearly in tears cos it hurt so much and I really really really hate making a fuss about my food. I still have the flat, funny skinned burnt spot on my finger over a week later. It made holding my knitting quite difficult that first evening as it tried to blister.

The next morning I went for a lovely walk around Adaminaby with the idea of finding out when the local little supermarket would open. We needed drinks in particular cos I really hate paying nearly $4 for a bottle at a petrol station that you can buy for less than $2. I didn't realise I was going for a walk at 6:30am. I plead daylight saving ending. By my time it was really 7:30. It did mean that I managed to finish the sleeve of my new pink top whilst waiting for things to open.

Eventually the shops opened and Nathan got some brekkie at the bakery. The woman there thought we were mad for asking how to say the town's name. They didn't have suitable water there for me - I don't like most spring waters cos they taste like bicarbonate to me. Yick!

Then we choofed off from the little town of Adaminaby and set off for the Snowy Mountains themselves. Along the way we saw many weirdly red coloured gum trees. We were told that it is probably sunburn! Lots of rolling pastures and rocky outcroppings. A really expensive African Violet shop (like really - $10 for a baby AV that has not got a flower on it, no name and grown long and soft and sappy to boot! The unnamed ones in the shops that are relatively adult plants only cost $6!). The largish town of Jindabyne on the lake (oddly named lake Jindabyne). Lake Jindabyne dams the Snowy River and diverts about 95% of it inland instead of down the course of the Snowy and out to sea to the south. That is about to change, though, cos the Snowy is dying for want of water, and I think something like 25% of its flow will be restored to it. It is a start.... So the Snowy will get more water, and Lynne still couldn't find good bottled water - the local large supermarket only had one sort in stock out of about 10 types!

We drove out of Jindabyne and off to Charlotte's Pass. This is about as close to Mt Koszciusko, our tallest mountain, as you can get. The road mostly climbs slowly from 1000m or so at Jindabyne up to about 1700-1800m (that's about a mile high). It runs along the sides of lovely subalpine and alpine valleys. Totally beautiful, even if you are stuck behind a blasted FIRE TRUCK that hogged the road all the way up there. No he wasn't on a call. He was just going up there to pick up a key! Fancy driving a whopping great fire truck all the way up to Charlotte's Pass just to pick up a key. Dunno why they didn't use the fire chief's car.

Eventually we escaped being stuck behind the firetruck in the little one way turn around loopy thing and found a car park. Here are some sights that greeted us:

The obscene building in the village of Charlotte's Pass. Obviously it was feeling the cold:

this building is feeling the cold




Wonderful views:

viw over the headwaters of the Snowy

King tree of the mountain

the road goes ever on

Snow gums - one of my favourite trees - sprawled against rocks and flashing their colurful trunks at us:
a pink and white barked snowgum




Wildflowers still in bloom even after getting several short lived dumps of snow:

strawflowers and trees

strawflowers on high




A little bloke sticking his tongue out for the camera:

cheeky lizard sticking its tongue out




We walked down to the Snowy River. The track is quite steep but very wide and paved with cement pavers. We figured this meant that it is heavily used. The river crossing is not far from its source. In the first pic, there are some mountains in the distance. The tallest poinky bit is Mt Koszciusko. It is barely any taller than the other mountains.

the snowy near its source

Wonderful Snowy water:

Snowy River reflections and pebbles

the mighty Snowy River

Much to our surprise, a man in an ambo's uniform came rumbling along the track from the wilderness. He was driving a four wheeled motorbike with the big sticker "paramedic" on it. Wow! He couldn't offer us a lift back up the long steep hill to the car park.

bush ambulance

About two minutes later, a 4 wheel drive (SUV to you Yankees) ambulance carefully negotiated the track (now we know why it is paved and so wide!) and the river, then slowly set off up the hill. Dunno what happened - presumably someone over did it or alternatively decided to get creative and managed to fall off one of the many rocky tors in the area.

wonderful rocky tors

Eventually, we staggered up the long steep path back to the car (I lie - I coped very well due to my new idea of taking very small steps rather than trying to stride) and drove off along the road, with the occasional stop to admire the beauty of the place:

scottish tarns and creeks or not

back south to Jindabyne and places beyond, such as Dealbata nursery, where we spent a happy hour talking about growing plants on the Monaro Plains. We decided we didn't want to live there cos in a good year, they get 450mm (umm 18"?) of rain and in winter it is quite often -10 degrees C. The lowest temp they know of in the area is -19 C. LIKE YUCK! My fingies and toes and nose would freeze off!

If we thought the Monaro Plains were bad, we drove through an area that is virtually naturally treeless. Only those trees planted by white men seem to have survived. The soil is basalt based, so it should have some nutrients in it but it is very dry and forms cracking clays. Totally yucky. Very boring to drive along too.

We popped into the little village of Nimmitabel, and Nathan made many bad puns. Down Brown Mountain and through Bega and onto Tathra. That is Taaa-thra, not Tath-ra like any self-respecting Victorian would say. Said snobby like, not sensibly. It was a very long day!

BTW, yesterday's pics were Nathan's, mostly, and today's are MINE! All MINE! That means they are copyrighted too!

anon!

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