Heysen Trail, South Australia
Northern Areas Council, South Australia, Australia
time : Jun 16, 2019 8:15 AM
duration : 7h 46m 44s
distance : 29 km
total_ascent : 525 m
highest_point : 713 m
avg_speed : 4.6 km/h
user_id : gstreet
user_firstname : Carl
user_lastname : Greenstreet
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Beautiful ridge walking and a lovely historic stone hut at the end. Disappointing that Georgetown pub is closed.
A fine day for walking! I left Curnow’s Hut and walked through the remnants of Bundaleer Forest. In some places there were lots of trees and in others, the burnt trees had been knocked over but never cleared or replanted. In some areas, there did seem to be new pine plantings covering a hillside. Early on a spied a fox stealthily picking his way through a field of downed trees.
Early on, I climbed through the Bundaleer Forest up to walk north along the spine of Campbell’s Range. What made it special was the expansive views on both sides plus that it was a fine day with low wind. It wasn’t too long and I had stripped down to my shirtsleeves.
In this region, people built stone walls along the tops of these high ridges. Most have been falling down but today the walls were pretty intact. I like how they weave up and down the ridge like a miniature Great Wall of China.
After awhile, I came down the west side of the ridge, crossed s valley and climbed the adjacent parallel ridge, this time in a southerly direction! I’ve come to realise the point with the HT is not the destination but the journey so I try to enjoy every (aching) step of it.
I’ve also given myself a new trail name (there certainly aren’t other hikers to do the naming, as it is supposed to be done).
“Sheepdog” Carl 🐑🐕
This is because for days I have driven mobs of sheep in front of me. They never go to one side and let me pass; nope, they expend huge amounts of energy running 100-300 metres in front of me, sometimes for kilometres!
It was such a fine day that when I reached a high vantage point, I called Lisa as I just wanted to share it with someone. You don’t see a lot of other hikers, or even other people on the Heysen. I even Facetimed Lisa so I could show her the awesome 360 degree view I was looking at!
After many k’s walking south along the ridge, I dropped back off it and into the valley. I could see Georgetown in the distance but it was 7 kilometres (90 minutes) of walking a flat straight gravel road that really did my head in! I thought it would never end. In the hut logbook tonight, many others felt the same as I did during this monotonous death march.
I fantasised that Georgetown would have services. They used to have a pub and a general store but there is no current info online. A beer and a burger would really hit the spot so I dreamed about that during the mind numbing walk.
Well, I eventually got there. The little town was historic and cute. Nothing was open. While I was walking out of town, I chatted with a lady working in her front garden. The pub closed less than a year ago. The general store is still open, 7 days a week, but closes early on weekends and, being Sunday, I missed it. Drat!
I walked on nearly four kilometres down the aptly named Slaughterhouse Road, which was more a 4WD track than road. Hiskey’s hut is where a butcher family lived in the late 1800s.
I was pleasantly surprised when I got here as it’s gorgeous- another tidy stone hut in a beautiful setting. It took some work to find fallen firewood due to few trees around but I’m now sitting in a sleeping room by a glowing fire. Time to go to bed!
Tomorrow I reach Crystal Brook, a larger (1200 persons?) agricultural support town that actually isn’t that far from Port Pirie.
I’ll need to resupply at the local grocery store there. I actually had some trouble finding accommodation as the caravan park cabins were full with s bridge building crew. I called one of the two pubs in town and they told me, “no worries, mate!” I reckon that beer and burger (or at least a snitty) is in my future!