Saturday 17th March – Lower Portals
Bronwen and I got up around seven, still very sleepy, and packed. We’d decided it wasn’t feasible to do a big bushwalk today so we’d decided instead to go to Lower Portals, which sounded like a relatively small and easy bushwalk, and then fill in any extra time with a visit to Lake Maroon, before heading to the Waterfall Creek Reserve Camping Ground, where we were going to meet some of the ATA crew.
However, it was after nine o’clock by the time we left home and we didn’t get to the Lower Portals carpark until just before 11. When we got there we found it was packed full of cars. We quickly made up some salad rolls and headed off to the Lower Portals. The walk was relatively easy, though quite hot, along an obvious track which even had steps at some places. When, after an hour or so, we got to the Lower Portals, we found it was also quite busy, so we continued up a steep cliff nearby and got lost and hot and had lunch once we got to the highest point.
After lunch we headed up Mt Barney Creek past the Lower Portals, rock hopping our way along. It was quite scenic, but it took a lot longer than expected and we ran out of water. By the time we got back to the car, I was quite dehydrated and it was getting dark.
Bronwen had brought some cordial so made up an icy cold lime cordial for me, and we drove to Rathdowney and bought a bottle of cold lemonade from the pub there. I felt quite sick, but drank as much as I could.
Waterfall Creek Reserve Camping Ground
We drove to Waterfall Creek Reserve Camping Ground, where we met Ben, Sophia and Wendy, and ate some spicy Mexican beans and corn out of a can. I was feeling quite bad, and had cramps in both my upper legs, which I don’t think I’ve ever had before. Bronwen was also very sleepy, so we went to bed—sleeping in the car, which I’d parked on a hill so the seats would be flat.