Camp Cave Bliss – Pindar Cave

The clouds are darkening, falling towards the ground. The sky, earlier so bright and promising, is fading towards twilight many hours ahead of its celestial scheduled. Panic sets in about finding a dry, warm place to spend the night out in bush, away from everything except for the dulcet tones of the Pacific Highway.

The thoughts of how to stay dry and warm starting creeping into my head early on Saturday afternoon as the first showers of what the BOM promised would be a night when the heavens would fall down upon the earth. These thoughts plagued my mind as we ambled happily towards Pindar Cave on Saturday afternoon. Pindar Cave is a very large overhang just 6km walk from Wondabyne Train Station, and even with the weather forecast as bad as it was the night was set to be a whole lot of fun as some good mates and I strolled through the bush laden with copious quantities of food.

Now before we go to far, I’d like you to think about the last meal you cooked while hiking. I am going to hazard there was probably only one course, and that the best selling point was that it was nutritious. Got that in mind? Well here is our menu for four for this weekends walk.

Saturday Lunch:- Rare roast beef and humous sandwiches on soy and linseed bread.
Nibbles:- Salami, spinach dip and humous with an option of three breads/crackers
Dinner:- Freshly handmade meatballs in a tomato sauce with a chorizo, capsicum and green bean cous-cous
Dessert:- A selection of chocolates, tea, biscuits and a most excellent bottle of port that taste like maple syrup
Breakfast, course 1:- Museli with cinnamon oat milk and banana
Breakfast, course 2: thick cut bacon on fresh bread
Breakfast, course 3:-  home made waffles with rhubarb compote

You get the idea, we ate well.

Now back to talking about weather. As we arrived to camp the slight mist that had been gracing us with its presence intensified into a persistent drizzle. Dropping packs we scampered into the bush collecting what kindling and firewood we could collect without depriving the surround bush of habitat or any of the ample fire-load that has built up over the past few years.

As we pulled in the last branches  the skies opened in earnest, with rain failing as if it meant business. Watching around us the track we had walking in on became a flowing stream, and the slow drips along the overhang edge became streams, then torrents of water cascading down in front of us and closing in our little overhang as a true cave.

After a very pleasant night of eating and pretending it wasn’t raining in our comfortable living room, we woke up to find the skies clearing and walking out in bright blue sunshine!

All up I think we have to thank the weather gods for looking after us so well this week, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The rain really emphasised the value of camp caves and why they have formed such an important part of hiking culture around the Sydney basin.

Kangaroo Island Day 3: Vivonne Bay and Kelly Hill Caves

Well today I got up early. I mean I was up at 7 and was riding by 8:30. For anyone who knows me this is the moment to be suitably impressed!

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 2.10.36 PM

The first part of the day was highly uneventful. The strong winds over night had died down and it was a pleasant ride down to Vivonne Bay where I stopped to get any supplies I could find and some post cards. I ended up coming out with three post cards and a packet of shapes, so beware anyone planning a ride around KI, don’ rely on Vivonne General Store for a large range of supplies.

Moving on I took a left past the bridge and down towards the jetty and point of Vivonne Bay. The white limestone road was nearly intolerable but the view at the Bay was worth it as the rock platform, jetty and large wind driven waves made for an awesome site. I had imagined it as a very different based on a claim by Sydney Uni Researchers that it was Australia’s Best Beach, but I will have to wait to visit on a sunny day before judging.

 

After a cup of much needed tea I rode up to Kelly Hill Caves for lunch and a tour of the caves. The caves are interesting because they are formed out of calcified sand dunes rather than ex-coral reef, and I would highly recommend a stop for lunch and going on the walks around the area. The tour itself was a little lack-lustre, but the caves are interesting and the pure white shawls are worth a look.

The final stretch of the day was to West Kangaroo Island Caravan Park. This had to be the easiest section of riding of the trip, with very few hills and nice scenery to keep me interested.  Along the side of the road were little Tammar Wallabies that scampered into the bushes, Cape Barren Geese and every now and then the calls of yellow tail black cockatoos.

West KI Caravan Park itself is quite nice, with great facilities, so it was a pleasant evening.

Jersey Cave – Yarrongobilly NSW

A quick snap of the Jersey Cave at Yarrongobilly in the snowy mountains region of my home state. Taking photos of cave formations is notoriously hard but I like to think this photo worked nicely. More to come…

image