Ti Willa Plateau – Blue Mountains

A chance to exit the city for  along weekend out in the hills.  And so began a 3 day trip to Ti Willa Plateau in the Blue Mountains.  From Kanangara Walls Hugh and I completed the 4 hour walk through to 100 Man Cave on day 1 with the intention to check out 1000 Man Cave the following day and then meet with another walking group the following evening .

100 Man Cave
100 Man Cave

And as is so often the case for the 2 of us, plan and reality parted company.  10:00am on day 2 and we were still viewing 100 Man Cave from our sleeping bags.  By mid afternoon we had been underway and walking for several hours.  We’ve negotiated Compagnoni Pass and started down a ridge line that Hugh assures me he’s descended before, crossed the river and climbed the ridge to the other side of the valley.  Within half an hour that’s proved to be incorrect as there’s a 50-75 metre sheer drop into what can only be described as a canyoner’s paradise, steeped walled cliff faces on both side of the river and definitely no opportunity for us to access the other side of the valley.

Ti Willa Plateau-9284In the end it all worked to our advantage – we walked around the western side of Ti Willa Plateau and come across some amazing cave and rock formations, we are in an area that obviously gets minimal human traffic, there’s no footprints in the dust filled floors of the caves and there’s no fire pits in the obvious camp caves.

And day three brings the first fine weather day of our weekend, the completion of the walk back to 100 Man Cave to refill with water before the walk back to car.  An excellent 3 days in the Aussie Bush and a chance to get some much needed time in the hills.

Time to get serious about Heard Island Expedition

It’s now only 7 months until we sail from Freemantle to Heard Island.  In the next week the charter of the vessel Akademik Shokalskiy will be confirmed and the permits from Australian Antarctic Division will be applied for.  It’s all go from here on in.

Several weeks back I returned to my local gym to be confronted by scales telling me I had stacked on 7kg’s of “conditioning” while I’ve been resident at the hotel in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.  A more strict diet is now in place and my training programme has stepped up a gear.  Thankfully I’ve managed to shed 3 kg’s so far as I head back down to the low 80kg’s I hope.

Soon it will be time to start carrying a heavily weighted back pack around the local streets – I can’t wait !!

Wet Season in Papua New Guinea

Oer the past 6 months I been backward and forward between Sydney and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 7-8 times.  Having come from New Zealand where it’s either winter or summer (warm or cold) I was looking forward to experiencing a “wet season” first hand.  Come the end of January and I’d had 2-3 “showers” but noting spectacular, in fact the locals were saying the rainy season has passed them by again – who says there’s no climate change effect in play?  [Only the Australian Prime Minster supports this radical theory I believe].

IMG_1057Last week I returned to Port Moresby for a few days and although it was not raining at the time it was apparent there had been a lot of rain in the days (the locals say weeks) preceding my return.  As we came in on final approach to the airport I was able to take these photo’s of the river to the north of the city – apart from looking more like a jet boat race course the water was a very muddy brown.

Contrast that muddy brown water with the crystal clear water around the small islands we passed over about 10 minutes out from Port Moresby.  As we came in over the mainland we passed over this village with the house set up on stilts out over the water.  It looked so calm – such a contradiction to the pacific island images we have been witnessing on television following cyclone Pam tearing through Fiji in recent weeks.IMG_1052

Life in the outdoors – managing the risk and enjoying the rewards.


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