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Published: January 2nd 2009
Look at the head on that
Mengler Hill Sculpter Park
Today we headed North of Adelaide to complete the Mt Crawford to Kaiser Stuhl leg of The Heysen Trail, Ruth, Tim and I arrived at the spot on Mount Rd where we ended a previous walk a few weeks ago and dropped off Ruth's car, then I drove to the entrance to the trail head for the Kaiser Stuhl Track on Brownes Rd where we left my car just on 8am on the 29 December 2008.
This is the first stage of the Barossa section of the trail so it was fitting that our first sight should be the grape vines of a winery, we then walked 6km along Brownes and Corryton Park Roads in the cool of the morning spotting at least a dozen roos and frightening a few cows who didnt like getting their pictures taken. This section of the walk was both easy and picturesque undulating through the coutryside until it intersected with Wirra Wirra Rd, its here that we clambered over the stile to enter the Ross Fire Track.
The Ross Fire Track winds between farms for 10 or 11 km much of which is sheltered by native trees, as with previous parts of the
trail we have seen no other walkers so with sheep and cows for company we wound between the hills, along the odd creek and passed dams occassionally climbing a stile or passing through gates until we came across a stumpy lizard, he seemed a bit docile so I picked him up so we could have a closer look he was about twenty centimetres long and completely black on top. Ruth fed him some banana skin which he loved, further along the trail we came across an old ruined farm house surrounded by some huge european trees that seemed totally out of place for the terrain. A short time later we passed the turn off to Freeman's Hut before entering the forest.
This last 6 or 7 km was by far the most difficult, we encountered another rather grumpy stumpy that tried to eat my hand, I walked right passed one huge kangaroo with out seeing him before two extremely steep climbs up the sides of two of the Wirra Wirra peaks. The views from the hilltop were extremely picturesque and worth the climbs.
All that was left now was to descend this last hill, walk past The Old
School House, along Springton Rd to the Mount Rd turnoff and stroll the last kilometre to the car. More then 20km walked today in 4 hours 15 minutes, we all enjoyed the walk and feel much better for doing it. It was then back to get my car from Kaiser Stuhl Track before driving to the Old Bakehouse Hotel in Williamstown for a pint and a counter meal, we got the beer but not the meal so we continued down the road to the Willamstown Hotel instead for lunch.
Today (3/1) Ruth and I will do another leg of the trail, this time from Crawford Forest near the Kaiser Stuhl CP to Tanunda. A bit of advice to any aspiring trekkers dont do what we did and go North too South as it was almost all bloody uphill. We didnt get started till about 9am this morning as we are now having to drive more than an hour to reach the trail heads, we left the Tanunda town centre walked east then south east for about 4 km the trail ran mostly along bitumen and was dead flat we were making great time and thought this walk would be
a total breeze till we hit the first hill. For the next hour and a half it was almost entirly up hill, some of it was really steep and we were both seriously feeling the strain in our legs. Most of the climbing was through farm properties (hence the cows) and along tracks and back roads, when we reached Kaiser Stuhl CP the track levelled out for a time and was much more pleasant walking.
I was impressed with the park the vegetation was thick and lush bush land and supports a large population of Echidna unfortunately we saw none or any other native fauna for that matter, but we did see a few other walkers. This portion of the walk is roughly two kilometres and ends at the entrance to the most northern part of the Crawford Forest, this part was much like all the other walks we have done though this forest, it followed fire tracks randomly through the trees until spilling us out on the slope that lead down the hill toward Brownes Rd where Ruth's car was parked. We then returned to Tanunda stopping at the Mengler Hill Lookout to check out the sculptures before
driving into the town and parking Ruth's car near mine, we then went searching for the trail so we could find a good start spot for the next leg to Kapunda some 25 kilometres away.
Work over, it was time to wander around town checking out some of the old buildings, visiting shops etc, before have a drink in each of the two pubs, the counter meals were suprisingly expensive for a country town but we eventually had a schnity each at the Valley Hotel.
This may well be the last walk we do until the trail opens in April, it is difficult to find walks that dont cross private property, there are a couple of possibilities in the hills and one down south so I may still do a few more weather permitting. Walk time 3 hours 30 minutes. Distance approximately 16km.
Tot: 1.74s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 34; qc: 138; dbt: 0.0781s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.6mb