'Twas May of 1999
That fourteen hikers came
To see Victoria's splendour
At Bright - a town of fame.
The group was led by Daphne,
And also Lillian too.
And in case you didn't know it -
That pair's stuck fast with glue!
The others in the party
There's Barb - the President,
And if I tell a secret -
Her sixties are almost spent!
But Alan, surnamed Thomas
Has passed the seventy mark.
I guess he walks each morning
Around Huskisson's White Sands Park.
Oh, I forgot, there's Johnny -
The surname's Goodwin too.
He drives a Nowra taxi
Which isn't azure blue.
And then there's brother Laurie
With lots of tales and jokes
Except for ones quite suspect
He gets a frog in his throat and chokes!
Now Yuriko's a mystery -
When she walks, she plods along,
And could go on for ever -
Her legs are mighty strong!
Now Barry surnamed Virtue -
He's the gray and long-haired bloke.
He's really very serious
Except when he tells a joke.
A decent walker's Colin,
He lives at Callala Bay.
Although he came from Pommy Land
I think he's here to stay.
His wife, her name is Irene
That name means 'peace', you know.
She also came from England
Where the River Tyne doth flow.
Now Jan's a recent walker,
She comes from Erowal Bay -
Not so far from Grandview Drive
Where the tennis players play.
Her husband's Alfred Liddiard,
With a white and bushy mou' -
He's really not a walker,
But when he drives, it's 'GO'!
Now Denise, the girl from Robertson
She's a seasoned walker too.
She's hiked before up Feathertop
Where the winds are cold and blue.
And last of all there's Bruce - that's me,
I cannot tell a lie.
I hope that when I leave this earth
There'll be 'pie in the sky when I die'!
Our time at Bright began for sure
For tea on Monday night.
Some ate in, and some ate out,
And the cool air had a bite!
But beds were cosy, so I'm told,
With heaters turned up high.
But Yuriko was cold in bed -
One guess for the reason why.
We were up on Tuesday morning
With the frost still on the ground,
And headed off at 8a.m. -
All for Hotham bound.
We reached the Diamentina Hut,
But Alan said, 'Go further up
'To the Hotham resort where I must have
A steaming hot coffee cup!'
But nothing was open at Hotham Heights
where the wind was cold and chill,
So midst grumbling from some of the troops,
We went back down the hill.
The photo spot that Barbara chose
Was at Diamentina Hut
Where the group was rearing and ready to go -
Or that's how I feel in my gut!
We set off then at twenty to ten
Along a rocky track,
Keeping to most of the ridges -
It was called the Razorback.
The air was chill, but blue the sky,
The views were simply grand.
We couldn't have asked for a better day
As we scanned across the land.
There were ridges as far as the eye could see,
Buffalo, Feathertop too.
Our steps were light and chatter brisk
As we walked 'neath the sky so blue.
We reached the Cross at twenty to one
Beneath the Feathertop peak,
Where we had our lunch and Daphne said,
"Now listen, I need to speak!"
"We're cutting it fine to get to the top,
So we turn back at two o'clock."
So leaving our packs, we set off then
Up a steep track of rugged rock.
Most of us made it right to the top
Before the appointed time.
Though the wind was cold and chilly,
The views were simply sublime!
Now back at the Cross, we had to decide
Which way to go from here.
"My knee is quite painful", said Daphne,
And in her eye appeared a tear.
"If we go to the bottom down Bungalow Spur
And arrange a shuffle of cars -
'Twill be fully 7 'ere we leave Harrietville
And we'll have to drive home 'neath the stars."
"So make your choice, which way to go -
Down the Spur, or back Razorback.
Whichever way you've chosen to go,
You'll have to carry your pack!"
The choice for some was not easy it seems,
The feeling was really quite tense.
And to add to the problem, Daphne said,
"You cannot sit on the fence!"
But decisions all made, the party did split,
With eight Harrietville bound -
Downhill through forest all the way
with smooth and rockless ground.
The other four staggered back
Along the Razorback.
And though some knees were racked with pain,
Their spirit didn't crack.
The Hotham party drove the cars
Downhill as darkness came,
while past them zoomed some other cars
"My, weren't those drivers game!"
The last got home by quarter to seven,
A tired but happy throng,
And showered to ease the aching knees
In showers, some burst in song!
Alan was the first in bed,
He was weary as could be.
He was one who said he had
A really wonky knee.
But, before we went to bed we had
Our meeting round the fire -
"It's Buffalo tomorrow,
And then you can retire!"
"But as the weather's doubtful,
First thing on Wednesday morn
We'll start again at eight o'clock
And drive right to the Horn."
Wednesday came upon us -
Light cloud upon the sky.
we drove right up the Buffalo Road
And passed the toll gate by.
The Horn was just a testing
For those whose knees were sore.
They hobbled up and hobbled down,
But could have done some more.
And so, the next adventure
Was the Cathedral - Lillian's aim.
And though some did chicken out,
Said Lillian, "This climb is tame!"
But Lillian, "Did you reach the top?
Or even find the way?
You'll have to come with climbing ropes
And try another day."
But everyone who climbed that track
Did reach the Buffalo Hump.
There wasn't even one harsh thought
or a scathing gripe or grump.
But Alan said, "We must away
To the Buffalo Chalet fair -
I've heard the coffee's rather good,
And the pies delicious there."
Some had their lunch in Cafe style
In the Chalet Tearooms roan.
While Barry sat at Bent's Lookout,
And with his camera he did zoom.
We all walked down a winding track -
"Underground River" was it's end.
Of walking tracks upon this mount,
There are dozens without end.
Our cars then went our separate ways
Some to Pulpit Rock,
Others to the Monolith
which they renamed Irene Rock.
The reason for this change of name
Was Irene - bless her socks -
She wouldn't mount the ladder steps
For fear the ladder rocks.
The weather forecast sure was right
There began a gentle rain
Which slowly gained momentum -
So 'twas back to Bright again.
They tell me there's an urgent need
To censor the internet -
To support Brian Harradine
Whom none of us have met.
I believe that Laurie has a view
On censoring of the 'net -
But whether against or whether for,
I do not know as yet.
Some went to the pub on Wednesday eve
To eat their evening meal.
The food was good, but service slow -
Better to cook at home, I feel.
Thursday dawned with drizzling rain,
So we donned wet weather gear
And set off to Wandiligong,
With maps - there's naught to fear!
But hold it folks - there's argument -
"Is this the bridge to cross?
The pink bridge's washed away they say.
Now, who's the ruddy boss?"
The track was closed for safety's sake,
And so we went around,
And found a new bridge had appeared -
At each end was muddy ground.
The track, it followed Morse's Creek
Till we reached to Wandi Town.
And although we took a few wrong turns,
The leaves were still yellow and brown.
We passed The Diggings and went up the lane,
Reached the Post Office and Store.
Then walked along to the local pub -
Went in by the double front door.
The meals were off, but they heated some pies,
And we dried our toes by the fire.
Then Reg came in, and Jan enquired,
"Is your van outside for hire?"
We all put in a dollar a pop -
Reg took some of us back to Bright
Who then returned with the cars, and thus
It solved our sorry plight.
"I was dreading the walk back to Bright,"
A weary walker said.
"My knees were playing up again,
And I'm fuzzy in the head."
But after a cuppa and more for lunch,
The walkers set off again
Around the River or Canyon Walk -
And they did it with might and main.
But Alan and the writer Bruce
Did rest their weary knees,
They snoozed in front of the fire
With just an occasional sneeze.
Then Jan decided that she must see
The Gallery of Art at Bright.
With more than 700 exhibits on show,
It was truly a gorgeous sight!
At 6 o'clock that evening,
We walked down town in Bright
To the Restaurant "Cosy Kangaroo"
For a final happy night.
The service there was really swift -
They "hopped" into their task.
And Jan said, "Do you think they'll mind
If I bring along a cask?"
But Barry and Laurie solved it all
With Spumante and Adelaide Red.
And Daphne, or was it Lillian
Ordered water for the table instead.
The conversation was thick and fast
while the bottles of red did flow.
And the food was really scrumptious
I ate it, so I should know!
For sweets, some had pancakes
With maple syrup sweet.
'Twas a massive winged Hotham
That Barb and John did eat.
We heard a lengthy episode
Of the things that we have done -
The Diary of Daily Doings
To the setting of the sun.
For some, back at the Hostel that night,
'Twas too early to go to bed.
So Colin and Bruce and 'night-owl' Alf
Watched the Truman Show instead.
Then Colin went off to slumberland
Leaving Alf and the Bruce surnamed Wright.
Then finally Alf opened the door,
And Bruce turned off the light.
So we come to our final day,
As we went our separate ways.
"We thank you Daphne and Lillian,
And it's really sincere, our praise."
We've had a grand time on the trip,
The Hostel was really great,
The company good and affable
In this part of the Southern State.
I trust you all will safely drive
As you go your separate ways.
And may God richly bless you all -
Right to the end of your days!