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The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

Lilo disaster on one of Spencer George's trips to the Shoalhaven River, 1979-80.
Lilo disaster on one of Spencer George's trips to the Shoalhaven River, 1979-80.
Rob Harris

There were many new liloists on this trip so the morning was spent in learning some liloing techniques. Knowing how to waterproof your pack is important if you are to be comfortable for a few days on a lilo! Camp for the day was under King Pin on a grassy area among the casuarinas. Directly opposite was a slate cliff disappearing into a clear deep pool with a small rapid at each end. On our side there was a sandy beach for the length of the pool. Piles of dry wood, left behind by a flood, were within easy reach. We spent a lazy afternoon shooting the rapids.

The party was large. The leader stayed at the back, keeping an eye on the less experienced liloists and enjoying the slow pace. Lunch for the leader's group was under a shady tree beside the deep pool soon after Badgerys Crossing. About 3.00 p.m. this group rounded a bend and there were the fast group, who were quite ready to end their three-hour lunch break. Another hour and everyone was at Canoe Flat, which was the camp site.

Next day we were up at sunrise and started climbing an hour later, so the ascent would be finished in the cooler part of the morning. With a large party the climbing was a bit slow, but we reached the top with no major delays. It was going to he a warm day. After following an old track in vaguely the required direction, we set a compass course for an old hut, reaching the hut and its welcomed water tank for an early lunch. The day was hot so it was decided to rest in the shade for two hours.