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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



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

Next afternoon we camped after the junction with Nerrimunga Creek - a pleasant spot, with an extra large swimming hole as recompense for the previous camp site. We had only two days left for the planned trip and Bungonia Creek was 24 kilometres downstream. We decided to divide into two parties: a small group would pick up the cars while the main group continued at a leisurely pace and climbed up at Great Horseshoe Bend to walk along a track and meet the cars.

Early next morning the rapid party of three headed downstream paddling quickly, passing Little Horseshoe Bend and then rounding Great Horseshoe Bend where we found most of the 'natives' whose presence we had noticed for the last three days. They were travelling from Sewell Point to Tallowa Dam on two large rubber rafts. They had never done such a trip before and had accidentally left their maps at home. The river level was so low that they were forced to carry their rubber rafts much more frequently than we carried our lilos and they had so much equipment that they required three trips for each portage - one with the rubber rafts and then two additional trips to transport food and tents. They were now overdue, imagined that the dam was not far off and were worried because they had run out of cigarettes. Two of them had gone on ahead to tell those waiting at the dam what had happened. We pointed out that they were many days walking from the dam and suggested they wait until our main party arrived in the afternoon and then walk out with them the next day.

About half an hour after we left them, a noise in the sky became increasingly loud and soon an airforce helicopter was flying low over-head. We pointed upstream and they acknowledged our signals. Soon they were returning with the rescued adventurers. The young people collected their heavy equipment from Great Horseshoe Bend the following weekend. It took four trips over two days to carry it all to the top of the spur. The moral of this story - travel light, but carry your maps.

Before we reached The Blockup a strong wind was blowing, in the opposite direction to the flow of the river. In The Blockup there were small waves on the surface of the water and as soon as we stopped paddling quickly the wind blew the lilo upstream. After a struggle we reached the sandy strip of beach at the far end. Progress on the river was so slow that we deflated the lilos, put them in our packs and walked alongside the river until we reached Bungonia Creek. During the day we had passed four camp sites from the previous year's trip and travelled 24 kilometres.

Early the next day we walked up Bungonia Creek, climbed with our packs through the huge boulders guarding Bungonia Canyon and followed the creek that comes out of Efflux Cave up to The Lookdown. We