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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)

Dennis von Maarenberg and Rex Filson racing on lilos. Lerderderg River, circa 1965.
Dennis von Maarenberg and Rex Filson racing on lilos. Lerderderg River, circa 1965.
Bob Steel

Below the junction with Wollangambe River were grade 6 rapids, which we walked alongside.

Jopie then took us to Clatterteeth Canyon in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Large vertical cliffs of sandstone sometimes overlaid with basalt produce soil that grows luxurious vegetation. The creek cuts its course through the sandstone, producing deep gorges with vertical cliffs only a few metres apart. The direct rays and warmth of the sun rarely reached us as we followed the twisting course of the creek. Some wise people dressed in wet suits, while others added a couple of woollen pullovers.

An eight-day lilo trip on the Kowmung River was organised in 1986, again by Jopie Bodegraven. We followed the river through granite country and over many waterfalls with scrubby sides to climb down magnificent waterfalls, superb swimming holes, excellent company, but not good liloing for the first three days. Then the valley widened so that it was possible to walk along the banks. It was possible to sit on the lilo, relax and let the water take you downstream, without fear of impending death from a drop over a waterfall.

The last day was a slow climb back along Roots Route to Kanangra Walls, the last section on top of the vertical sandstone walls. Across on the other side of the valley a series of waterfalls cut their way down to the creek. It was a spectacular finish to a spectacular trip.