ACT 24 h Rogaine 2006

Jacqui and I hadn't done a rogaine together for quite some time, so we were both keen to pair up for one some time in 2006. After I did the Paddy Pallin 6-h event with Stephen Jackson and the Navshield with Dave Gell, it was looking like our last chance to do a big one was the ACT 24 h Champs in July. The only catch was that it was being held a 6-h drive from Sydney in Bournda National Park. It's OK - we hadn't ever heard of it either. This Park is a coastal one and is just south of Bega - near a small town called Tathra.

We didn't fancy a 6-h drive each way for just a weekend, so we took off a couple of extra days to make it a leisurely drive down there. We left early on Thurs morning and by mid morning had made it as far as Ulladulla. Just before we got there, we turned of the highway to a very small place called Conjola Lake. This turned out to be an inspired choice - it was a fabulously quiet and picturesque lake right on the coast. We stayed there for breakfast and had a little walk along the deserted beach - a local told us that it was pretty deserted all the time, except for Xmas and Easter. There was an island in the middle of the lake that looked like good exploring, so we may be back some time...

We made it to our B+B just north of Tuross Heads by afternoon, in time for a couple of hours walk along the coast - we were kindly dropped off about 10 km from the B+B by our host, meaning that we could do a 1-way walk back down the coast. Great coastal walking and a practise bush bash trhough some coastal scrub when we cut back up from the beach too soon. We had a self-contained little unit that butted onto their house, which was cosy.

Next day it was off south towards the rogaine, with a detour to walk up Mt Dromedary. A nice enough walk, but the summit was tragically tree-laden, meaning there weren't any views. Jacqui also managed to give herself pairs of matched blisters on heels and toes from her new boots crossed with a poor choice of socks. Not really good for starting a 24 h event....

Camped that night at the rogaine site - Murray's Beach. Great camp ground - hot showers even! And friendly neighbourhood possums and wallabies. Next morning Jacqui taped up her heels and toes and we were off on the 24-h event. Although dotted with some fabulous coastal views, the first 4-5 h were incredibly frustrating, with difficult to find checkpoints in the middle of annoying shrubbery. This psyched us out a bit unfortunately, and we ended up heading back towards the Hash House earlier than intended. A bit of a mental recovery on the way back though meant that we soldiered on till ~2 am, when we arrived back at the Hash House for a bit of a sleep (part of the deal that Jacqui struck: "I will do it if i am allowed the option of 4 h sleep").

4 h sleep later and we managed to haul ourselves out of bed and get back out onto the course. Just as well we did, as it was *much* easier going on the other parts of the course, and we picked up a lot of points and regained our confidence over the course of a very picturesque 5 hours.

[Click on the thumbnails to get a caption and a larger image]
Conjola beach and Green Island - this was an amazingly peaceful seeming little spot just north of Ulladulla. There was a great inlet with an island in the middle of it that looked like it would be great for exploring in the summer. Could be a lab trip spot. (50kb) Conjola beach - an enormous stretch of emptiness! (34kb) On a walk along the coast from our Bed and Breakfast (Wongaburra: http://www.naturecoast-tourism.com.au/wongaburra/). (67kb)
Looking south along the coast towards Tuross Heads. (63kb) Jacqui checking out the sign at the end of the headland. (59kb) The view from our B+B - looking west over Coila Lake towards the mountains. (68kb)
A view towards the coast from our climb up Mt Dromedary. We must say that overall we wouldn't recommend the walk - when you get to the top (after ~1.5 h stiff ascending) there is no view because of the shrubbery. A good run down was had though! (39kb) Jacqui raring to go at the start of the rogaine. (86kb) Great views early on - Wallagoot gap just north of Wallagoot lake. (119kb)
Jacqui at another great viewpoint on the trail north along the coast. (62kb) More views along the coast. (54kb) Next day looking south past a lagoon to the sea. (55kb)
Jacqui losing a layer by the lagoon. (68kb) Joel on the hunt for the next checkpoint. (66kb) Passing through Bega on the way home - I always wondered where they trained their cheese! (53kb)