NSW said goodbye to us very rudely, kicked us out in fact. It was a freezing night and we woke to frost covered ground and all of our condensation frozen on the inside wall of our tents. The billy that was left outside had 1cm thick ice rim. Victoria beckoned us with full sun from the other side of the baby Murray and we were late to rise due to the freeze. Coffee was mandatory this morning to help warm up, as a consequence we didn’t leave camp till 8.30 (Mia has a watch!).
We trudged up Cowombat Flat Track towards Native Dog Flat as the day became hotter and hotter. As the sun moved overhead the wide jeep track reflected more and more heat. It seemed to take forever, as though we had entered a slow-mo time zone, but after many ups and downs we made it to the turn off to Stoney Gully where we promptly had lunch on the softest green grass by a stream. We unfurled all our wet gear over shrubs and made ourselves a bit of a castle, but no one came by.
The most exciting part of today was still in front of us, our descent to Limestone Creek via Stoney Gully. What a dramatic path, to stones for which the gully gets its name are everywhere, loose huge rocks or shale ready to slide from underneath you as we descended straight down the mountain past grand rock outcrops. We slipped and slid and made it to the bottom of the gully, and a few of the gang tumbled. Walking was pleasant when we followed the stream along the gully floor, passing excellent looking waterholes full of fish. The path would often sidle along the gully wall, we realised that jeep tracks make your brain lazy, today we had to think about every step.
We finally made it to camp after a final 1km walk along 4WD track, we sang to raise our spirits then bathed in the restorative waters of Limestone Creek, deep enough for feet floating and full body emersion. Bill was at camp too, and we all stayed up late chatting once again. There are fish jumping is the stream, frogs in the near by pond, and Mopoke owls (audible) in the trees, who needs brumby TV!?