Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th August 2021
Richard, Naomi – Pajero
Matt – Pajero
Gary, Claire, Gabriel & Azriel – Landcruiser
Lin – FJ
Thought I’d dodged a bullet and was actually going to have a weekend off, but about a week earlier I got asked “so what are we doing for the Avon Descent”? Apparently, my response of nothing wasn’t good enough! To then add another level “can we camp overnight” was asked. So, after getting the Ok to use the property we camp at it was all set and the word went out if any members wanted to come camping & boat watching. The only request I had from DBCA is that we did not drive down the firebreak to the river that we normally use as there had been so much recent rain the steep track was waterlogged, they were worried about it getting damaged and potential soil transfer within the park.
After meeting up at Chequers on the Saturday afternoon we headed in with plenty of time to set up for a relaxing evening
and as is customary we had to have a campfire to ward off any possible chills.
Before coming up I’d gone on the Avon Descent’s website to work out when the boats should be passing our camp, the plan was to allow enough time to walk down the hill to catch some of the paddle craft before waiting for the power boats a couple of hours later. As usual the view up the valley was stunning and the photos really don’t do it justice especially if you are up early enough to see the sunrise.
The majority of the hill is steep loose gravel and the rest is even steeper, your leg muscles let you know they’re not happy.
I must admit I prefer to drive this hill and I have walked halfway down a couple of times; however, this was the first time of walking all the way down (1’200M) with no option but to walk all the way back out! Getting to the river about 10ish we had managed to miss most of the kayakers, but some stragglers were still coming through.
The start of the power boats must have been delayed as it was about 1ish before they started to come through .
By now the kids had had enough so Claire started the walk back to camp. What I love about the Avon Descent is that it’s a bit like the Melbourne Cup, once a year everyone becomes an expert on how to race.
Although I’ve got to admit it is funny when someone screws up and picks a wrong line or goes driving through some rocks.
As we headed back to the bottom of the track it was apparent the local pigs like this area, which is a bit of a concern as I knew they were an issue further down in Walyunga NP, but I didn’t think they were so active in the Avon Valley NP.
Now came the moment of truth, the walk back up to camp, this is where you really get to appreciate how unfit you may be.
Basically, everyone went at their own pace and just got on with it. About halfway up there is a flatish spot to have a break, which has a view down the valley to the southwest.
Just for fun Matt had logged the walk and we could see a climb of 187M over 1’100M which equates to a 1 in 5.8 gradient.
It was nice to sit and chill for a while before contemplating packing up camp for the fairly short drive home.
All in all, it was an awesome weekend with great mates and even though there was no actual 4WDing as such it was good just to be out.
All the best