Bush Walking/ Hiking – Collins Bonnet via Mount Connection

Yesterday I trudged to Collins Bonnet.

 

Why did I do that? Good question.

Possibly more important questions though; who is Collins and why does he have a Bonnet?

Short answer: Buggered if I know.

 

But anyway, that’s where I went.

 

I revisited Hartz Peak on Sunday, and sadly the weather was the same as last time; sleet, howling wind and about 2 degrees. I was lucky today. The weather was cool and clear, and the views were uninterrupted in every direction.

Collins Bonnet and the nearby Trestle Mountain form a feature called ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

I bet you’re wondering how you get there.

 

There are a number of ways, actually. You can go the same way I went to Collins Cap back in November. Or you can do the walk from Mountain River, to the south.

Today I went from the Mount Wellington side. To get there from Hobart, head up Davey Street. Keep in the right hand lane, and continue upwards along Huon Road to Fern Tree. Make the sharp right hand turn to Pinnacle Road and drive another 10 or so kilometres until you get to a spot called ‘The Big Bend’. I know, it sounds like it’s got something to do with plumbing.

There are a couple of car parks nearby. The only time you may not be able to get a car park is if it’s been snowing. Then, half of Hobart will be on the mountain. My ute probably won’t be there when you go. If it is, then please find me and say hello.

 

Ute

Ute

For ease of reference, here’s where you go:

Trudge this way

Trudge this way

Follow the Big Bend Fire Trail for just under 2km. It’s not exactly a red carpet through the bush, so be prepared for a slow trip. I found it challenging to keep my footing a few times on the loose rocks.

Fire Trail

Fire Trail

Very soon, you will see this sign.

Sign

Sign

You now have a choice; to follow the route across Mount Connection, or keep following the fire trail. I went across Mount Connection. So basically you climb two mountains today. Fun, yeah? The fire trail route is a lot further.

Trail

Trail

Mount Connection is about three and a half kilometres of trudging. The trail is fairly rugged and slow going. The best bit is an outcrop called ‘The Pulpit’, which is on the western side. You get a very good view from the top.

Rocks of the Pulpit

Rocks of the Pulpit

Eventually you descend from Mount Connection and re-join the fire trail. Now you trudge up the hill toward the summit of Collins Bonnet. The fire trail ascends for about a kilometre before you arrive at the branch of the trail that will take you to the summit.

Rejoin Fire trail

Rejoin Fire trail

Insert trudging here

Insert trudging here

This next section is even more rugged than before. Lots of clambering over boulders to make your way to the top.

Boulders

Boulders

Once at the top, the views are fantastic. Apologies these pictures are not in any sort of order…

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East and south toward Kingston with Cathedral Rock showing

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North west toward New Norfolk

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South toward Huonville

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West

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East toward Hobart

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East and north

20160329_125841

North

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Down

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West and Trestle Mountain

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South West

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South to Mountain River

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North

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East to Mount Connection and Mount Wellington

Now turn around and walk back. I retraced my steps. I figured at least the rocks on the Mount Connection trail were embedded in the earth, which was better than the loose rocks of the fire trail.

Oh, when you do rejoin the fire trail and make that last ascent back to the Big Bend, it is quite challenging after a long hike. Maybe I was just tired? Three walks in seven days…

The walk was 14.23km and took me a touch over five hours to complete. Here is a link to my Endomondo workout.

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete 

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Quotes

I love a good quote – they can leave you smiling for hours.

Or scratching your head… wondering just what was that person thinking…? So I’ve added a Quotes page…!

There’s only a couple there at the moment, but like the page says, they tickle my fancy!

Pete

 

What a strange fortnight

Apologies in advance, but this blog post has nothing to do with books, literature, entertainment or anything even remotely amusing.

Two weeks ago we hosted a Tupperware party – the party was fun!

Tuesday 25 November I woke up and discovered our dogs had been let out of our back yard. Fairly traumatising, considering our dogs don’t socialise very much (besides being walked and also played with in our own back yard). Neither has been out of the yard off a leash. Neither is particularly ‘obedient’, but they are fun, playful and happy dogs. We have a big German Shepherd (Oscar) and a smaller Kelpie cross (Pixi – who is almost 15 years old).

Not knowing how long they’d been out was the worst. I thought I’d heard at least one of them barking half an hour before; but being half-asleep, I wasn’t 100% sure. I was petrified that I’d never see our dogs again, it was heartbreaking. I hopped in the car and drove one way while Julie tried to wake our girls with the intent of heading in the opposite direction. At the bottom of the hill at the Main Road, I noticed a fellow at a bus stop and thought about stopping to ask him if he’d seen the dogs. Before I’d had a chance, however, I also spotted a lady walking two beautiful golden retrievers. Being a dog walker, she may have paid more attention to two stray dogs, perhaps.

I pulled over, wound down the window and asked if she’d seen them. The lady smiled and said, “Is this one of yours?” Amazingly, she’d found Pixi and had popped her on a leash. I didn’t see Pixi straight away, because a) she’s entirely black, and b) she was ‘hidden’ behind two golden retrievers…!

Incredibly relieved, I got out of the car to get Pixi in. I asked the lady if she’d seen Oscar. “Is that him?” she said, pointing over my shoulder and back down the road. There he was, not 100 metres away.

I must admit at this point that I did introduce myself and asked the lady her name, but I can’t for the life of me remember it… But that morning she’d been the most wonderful person on earth, in my eyes.

To cut a long story short, we got Oscar back without too much hassle. A bit of hunting around in the undergrowth near St Virgil’s school was needed before he came back (to Julie, mind you, not to me – I think he could tell I was a little stressed).

Crisis over, we were organised enough that even got to work on time.

Later that day Phillip Hughes, the Australian batsman, was struck by a cricket ball and collapsed at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Phil later died from the injury on Thursday 27 November 2014.

Like most of the country, I thought he would one day become one of our best batsmen. But he, like many before him, was still in the embryonic stages of his international cricketing career and was once again on the verge of selection for a spot in the test team.

Being as involved in cricket as I once was, I have a few friends who were pretty close to Phil Hughes, and I feel very sad for them, personally. But when this happened I felt like I’d lost a mate. I couldn’t explain it. Thanks to Brigid Delaney from the guardian.com for the following words:

“In 1937 poet Edna St Vincent Millay wrote that ‘childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies’. Until last week, there was a sense that cricket was that kingdom too.”

Having played cricket for 30 years, I also felt that former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe also explained it from a player’s perspective in an article I found on dnaindia.com:

“Crowe said that as cricketers they reflect deeply, questioning that how did they themselves all dodged this moment. He said that he must have been hit 20 times above the shoulders, in the neck, throat and head, in over 25 years of playing the game, and shrugged it off, as they all did.
Crowe said that they all had these kinds of moments in the game that they endured somehow. He added that they were lucky.
Crowe claimed that Hughes didn’t deserve not enjoying the same luck, and questioned why did such a good kid, on track to finally nail that spot he so wanted and so deserved, become the first after so long.”

Rest in Peace.

We move on to this week. Tuesday was the 23rd anniversary of my dad’s passing. I miss him every day. Coincidentally, a lady at work returned on Tuesday after the death of her mother a week or so ago.

Wednesday one of my best friends experienced some real lows. His aunt passed away after a long battle with illness, and then the next morning he lost his dad as well. Both deaths were not unexpected; both were ill for a long time. But of course you can prepare for as long as you like, but it never softens the blow. The timing was really what floored me.

It never rains, it pours.

Thanks for reading.

Pete Diggins

X-Wing

I have to admit it takes me a while to get in to new computer games. I guess it’s because I don’t play that many. I find I get more enjoyment out of them when they’re only a very small part of my life’s relaxation strategies. Having said that, the ones I do I tend to focus on I keep going until I finish them. Mind you, I ask myself if many other men in their early 40’s play many computer games, but I think quite a few do…!

So back in about 1994 or 95, I started playing X-Wing, a fantastic space-combat simulation which, of course, was based almost entirely on the X-Wing star fighters from Star Wars. There were a couple of other variants released; Tie Fighter, X-Wing vs. Tis Fighter and X-Wing Alliance.

So imagine the thrill when I saw the classic X-Wing and Tie Fighter games were being re-released and updated for modern pc’s! For the very cheap price of $US10 I was able to immerse myself in the pre-windows 95 graphics of X-Wing & Tie Fighter once more. I dusted off my joystick (no pun intended) and off I flew!

For those interested, the updated games can be found here.
There is quite a good review here.

Keep in mind that ‘updated’ means updated for use on modern machines. The games themselves are exactly as they were back in the mid-90’s – so you will find the graphics are a little aged.

Having said all that, I must also apologise to a few people who I offered to do reviews for a while back – I do work full-time and I also have been back writing (a follow-up to Outsider and a new sci-fi story) and have been deliberately not reading anyone else’s work – purely so it does not colour my own.

I’ve also been playing the bass a lot with a few mates – and that has been loads of fun!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Gosh, it’s been a while since I posted…

It’s been at least a month since I’ve blogged, so I thought I’d better rectify that! So here I am, on the eve of the AFL finals, hoping the Geelong Cats make it the last day in September (that’s the AFL Grand Final for those of you in the northern hemisphere).

So what have I been up to?

Well, not a lot to do with reading and reviewing. I have three books awaiting review – so I’m making a promise to myself to get to those by the end of September.

I had a bit of the flu at the beginning of August & then went to Melbourne/ Geelong for a few days to watch the footy & catch up with my wife’s family over there. (Hello if you’re reading!).

In the middle of August the weather took a turn for the better & I’ve spent way more time outside; gardening, riding my bike & walking.

I also started the follow up book to Outsider – I’m about 20,000 words (50 pages) in…!

I’ve also managed to spend some more time learning some songs & playing bass – jamming with a few mates here & there, which with all of this book writing/ editing/ publishing/ promoting I’ve not been able to do. Also on the bass-playing front, I’ve traded in some old gear and upgraded my amp to an Ampeg SVT3 Pro (US made). It’s got more tone that a guy named Tony! It sounds awesome (even with me playing it).

Having said that, I’ve not done too much promoting, but that’s all good – I’m not currently in this book-writing jazz to make millions & retire – it’s still way too much fun to turn it into ‘work’. A local bookshop sold out of their supply and the State Library have copies now which are being loaned out!

Anyways, I hope you are all well.
Pete