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MCG - SCG Yatra, Day 22

Geehi - Murray Gorge

I didn’t have the courage to walk through the long grass to go the river for an early morning wash. I thought, I would just skip it and wait until we get to a better place without having to expose myself to the risk of facing a live snake in the wilderness. When we all got ready, we bade goodbye to Geehi Rest Area. However, we would be coming back after completing today’s walk to change over with Shekhar. Because there was no phone signal nor internet coverage, it was decided yesterday that the message would be conveyed to Shekhar to meet at the Geehi Rest Area and also explain to him, where this place was and how to get there. Shekhar was told that if he arrived at the Geehi Rest Area before we return, he would wait, if we returned before him, we would wait until he got there.

The walk through the Kosciuszko National Park brings you as close as you could get to Mother Nature, seeing Mother Nature, feeling Mother Nature, breathing Mother Nature, living Mother Nature, being One with Mother Nature, and becoming Mother Nature. It is one of the best experiences you could get. You see the endless landscape of hill tops laden with snow and water streams rushing downhill, valleys full of ferns and tall gum trees, large number of dead trees, and scary and deep gorges with water streams merging to form creeks that you could occasionally hear. Unfortunately, you could not escape the fact of a considerable number of dead kangaroos and other native animals, mostly victims of road accidents. Man has the audacity to invade the animal territory and kill them if they cross the man-made roads because man thinks that he alone has all the exclusive rights or at least he must have the top priority and all other forms of life come second if indeed they have any rights at all. So much for us being civilised! Are we serious???

I had a power nap after breakfast because that is exactly what I need to recharge my batteries. I do get tired following the first 3 hours walk in the morning and this little nap provides a boost to my energy level and prepares me for the second half. We were told to keep a look out for the brumbies (wild or unbroken horses) as we headed east. When we arrived at the Tom Groggin horse camp, Rohan who was driving the van, called out to look to our right. He had spotted wild emus down the gigantic valley. After Satyajit and I saw the emus, we started walking again. Rohan drove ahead to look for Murray Gorge, our destination for the day. Instead he returned to tell us that Tom Groggin Rest Area was just 4-5 Kms ahead and that would be a great landmark to start the walk tomorrow morning. We all agreed. Satyajit also jumped into the van and I was left by myself to walk the next few kilometres. Reaching Tom Groggin Rest Area provided a great relief for me. But I was still looking for the actual Murray Gorge as it was mentioned in the google maps. Once again, I found out that similar to the case of Cosgrove mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, Murray Gorge was not a place but an area. The entire valley of Tom Groggin Rest Area and horse camping etc was a part of the Murray Gorge. I may be a slow learner but how am I to know if it is an area or a place when it is named in google maps?

After reaching the Tom Groggin Rest area, I joined Sayajit and Rohan in the van and we drove back to the Geehi Rest area where Shekhar was supposed to meet us for a changeover. When we arrived back, Rohan began removing all their belongings from the van and put them on the ground so that nothing which belongs to them would be left behind in the van. It was quite amazing to see that not even had passed and Shekhar pulled up right behind us. It must be noted that this was a place with no phone or internet connectivity and no other communication was possible. Yet we met as prearranged over the phone the previous day after Satyajit and Rohan went for a drive specifically to convey this clear message of where to meet and how to get there and it worked perfectly.

Satyajit and Rohan’s participation had played an important role in the continuity of the walk. Without their help to drive the van, it would have been impossible for me to continue to be on schedule. Rohan’s cooking and Satyajit’s company and advice on various issues would be missed. But like all good things come to an end, they had to return to Melbourne and that day had come. Rohan loaded everything into Shekhar’s car and we all had lunch together. We hugged each other and Satyajit and Rohan started the long drive back to Melbourne. Another chapter in the MCG – SCG walk was closed.

After washing the dishes in the Swampy Plains river behind the Geehi Rest area, Shekhar and I drove back to Tom Groggin Rest area so that we would save time and energy in the morning. We put up our camp near the creek and unlike the Geehi Rest area, there was no long grass for the snakes to hide at Tom Groggin. Shekhar began reorganization of housekeeping in the van. Subsequently, he reheated food from the fridge and we had dinner and then we went to sleep.

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