Sweating Above Wilpena Pound
Dec 03, 2004
Nov 31, 2005
After figuring out that everyone else had given up and turned around, we headed back down for a lunch that seemed to consist more of mouthfuls of flies than anything else, then pulled out through pine woods reminscent of the Canadian interior to our bunkhouse at Rawnsley Park, a sheep station in the Pound. We spent the rest of the afternoon tossing each other into the pool and avoiding the zillions of little kids in nappies also enjoying the blue chlorine waters.
In the morning we drove south (I know, counterintuitive) to the Flinders Ranges National Park for a hike up to the top of Wilpena Pound, which from the air looks like a volcano crater but is really just a ring of mountains surrounding a valley. The flies were bad again by the time we got started hiking, and the heat was picking up, and slowly parts of the group peeled away and gave up on the three kilometres straight uphill we were climbing to the top of Mt. Ohlssen Bagge. I pulled out to the lead of the hiking pack, determined to get to the top first (that pesky competitive spirit), and finally, after almost flagging in my determination when I saw the "1.4 kilometres left" sign at a point I thought was fifty metres from the top, I did make it to the top. The view, unlike that suggested by aerial photos of the Pound, wasn't too much to kvell over, but I did get to kvell over my energetic effort, and by the time the remaining group made it to the top, I was composed enough to suggest I'd been there for forty-five minutes. I eventually allowed them to know the truth, that I'd beat them by a mere ten minute effort.