It was 10 brave souls who set out on a somewhat chilly Autumn morning in late April to brave the ‘Red Track’ in Bungonia National Park. Trying not to be disheartened by the numerous warnings on the entry sign, we scrambled and slid down the steep goat track that took us down into Slot Canyon, grateful of our poles for support.
Once in the canyon, we enjoyed a short morning walk along the valley floor, taking in the spectacular view of the canyon walls rising up either side before arriving at the ‘boulder’ section – an area of the canyon which required some new skills for the group.
‘Bouldering’ is defined by Wikipedia as “a form of rock climbing that is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls, known as boulders, without the use of ropes or harnesses”.
For our party, it was a game of strategy and teamwork as we picked our way over, under and around the giant boulders, jumping between the rocks, sliding down rock faces and squeezing through gaps.
Many found courage and skills they did not know they had but, with a little help from each other, we all emerged safely through the boulders.
Rather than continue up the Red Track, we followed the mostly dry creek bed down to the Shoalhaven River for lunch, ignoring the light drizzle of rain, before hiking up the steep ridge of the White Track and along the top to arrive back at the carpark.
The walk was rated difficult and had proved to be somewhat challenging, but all rose to the challenge and emerged stronger for the experience.
Camping the night at the extremely comfortable Bungonia NP campsite, we enjoyed hot showers and warm meals while retelling stories of our day’s adventure over a glass or red (or two).