Postcard Home, published in The Bugle, Kiama’s local newspaper. Edition: 3 Feb 2018.

Writing to you from Beehive Point, Kangaroo Valley, after a 2km swim. We started at Jack’s Corner two days ago, ready to fulfil our New Year’s resolution for six weekly aspirational bushwalks. We had meticulously planned our long weekend circuit bushwalk, closing the loop with a swim over Lake Yarrunga. After a hot and sweaty day, the first creek crossing offered an irresistible opportunity for a swim. We settled down in a foot of water watching King Fishers swoop up and down the creek. After enjoying a lightning storm and a downpour, we made our way to the abandoned Griffin’s Farm to set up camp, play frisbee, meet two fat wombats and explore the remnants of the old dairy and homestead. After a night of sleeping on crinkly goon sack pillows, we walked to Cranky’s Creek with the expectation of making it to Lake Yarrunga by lunch (6km away). The road closed sign, pockmarked with bullet holes, should have been a warning for what lay ahead on the old road down to the Lake.

We ran into our first fallen log 100m from the turn off, which we crossed with naive enthusiasm. Nature had reclaimed the old road as its own and eight hours and 672 logs later (give or take a few) we reached the Lake’s edge at sunset. So exhausted, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to enjoy a Chateau de Cask around a campfire. After a lazy morning, we blew up our raft to carry our gear as we swam across Lake Yarrunga. In the 1970s Tallowa Dam, between Kangaroo River and Shoalhaven River, flooded the valley surrounding Yarrunga Creek and turned the forest canopy into an eerie graveyard of Eucalypts. The damming had turned our old road into a dead end at the Lake’s edge, so there was no other way to finish our trek except to swim across to the other side. By consensus, we decided to continue enjoying the beautiful water and slowly swim past our original 300m
connection to the old road, and on to Beehive Point 2km away. Luckily we had diligently laminated our map. Although we don’t want to get out of the water, we have a lunch date with The Bugle editorial team that we are five hours late for, so we have to hightail up the firetrail back to Jack’s Corner to complete our grand 22km circuit.

Helen, Billy and Margot

Editor’s note: Readers may remember Margot as our original crossword compiler (and our eldest daughter).