I spent today helping Patesy, one of the phys eders, with his hiking camp. I just had to accompany a small group as they navigated through the bush on a 15km hike.
The day started out normally enough as Patesy pointed out the route they were meant to take to the boys on today's hike through the Boranup forest south of Maragret River.
Once on the track the boys got into the spirit of the occasion and despite the overcast, later to become wet, very wet, weather, shed their shirts. With little sun tan action likely this was presumably for effect and macho points. It did emphasise the status of their low-slung jeans and exposed undies, my favourite fashion faux-pas!
One of the boys set about constructing a weapon, as you do when you're out in the bush, and managed to fashion quite a reasonable looking bow and arrow. Even when the bow snapped in the firing of the second arrow he was not deterred and set about strengthening it with the ubiquitous black pvc tape. I'm confident no native animals were in any danger but he was suitably proud of his efforts.It rained heavily as we approached the Point Rd campsite, from where we had about a 1.5 km hike to the finish at Contos Campsite. The last part is very steep, affording a good view of the valley and anyone approaching on the track. The group became separated in the rain and when we got to Contos, the 4 intrepid hikers had not arrived.Patesy and I went to see if we could see them but they didn't show up. Patesy was a little concerned which is fair enough but I felt reasonably confident, they'd been navigating with the map and compass all day and done a good job. Still, their non-appearance required action so I set off in the car to see if they'd gone the wrong way on Point Rd.
The start of Point Rd is VERY rocky and a previous attempt to drive on it a couple of months ago had failed, however this time the stakes were a little higher and I persevered, managing to get through the worst of it and head up the track in search of the lost boys.
Sure enough, there they were, about 3km up, heading in the wrong direction (toward the coast) having by their own admission tried three out of the four available directions at the critical junction, all of them wrong!! I loaded them into the car and drove them back to the correct position and pointed them in the right direction, and they set off on the last leg of their journey, insisting that I not tell anyone I'd found them and "helped" them! Don't worry boys, your secret is safe with me.