Moment of the day. Closing a gate and wandering across a paddock and realising that those were large cows in there.

Oh, not cows at all.


One large specimen wandered my way, with me clutching my walking pole and wondering if I’d have to put into practice the toreador skills I had once seen on display in Mazatlan in Mexico.

I veered one way to get around the rather large brute while he went the other.

So far, so good.

Once I was passed, the bull started pawing the ground, and bellowing severely. Clouds of dust.

Then he started following me, with me striding out in enthusiastic get-me-outta-here pace.

He followed for a few hundred metres but not too closely. The bellowing continued, but then he decided just pawing the ground was sufficient. Oh, and the bellowing.

Ever since I attended a bull sale at Winton in Queensland, less fear of them is required. At the sale, a guy was a pen with a few at a time with just a cane to indicate they should approach no further. Not a job I’d prefer.

Later I was informed by a farmer with experience that perhaps I should have made more haste, or circumvented the situation in some way. At the time the electric fence around the paddock inhibited alternative approaches.

Lots of striding today for once.

The main issue was all the Clarence tributaries required large amounts of effort clambering down a couple of hundred metres, and then back up the other side. But it became easier as the day progressed and eventually the track was adjacent to the main river.

The day was exceedingly misty with the tops of the hills cut from view. Up the valley the cloud slightly dissipated, but around 4 pm there was a big change and it mostly disappeared.

I trudged on.

I was considering stopping for the night at the wide Dart Stream, it drains off Mt Alarm, but it was too bouldery and I wouldn’t get my tent pegs in.

Before Ravine Stream I found a spot that was close to water, reasonably flat, having soil for tent pegs, and in this instance, no cows. They were all down at the river bellowing away.

I’m gonna have a few of these long days just bashing out distance coming up. Tomorrow will be similar and I’ll have to cross the Clarence. It looks feasible in a few places but is still running higher from that snow on Boxing Day a week ago.

Wouldn’t be right without finishing with some additional show of belligerence.

The group of four-wheel-drives came past once again, man this track is busy, and I received another lecture about my intended route, etc. No friendliness there.

Apparently the legal road stops at the property before the one I was standing on, and this group has issues with access from their neighbours. Rather than having some sympathy for travellers they prefer to use the knowledge gained from their tussle with any intruders on their own property.

I take an apologetic stance hoping it would make them go away quicker. I wouldn’t want to be around for the longer version.

The others in the four-wheel-drive looked on in amusement about the pointlessness of it all as I launched into rapturous description of the remarkably smashed up countryside. Eventually the tirade exhausted itself and they putted off, leaving me in quiet contemplation.

So, someone turns up without notification. No four-wheel-drive or rifle. Intending to camp and leaving no trace.

Well, now you know.

Back to solitude. Except for those bellowing cattle in the distance.

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