Illinbah, Binna Burra

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Illinbah, Binna Burra

Postby Cocksy_86 » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:22 am

I got this from my blog. Thought you might like it...

Illinbah is a trek I’ve done plenty of times before. It’s 19km round circuit. The track drops down into the valley, follows the Coomera River, stops at the old logging town (ghost town) of Illinbah and then works its way back along the valley wall, back to Binna Burra. Taking two days to do this one day hike allows us to stop for a swim, a rest, we can explore off the track for a bit, and talk to anyone we bump into on the way.

At 5:30am we woke to my alarm, this time treating ourselves to a 20 minute sleep in. With our bags packs and clothes prepared before us, it took next to no time to get ready and hop in the car. We drove down 45 mins to the Gold Coast and turned west into the hinterland. We stopped at Beechmont for some coffee and home made shortbread. The road passes by hang gliding territory, and some gorgeous diary farms.

As we arrive at the forest information centre we get talking to the ranger. Unfortunately he says no to us camping. So we hid our car at the nearby restaurant and walked an extra 2km to begin the hike. Something about walking down the road help set in the raw feelings hiking stimulates.

Moving down the windy path to the river was different to what we’re use to. One could almost call it a goat trail. I rolled my ankle towards the bottom, but due to my strong boots and ultralight equipment, all that was required was a rest to recover.

The water was cold!! Brrrrrrr… The sun shining through the trees made it bearable. A bunch a hot chicks were swimming in the waterhole down from us. They were european and looked a little…alternative. I think I should have let them know it’s not alright to pee on the path!!! Right near strangers.

After a big snack we continued on. Hitting our first crossing I spent some time setting up stepping stones. In hinesight, the time spent to make this temporary bridges would be saved if I just accepted defeat and put on my sandles. A lesson I learn the hard way further down the track.

Continuing on I had my first horrific encounter with stinging nettle. It was horrible. Like 100 bees stinging on a palm size span on my leg every my blood pulsed. Hairs on end and my whole leg goes numb with pain. I keep moving as I don’t want to fall over on some more stinging nettle. The pain dulls after half an hour, but the rest of the way I was cautious of not hitting more.

The flora and fauna was simply gorgeous. The tropical palms on the creek bed. The eucalyptus gums bigger than my car. The Whip and Bell birds singing, announcing our presence to upcoming creatures. We found the loose soil more challenging, to the point that reaching Illinbah was a relief. The hike seemed to drag on. Chelle’s hip was hurting as she hadn’t yet broken in her backpack. The creek crossing got us cold and wet. We arrived and looked around just to see if anyone else was planning to camp. It was well hidden from the path and so we expected no one.

We cooked dinner and enjoyed our bacon carbonara. We enjoyed some shortbread biscuits and tea, and the warmth of the fire after quickly dipping in the creek. A rescue helicopter flew by, so we quickly put out the fire. We didn’t want any extra company. Our tired eyes brought us to sleep. The shiny stars wished us goodnight.

Darkness!! Rain pouring. The crisp quiet night has turned into a storm!! My shoes are wet! My clothes are wet! My backpack is wet!! Chelle being overly cautious but not so overly cautious covered all her equipment. It was dry. I gave up my made panick when realising this storm had been present a long time before my snoring stopped.

Waking up was a little better. It was a sunny crisp morning. Everything was wet but the sun was drying it out. All ready and packed we came to our last creek crossing. It was higher than normal and the stepping stones were under water. I tried making a new stepping stone bridge but failed miserably at the task. I fell in and then stormed off.

I waited on the other side for Chelle. Even though I was really annoyed :S I put safety first. Moving on the track we found that the rain had brought out every leech in the forest. It was horrible. Like the Zombie movie I saw recently. The more we flicked off the more would climb on.

Chelle took lead in keeping moving. Unfortunately her footsteps awoke the leeches and so I was getting hit by all of them. In 2 minutes of rest there would be an easy 50 around us.

Only an hour in and my camelbac runs dry. Turns out Chelle used my water to cook breakfast and didn’t mention to fill it up again. I also didn’t choose to carry an extra 2 Litres because a Camelbac was more than enough to finish the hike. Therefore, I had another 6km to go with no water!!!

Chelle was more than apologetic as she shared her water with me. The last 6km we had only a few small breaks as we journeyed up the slow gradient to our destination. Chelle became very skilled at flicking off the leeches. I didn’t have to worry dew to my thick socks, boots, and gaitors.

Finishing the track was a delight, but the last 1.5km up the road to the car was tough. The road, designed for motorized vehicles not weary legs, rose an extra 200 metres in altitude. We were happy to return with our car not towed.

I sat at the car. Worn out and tired. Sweat pouring all over. The wind licking my body while the humidity kept me drenched. I was sore and alittle cranky. My feet were itching. I look down to see leeches all over my shoes. Scrunched together like piglets in a sty. Other ones reaching up, looking me in the eye.

Wanting to go home I got to business. As I undid my first gaitor I found my sock drench in blood. Slipping my boot off I felt pin pricks all over from the shin down. Leeches had a feast after working their way down under the sock. Now dropping to the ground like chunks of raw meet. They had their fill and needed rest. Some had pierced through the sock to my skin. I couldn’t believe it.

By this time I had a small croud of children, parents, and some attactive girls. Blood dripped onto the ground. I squashed the leeches and they burst. It look like a WWII model replica. There was so much blood. Chelle bandaged my ankles and found the blood then seeped through. I replaced the bandage every hour as the blood keep coming out!!

All up we did a 21km hike. It felt like a 40km hike. It was tough. It rained heavy. Leeches made it difficult. We averaged 4.5km per hour. But with all that happening the bush, the water, the camp fire, the wind, the equipment made it just amazing.
Attachments
Cows.jpg
Beechmont
Cows.jpg (84.84 KiB) Viewed 6308 times
Skins Advert.jpg
After rolled ankle. Good Skins Advert.
Skins Advert.jpg (86.7 KiB) Viewed 6308 times
Coomera River.jpg
The cold Coomera River. Brrrrrrrr...
Coomera River.jpg (89.7 KiB) Viewed 6308 times
Last Crossing.jpg
Last Crossing. Epic Fail.
Last Crossing.jpg (90.42 KiB) Viewed 6308 times
Leech and Sock.jpg
Leech separation process.
Leech and Sock.jpg (59.84 KiB) Viewed 6308 times
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Cocksy_86
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Re: Illinbah, Binna Burra

Postby tasadam » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 6:43 pm

Ahh Leeches! Yes, you learn that it's better to walk first, it does seem to be that in heavily infested areas it's the 2nd person that gets them. Though, it's the first person that clears the spider webs!
Thanks for sharing your story.
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tasadam
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Re: Illinbah, Binna Burra

Postby Cocksy_86 » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 10:46 pm

I have heard of the second mouse getting the cheese :D but I don't think applies with leeches.
Cocksy from Down Under
http://www.seqhistory.com
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Cocksy_86
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Re: Illinbah, Binna Burra

Postby tasadam » Tue 21 Sep, 2010 5:13 pm

Please note that some discussion on leeches has been merged into the Leeches topic as it contained good information relevant to that discussion.
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