Thursday, 25th October – King\’s Canyon

Dragged ourselves out of bed at 3.15 a.m., but managed to make it to the front of the hotel by 3.59 a.m. However, the tour coach was about 15 minutes late – they had to change coaches because of a dodgy toilet, apparently.

Set off on a very long trip east to King\’s Canyon – 3 hours on the coach. We were treated to a fairly major dry electrical storm – lots of lurid and spectacular flashes, but no rain. We also nearly ran down a pack of feral camels on the way!

Stopped for an excellent breakfast at King\’s Creek Station (cattle, not train), included as part of the package. Then on to King\’s Canyon itself.

We were divided into two groups – one doing the 6 km walk around the rim of the canyon, the other taking a shorter 1.5 km walk along the canyon floor. Jean and I opted for the former, for which we had to sign indemnity forms and take 3 litres of water with us, as it was supposed to be a very hot day up on the rim.

The climb up the side of the canyon was very tough. Very steep, very uneven steps and a sense of being rushed. It was also very humid, although not searingly hot. Jean decided sensibly to turn back and join the shorter walk, and I ploughed on. The effort involved in that first climb was the equal of any effort I\’ve had to put in on my road bike to climb a really steep hill. Very, very hard – but I made it.

The walk after that was generally much easier, though there were a few tricky patches in it. It yielded some spectacular scenery, but the humidity was very high. However, the temperature never reached the threatened 36 or so degrees.

This was the climb. Nasty.

Then back to Kings Canyon Resort for lunch, where we met up with those that had done the shorter walk, and partook of a welcome pizza and an even more welcome couple of beers.

Back on the coach and had a  couple of stops on the way back for leg stretches, photos and other retail opportunities. One interesting picture was that of Mount Conner, a mesa which has been mistaken for Uluru. Therefore, one of its nicknames is Foolaru. Geddit?

Back to the hotel after a long, tiring, but ultimately interesting and rewarding, day. Time for a meal and another early night as we have to get up for a 4.30 departure tomorrow morning. Oh, joy – a half-hour lie-in…..

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