Participants - Anne, Tristan, Albert, Crystal, Coco, Nick, Monica, Kathy and Cathy
Well, I guess I'll start this trip report with a description of the dedication of the 9 participants who attended this walk. In order to arrive at our starting point we had to first make our way into the city to catch the 6.45am L90 to Palm Beach. We had the bus time aligned so that we could catch the 9am ferry across to Patonga. As I was having a particularly lucky week, I decided to inquire with the water taxi as to whether they would match the ferry price. My luck continued and we were able to speed across the water to Patonga ever so slightly earlier and surely faster. With such a huge effort required in such an early start and time spent travelling, I was somewhat amazed that there were very few people who piked last minute on this trip.
We arrived at Patonga and soon found the beginning of the track. A steady, but short lived hill warmed us all up quite quickly while we were rewarded with some gorgeous water views. This was shortly followed by long, flat 4WD track which seemed to go on forever. We found a flat rock to relax on and eat morning tea, while Crystal gave some basic navigation lessons.
We climbed to the top of Mt Wondabyne for lunch looking out across at the tiny Wondabyne Station and Gosford below. By now the group batteries were starting to die and most reclined for a midday nap in the sun. The clouds were starting to form as was a chill in the air so we continued on our way.
We crossed over the railway tunnel with much confusion from the group as some people thought we were actually going through a tunnel. I decided we were further down the track then we were (possibly wishful thinking as I had been up since 5am), but was quickly proven wrong by Albert's great navigation and Tristan's GPS.
We finally reached the descent to Wondabyne Station with 25mins to go and 2.5km to cover. Congratulations to most members of the group who managed to make the next train home, unfortunately 3 of us weren't so lucky.
Absolute feelings of dread dawned on me as I reached the platform just as the train pulled out knowing that there were still 2 people behind me and the next Sydney train would be another hour away. A wise thought from Crystal saved the day - catch the train going the opposite direction to Woy Woy and change to an express train back to Sydney. Crystal ran across the line to check the timetable, just as the alarms started and the gate began to drop. She made a quick dash back across the line and we were fortunate to be heading to Woy Woy within minutes of arriving at the station.
Thank you to all who made a huge effort to crawl out of bed so early Sunday morning or in some cases didn't bother sleeping.
Thank you also to Albert for the photos below.