We made a picnic, packed our waterproofs, and set off on the 45 minute drive north.
Just as we were coming up to the carpark where we had planned to start our walk, the heavens opened - with horizontal rain. We were prepared we we going to get wet, but there is a limit.
And it would be nice to see some of the scenery rather than walking along with eyes squinting against the rain. The carpark cost $12, which would have been fine were we going to spend all afternoon walking, but with the rain as it was, we couldn't justify it as in all likelihood we would be back at the car within half an hour.
On the way back we stopped off at Curl Curl beach to eat our sandwiches in the car overlooking the swimming pool at the end of the beach. A wet picnic in the car was one step better than eating it back at home.
We had only been walking less than ten minutes when we met a jogger coming in the opposite direction.
"Be careful, there's a swooping bird up there." he warned us.
We got our water bottles out of the rucksack and walked on, armed and ready for any swooping birds which might attack us.
Australian wildlife is by far the most challenging we have encountered...
At least it was warm...
There is a mountain bike track around the dam, and we crossed this - following the footpath signs - glad that we had seen it and weren't totally in the middle of nowhere.
Where were we?!
Eventually, we saw a footbridge in the distance!
When we reached it however, it was purely to get over the water pipe. Once over, there was no sign at all giving any indication which way we should go. Looking both directions, neither gave a clue as to which we should take.
Down many steps, through many more puddles (by this stage our wet feet and trainers meant we had blisters), and we reached a fork in the track. With no signs (again) which way to go, we had to chose between up the steps, or along the lake shore?
Our aching legs meant we chose the waters edge, and followed the board walk around the corner, coming to an abrupt halt when greeted with this:
The board walk sinking as we walked across it, I ran-but-pretended-I-wasnt-scared-and-it-was-just-a-quick-walk before we reached solid ground again.
A few steps, and then the path dipped down into the water; the inlet full of twigs and dirt which had been washed into the lake. As wet as our feet were, it was not appealing to step into that brown sludge. So we balanced on a fallen branch, holding onto the top branches as we inched our feet along the bottom ones.
We made dry land!
After ten step or so, we turned the corner, to see that the path went straight into the lake.
There was no choice but to turn around, back across the branch, back along the sinking walkway, and take the other route, up the steps.
We peered to the left: no sign of a path. We looked to our right: and were surprised to find a man sitting on a bench - the legs of the bench in the water. As we tried not to stare, we became aware there was a pair of new trainers, at the edge of the water, carefully placed, not washed up or abandoned.
We turned around and began to walk back up the track not quite sure what to think about it all, when a guy came running towards us.
He showed no sign of stopping or indeed slowing down.
Had he not seen the vast lake right infront of him??!
"G'day guys, It's going to be a wet one today." He said, as he ran full pelt into the water, turning to the left and disappearing around behind the overhanging trees. We could hear his splashing steps for a while until we could only presume he had made it to dry land.
Bemused, we looked at each other. Aware of the man sat on the bench in the water to our right, we fought back the giggles which wanted to escape us, totally bewildered at the strange folk around these parts.
So much for our relaxing and pleasant ramble!