Thru Hiking the Lavender Federation Trail – Sept 2018 – Page 14

24 September – Springton to Tungkillo 27 km

Another frost covered oval greeted us this morning. Dog walkers were out, also council workers in the nearby depot and several truckloads of tree loppers, who set up headquarters behind our shed to plan their operations for the day. Past 6.30 there was to be no further sleep but Roger and Alan were up already so I gave in. We had a quick breakfast at the General Store, where, as usual our man was doing a lively trade. He must have been sad to see us go!

The walk up steep Herbigs Road warms us up, then plunges down the other side and past the old Lutheran Church of 1865, now privately owned. Dairy cows abound including a massive bull which stamped the ground and snorted at me, making the flimsy fence between us seem wholly inadequate.

We climbed to the top of a range and followed dirt roads along this range. The wind was cold again today and blowing into our faces. We passed a pig farm where a large porker had found a protected spot in the sun and was enjoying a nap. Further along, small enclosures held mother pigs and their piglets, whose defence mechanism when startled was to play dead. We passed a gum plantation then turned on to Lucas Back Road which climbed then petered out to a track, then nothing as we followed a road corridor into an increasingly rocky range of hills.

We continued along the top of the rocky range then had a short walk along the bitumen Sedan Mt Pleasant Road, before turning south along a road that ran under a range of boulder topped hills. We passed a large lake on private property, complete with jetty and boat then climbed another range to see the enormous flat plain of the Murray River way off to the SE. This was a beautiful area to walk through surrounded by massive rocks sculpted by wind and water, green grass and views afar. Being the longest day of the hike, we paused around 12.30 and took shelter from the cold wind in a sunny spot between the rocks. Here we stayed for an hour and were surprised how cold it was when we got up to leave.

Here we had a choice of following the LFT or a spur trail, which had been recommended to us. We took the spur trail, which crossed the top of the rocky range. Up there we could see Tungkillo away to the SW. Along Harding Road a shearing shed was in full operation with pens containing before and after sheep. Through the sheep exit chute I could see the shearer hard at work. Just before entering Tungkillo, the trail went over another large water pipeline from the Murray.

Tungkillo was a quiet village. I paused at the sad post office building, now falling into disrepair. Over the road it looked like a tavern was in the process of being fitted out – sadly not quickly enough for our visit. The Soldiers Memorial Hall was soon reached and we settled into our normal routine of pitching tents under cover, filling water bottles and finding a sunny spot away from the wind. Padded outdoor chairs added a level of comfort for us.

As per the last couple of nights, dinner was a cook up on our camp stoves with supplies obtained in Springton. We considered ourselves fortunate in the early part of the walk to be able to eat out for most dinners and many lunches, reducing the amount of food we had to carry.