Honor Falls bagged at last. May 29 2017.
We were actually on our way to Liffey Falls to photograph fungi, but the lure of trying to actually bag Honor Falls acted as a siren pulling me in that direction once I recognised the scenery.
“I’ll just be max thirty minutes, and then we’ll be on our way to Liffey”, I assured my husband. I mean, the falls are only about two hundred meters from the bridge where I’d just parked. I failed the first time as I couldn’t balance having just been running a fever for four days. This time I was in good health, and was ready for the bush bash. I chose gumboots so I could wade once there. Optimistic choice.
Knowing how cluttered the forest was from last time, I walked along the road for about twenty metres with Bruce and Tessa before sending them on a fifteen-out-fifteen-back walk while I dashed in, photographed, and came out to meet them. I eyed up the forest. Bruce looked askance. I caught his gaze and nodded agreement. That’s @#&%.
“Let’s stay together another twenty metres or so.” (We are, all this time, on the left of the river as it goes downstream.)
The forest thinned out a bit, so I dived in, leaving the other two to their more purposeful walk. I made good time in the bush … until I hit a cliff edge that prevented me proceeding any further. Hm. I tried various options left and right of this point, but all ended in slippery, mossy drops that even with a rope would have had me dangling in mid air rather than achieving anything. Must need to be nearer to the falls themselves. I bashed my way to there, but again, met with impassable cliffs. By this time, I am wondering about these other Honor Falls baggers. What sort of heroes are these that can get through this stuff for their photo? Now I tried back even further, but met with the same problems.
So, sigh, back out to the road and try “coming in the back door”, by going further downstream and coming back at the falls. I found a spot where I could get in the bush and make some progress, painfully aware that my time was probably running out by now. The bush was thick and steep, but eventually I forged my way down to the riverbed. But this was very, very cluttered and the ferns were thick on the ground, offering zero visibility. I decided it would take at least ten more minutes to get to the base from here – IF I could. I didn’t have time for that. I also didn’t like the way that many trunks broke when I trod on them, always dangerous when solo, as you can fall when that happens. Oh well. At least I had now been to the base, kind of, and would come with more time next occasion. Up I climbed and headed for the car. There was still plenty of time to shoot fungi at Liffey.
Bruce and Tessa were not in sight (having decided to go out-forty-back-forty instead), and I had become curious about the other side of the river. I had seen no signs at all of humans having forged a way through the forest in which I’d been. I was continually making the bash, and there were no broken branches, slip marks, or signs of wear and tear that one uses for tracking. Maybe people go on the other bank. I’ll just do a quick recce, I thought, seeing’s Bruce and Tessie were still missing.
Over the bridge, down the private road, into the bush when I decided it was a good moment to go in, follow the stream along from above. Hey, there’s an orange tape. And another, and another. Human feet have definitely trodden here. Down I went. In no time at all I was on the bottom, taking two of the most hurried photos of my life before scrambling back up to greet the duo who were now, of course, waiting at the car. Had I been privy to the information I am now giving you, I could have saved myself a great deal of time – but I would have missed out on the adventure, and the sense of victory that I now have.