Monday, September 26, 2016

Table Mountain

Soon after we arrived in Toowoomba, we had an evening with our neighbors and over wine and finger-food, we talked. One of our neighbors, John, is a teacher with a degree in biology and loves, as do all Australians as near as I can tell, to go for a walk. He offered to take us on a walk to Table Mountain. Weather and travel got in the way, Elizabeth realized that it is a hard walk and backed out. I did not. We've finally made the excursion. Above you see the top of the extinct volcano and a short section of the track to the top.

Once we climbed to the top - about which I describe more in a bit - we had great panoramas all around this conical, flat-topped hill. Below is the view looking north.

Although there were few trees and mostly brown grass on the top, there were a few flowers.

And to prove that I made it to the top in one piece, here I am.

We got great vistas in all directions since there were no trees blocking the view.

Looking more to the east, we see a portion of the Lockyer valley.

Looking north across the top of the mountain, we see the flat, almost treeless plain on the top of the hill.

And looking south and west, we see a portion of the mountain that Toowoomba sits on. In the distance to the south, you can see the power transmission lines sending the fruits of coal burning around the country.

Now, about the climb. I got pictures on the way down. As you can see below, The hill is steep and filled with a jumble of rock. John give a sense of scale.

All these rocks are broken portions of volcanic basalt. Their random distribution makes climbing up or down tricky.

That gray jumble of stone one down the hill from John is where we are headed next. Above us, between us and the top of the hill is seen in the next few images.

You saw the path in there, right? It is all clear and well marked, for sure.

On down we go. Remember, every one of these images, means that I stop, put down my trekking poles, take off my knapsack, get the camera, take the picture and reverse the process. It gave me an excuse to slow down John who goes up and down this stuff like a rabbit.

Between Table Mountain proper and the end of the road where the car is located is a smaller hill that is a hump that we must climb up and over. Once you reach the top of this small hill, what you see between you and the car park is the jumbled hill we must descend.

But, along the way are some really beautiful visitas.

The first panorama above is looking north and shows a mesa jutting out toward the east. After the climb, John drove me around to this mesa and I was able to get a good view of Table Mountain from there.

Out in the middle you see Table Mountain. Next to it, you can see the little hump we climbed over on the way. This should give you a better feel of walk we took.

I am now sitting the recliner with a glass of scotch in my hand and Advil coursing through my veins, soothing my sore muscles. I don't know if this hike is something that should be on your top ten list when you visit Australia, but if you're in Toowoomba for more than a few days and have an adventuresome inclination, it's is worth the effort. The view is worth the climb.