|The fire-trail through Wambina|
I originally suggested the course to capitalise on two little-used trails in the Terrigal area that are not part of our other runs. The first trail section is short and passes through a grove of palm trees, hence the name "Fiji", and the second, longer, section climbs through Wambina Nature Reserve to a forested ridge which it then follows to its end before descending back to the suburbs.
I first encountered the ridge when some friends took me mountain-biking up that way eight or nine years ago, and have since observed the trail gradually deteriorate through lack of use and rampant lantana growth. For the last three of four years, since the "Fiji Run" has been on the Trotters agenda, I have been in the habit of spending some time in the preceding week clearing and marking the trail.
|Overgrown trail. |
For the next three hours I walked along the trail, hacking at the lantana and other over-hanging vegetation to make the trail more runnable. In one short section, the trail had virtually disappeared into a huge lantana thicket and I spent nearly an hour hacking and bashing a usable trail. When I finally reached the far end of the ridge, I turned and made my way back to the start, hanging flouro pink flagging tape from trees where the trail was more obscure.
|Cleared trail. |
It takes a large part of the day to clear the trail, but I see it as a community service. The local council doesn't seem to have any interest in keeping the trail open and I fear it will disappear without some attention. I also enjoy taking my club-mates to places they may not know about, or normally wouldn't go.
This morning, I was quite stiff in the back from yesterday's exertions, but otherwise OK, and jogged a very slow early 5km before playing nine holes of golf.