After our unexpected and interesting diversion to the silica mine, we returned to the main road (Waratah/Corinna Road) and continued westward until we turned north onto the gravel surfaced Norfolk Road (C249). Our intention was to walk up Mt Donaldson (437 metres) so we needed to find the starting point near the actual Savage River (as distinct from the township of Savage River and the Savage River mine located elsewhere).
Perhaps 10 kilometres later, we reached the bridge over the gently flowing River.
Before heading off for the walk, I wandered over to the bridge. Not a ripple marked the surface of the water. Only the soft fresh clean sounds of the bush and some water movement in the distance reached my ears. The sort of experience that took my breath away and reminded me how privileged I was to be here and able to see this.
On the northern side of the bridge a small parking area beneath trees marked a starting point for the walk to the top of Mt Donaldson. We parked next to another vehicle and I made the assumption people were already on the climb. On this basis, I wrote in the dust of our car’s back window ‘Hope you enjoyed your walk’. It was most amusing to read their message at the end of our walk: ‘Ride or Die’ with a smiling face emoji. This referred to their preferred mode of travel.
On our walk up the mountain, and before we were out of the bush into the exposed upper reaches of the mountain (which means we did not have visuals of what was ahead and around each winding corner of that part of the track), suddenly we heard voices approaching fast. I stepped aside as down raced a quartet of mountain bikers shrieking cheeky hellos. Whoosh, and they were gone. We could not imagine they rode up and forever we puzzled over how they got their bikes up the mountain; carrying them up would have been so tedious. But maybe that is what happened and the thrill of speeding down was an adequate reward for the effort.
The forest surrounding the car park was grand but open with little undergrowth remaining, where it edged this part of the Savage River.