Sunday, 13 May 2018

Neika to St. Crispins Well 2018

Today is an easy walk from Neika to St. Crispins Well and return.

Parking opposite the old school (open 1898 to 1944), we set off up the only hill on the walk. Weather is a bit breezy and cool, but we soon warm up.

Parked and ready to go

Soon we reach the junction with the track from Fern Tree and signs re track closures. Not our track, though.

I had suggested that the gazelles in the group might want to moderate their pace, words which fell on non-existent ears as they were already well ahead leaving echoes of conversation in their wake.

Doesn't matter. Everyone was pleased to stretch their legs, plus they would have to try really hard to loose the track.

It didn't take long to warm up, the bush and the mountain cutting down the breeze.

Photos below just show some of the track as we power along.

Occasional gaps provide a view south

Cathedral Rock
 Several walkers asked the question, "Can we climb that?". The answer is yes, we can. I remember doing it years ago, pre-blog. Starting from Betts Rd. if I remember correctly, going up a steep fire trail to a level saddle where a steep, but not too long, track leads up to the peak from the rear.

I'll add it to the to-do list.

We reach the turn off to St. Crispins Well in record time. However, it's Morning Tea o'clock and it's not very sunny here, so we set off towards a better spot. I said we wouldn't look at the Well until we came back so we could highten the anticipation.

On we go, chasing the sun which keeps ahead of us so we stop at a pleasant spot in the road for tea.

We'd only seen one other person, that was a cyclist that crept up behind and made both Geoff and myself jump. Why don't they use their bloody bells? Do they consider them unmanly? I've seen several cyclists on other walks following our group in silence while the walkers continue unaware.

We're not going to keep turning around to check if anyone is coming from behind. So cyclists, USE YOUR BLOODY BELL!!!

Morning Tea

Looking back
Tea finished, we return to the start of the side track leading to St. Crispins Well.

A nice walk of about 10 minutes takes you to the well. In 1875 the Waterworks pipeline scheme was extended to St. Crispins Well and in 1901 the pipeline was extended from here to North West Bay River near Wellington Falls.

This fills a concrete weir with a large pipe leading from it.

Water coming down the Plains Rivulet to fill the well

The return to the Pipeline Track

On the way back, we meet Lyn and her husband Brian on their bikes. I suppose I can see my way clear to give Lyn a break for not walking.

I'm pleased to say that after careful examination on enlarged photos, both bikes have bells.

Almost back to the cars, we turn left into an old quarry which we've used several times before as it provides a seating circle.


Shows how thin the layer of soil is on the mountain
I saw what looked like a small cave behind me. A very small cave as it turned out.

Almost a small cave
So, who was St. Crispin? Well, Crispin and his twin brother Crispinian were Roman Christians who upset the Roman Governor of Gaul who had them tortured and cast into a river with millstones tied to their necks. Didn't work so he had their heads cut off. That worked.

There is an alternate story linking them with Cornwall in England, but I'm starting to nod off, so look it up yourselves.

They are the patron saints of cobblers and other leather and lace workers. What that has to do with the collection of water in a fake well eludes me.

October 25th is St. Crispians day. All you Shakespeare fans will remember Sir Laurence Olivier as Henry V rabbiting on about St. Crispins Day and the coming Battle of Agincourt. Seems it's a popular day for a fight as the Battle of Balaclava (Charge of the Light Brigade), Battle of Shangani (1893), Second Battle of El Alamein (WWII), and numerous others both known and little known took place on the 25th. 

If you're desperate to see Olivier give his speech, CLICK HERE.

We had 14 walkers and covered 13.55km in 3:48hrs.

Quite a pleasant walk and one I had hoped some of the newer class members would take part in, but this was not to be.

Click here to download GPX file

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