Day 6 dawned clear and warm as usual with a cooked breakfast. It was our last day in camp so we
had to pack up our gear, dismantle our tents and help the team put away the gear. I helped pack
up the electric fence yard and helped Grace to pack the truck.
Once the chores were done John suggested we all line up for a photo together, formed up in a
line - to demonstrate how well we could now ride. Notice - even the pack horses and the spares were lined up !:-
After the photo call, we headed east out of camp the same way we'd gone on day 2, only this time we split
into two groups near a creek at the top of the ridge. I chose to go with Monique and the cantering group
and we trotted and cantered along tracks and trails for about 40 minutes. Hell on an old man's knees - but great fun.
Then we descended a ridge onto the Nungar plain. The plan was to canter across it to the centre and the creek, then
once we'd crossed safely - canter across to the other side and join the rest of the group. We were all feeling
pretty comfortable and there were a lot of holes that the horses navigated happily. We formed up at one point
and Brendon suggest he go ahead and get a photo of us all cantering towards him :-
After crossing the plain - there were more tracks and at one stage we had a long straight section of track
with a good solid surface and no holes for a couple of kms. Before I knew it Monique was out off the front
of the group and hurtling along at a flat gallop on Rapture. The rest of us took off after her, but Andy
(the Wolverine) shot past Cascade and I like we were standing still - tying to catch Monique. He didn't catch her !
We joined the rest of the group and stopped for lunch at Gavells hut then descended down out of the high
country towards Providence Flat and the Snowy Mountains Highway. We descended through an area that had been
recently burnt and was rife with black wattle and snow gum suckers at about 4m in height. Making it near
impossible to see where we were heading. It seems the horses knew the way se we let the lead horse go and
promptly followed him down the descent and arrived at the snowy Mountains highway crossing about 100m from
the crossing. Again Conrad and Brendan made a "horse road block" a hundred meters or so up the highway
and we crossed as one.
We followed around the edge of the plain and arrived back at Providence Portal (where we'd started the
ride on Day 2) at a slow walk. I was riding with John Rudd for the final few kms and talking about the
land, farming and their business at Reynella. As we reached the last km of plain we could see the finish
point and the trucks/bus and float. John yelled out to everyone that no one was to trot or canter back to
the start point - again - a training exercise for the horses. One of the big problems with most horse
riding establishments is that the horses know when they are heading home and tend to speed up. Not so at Reynella !!
We dismounted and removed saddles and lead the horses into a fenced paddock. A handful of us helped John to
roll out a bale of Hay in the adjacent paddock and then we let the horses in, removing bridles as they entered.
The horses are apparently left here for a couple of days to rest, before going out again on another ride.
We loaded all the gears and saddles into the back of the horse float, grabbed a beer and hopped on the bus
back to Reynella. Accommodation for the night and a final dinner was included, so we checked back into our
rooms, had a much needed shower, (the first for five days) and then joined the team for dinner where we remembered
the trip and organised to swap details and photos.
The next morning we headed home to Sydney, stiff, sore, tired, but very relaxed.