Monday, 11 March 2013

Circuit of western end of Lake Burley Griffin

When Trevor and I do the Coast to Coast walk late this year (see earlier posts on this blog for more details) thee are a couple of days with 20 mile (32 km) walking. I keep including days with longer walks to build up so that the days following the long walks are not going to be "ouch!" days.

Yesterday I decided to do the western Lake Burley Griffin circuit. I parked at the National Library and this added a kilometre to 16km circuit.

Over the past year or so lots of signage has gone up on some of the frequently used tracks and I was pleased to see that the western LBG circuit was well signed. I did have my map with me so would have been able to navigate my way around however I did appreciate the signs clearly setting out which path to take at each of the junctions.

Yesterday was a Sunday and it was warm and sunny and half the Canberra population seemed to be out on this particular circuit. If someone told me that there was a bike race running on the circuit I would almost have believed it. There were hundreds of people out and about, not only on bikes, on all sorts of mobility devices as well as on foot.

Leaving from the National Library I crossed under Commonwealth Avenue and then crossed the Lake via Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. The early cloud was still around so the lake looked a little ordinary. As I was doing an anticlockwise circuit I passed the bike hire place which seemed to be doing a roaring trade and explained some of the less than competent bike riders I encountered. Next came the pedal boat hire place where I stopped and grabbed a cappuccino before continuing on my way. At this point the path hugs Parkes Way until Lady Denman Drive comes in.

Across the lake views of various parts of the city could be seen. At one point Woden's Lovatt Tower could be seen peeping over trees. It was a perspective of the tower that I had not previously seen.

As I was crossing Black Mountain peninsula I took advantage of the toilet block as I was not sure when the next one would be. As I returned to the path I was greeted by an acquaintance who was riding the circuit and had paused to gain his breath after slogging up the rise to the high point on the path as it crosses the peninsula.

The ACT rowing championships were underway and the boats on lake and provided a change from the racing bikes on the path.

There was a good view over to the National Arboretum as the path swept around the lake shore and headed towards Scriviner Dam. In this section there were warning signs stating that the blackberries had been sprayed with a herbicide and not to eat the fruit. I hope the birds read the signs before they tucked in to the miserable fruit from this summers poor crop. There certainly was an abundance of bushes even if the fruit was miserable this year.

The clouds had cleared by the time I got to the dam wall and the day was heating up. I was thankful that I had a good supply of water with me. The camelback pack is great when you only want to carry water and not much else.

Runtastic kept me informed of each kilometre I covered. this was good as there was not a clear indication of how far remained from the signs on the circuit. They simply kept telling me that the circuit was 16 km.

Nearing Lotus Bay the path lead straight towards Parliament House and its flag pole. There was not a breathe of wind. The flag hung limp from the mast.

In the days when the boys did cross country running I used to think that Lotus Bay was quite a distance along the road from Flynn Drive and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I covered the distance in almost no time at all. Well, it may have taken 10 minutes but in the overall scheme of things it didn't take long.

Back at Commonwealth Avenue Bridge I went under the road and headed back to the National Library. I had intended to grab some lunch at te library bu on seeing the long queue waiting to be served at Bookplate I decided that I wouldn't wait and headed back to my car.

All up I walked 17.17km. It took me 2 hours 50minutes. My average pace was 9 minutes 56 seconds per km. The gain was 207m and the fall was 208m.

Later in the day Trevor and I walked down to the Tuggeranong Town Centre and back, effectively doing a lake circuit.

All up I covered more than 30kms for the day and, yes, I was a little tired at the end of the day.

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