Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
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Walls of Jerusalem – Day 2C – Pottering around Jaffa Vale

It was still only mid-afternoon when we returned to Jaffa Vale, and although the “boys” (my brother and his son) were happy to take it easy I decided to wander partway down Jaffa Vale towards Lake Ball. As I explored the area, checking out the start of our route for day three, I startled a wallaby which leaped across the valley in search of water.

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In fact, the water is a curious thing, as a creek runs down the valley but spends almost more time below ground than above it. You can hear it gurgling and sometimes you have to be very careful not to step into one of the many holes and outlets that mark its course. There are little pools as well, which, on a sunny day, make a lovely foreground for the vast vistas.

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The pencil pines skirt the edges of the vale, and it is quite atmospheric to venture in amongst the ancient stands.

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When I returned to camp, I noticed a nearby larger tarn marked on the map, and convinced David to come with me to find it, a task made easier by reading the coordinates off the map, plugging them into my GPSr and following the arrow. It was a beautiful little spot, although a bit damp underfoot in places.

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There was one particularly bemusing cool thing that was a bit hard to illustrate in a photograph, although I shall try and explain it. The little puddle just to the front left of David in the photo below was like a water volcano: the ground level was higher than all the surrounding terrain, and yet water was flowing out of the puddle to the left and the right, to reach the lower level of the tarn itself. The little puddle was pretty close to being two metres deep, and the upwelling pressure from water coming down from higher up the valley behind must have been sufficient to force the abundant and surprising flow.

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Finally (although the photos come from different times of day) here are three photos of Dixon’s Kingdom Hut, a humble shelter that has undergone some necessary restoration over the years. It’s tall enough to stand up in, but the sides are probably not quite 1.5m high.

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