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Tarkine Rainforest Track Itinerary disclaimer

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Tarkine Rainforest Track
trip notes: TRT

validity: 01/05/2010 to 30/04/2011

Please note: These Trip Notes are valid for May 2010 to April 2011 departure dates only
and are subject to change. It is important that you review the Trip Notes closer to your
departure date for the most up-to-date information.



The Tarkine Rainforest Track is Tasmania’s premier forest walk. The only multi day rainforest
walk in Tasmania leads you through the heart of Australia’s largest tract of cool temperate
rainforest. Recognised globally for its ecological significance, this forest is a direct link to the
ancient continent of Gondwana. The trail leads you into a cathedral like rainforest canopy
and a surprisingly open under storey. The trail was designed by the Tarkine National
Coalition (the conservation organisation representing the Tarkine) and Tarkine Trails in
2004. Prior to this the area was largely unexplored as a walking route. For this reason the
trail provides a unique experience of isolation and wildness, one that can't be found on the
popular walking tracks in Tasmania.


Itinerary disclaimer
The itinerary attached is correct at time of printing. Please note: occasionally our itineraries
are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers'
comments and our own research. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you print and review a final
copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes
that affect your plans. For the latest updated trip notes please visit our website:
www.tarkinetrails.com.au

We will contact you two months prior to departure for your final payment and 1-2 weeks
prior to departure by phone to finalise all the information relevant to your tour (hire gear,
pick up points, food requirements etc)
Hyperlinks
Trip Map            Transport
Itinerary           Inclusions
Pick Up Points      Trip Grading
Drop Off Points     Common Questions
Group Size          Travel Insurance
Accommodation       Health
Meals               Issues on your trip
Meal Inclusions     Your Fellow Travellers
Single Travellers   Gear List




Trip map
Itinerary                                                                   Back to top


Day One: Entering the Tarkine - 7 km walk
Highlights: Introduction to the Tarkine, Arthur River, ancient temperate rainforest.

Your guides will meet you at your departure point as pre-arranged. From Launceston, we
drive north to Devonport and then follow the Bass Hwy west to Burnie. After a short lunch
stop we head south, through scenic rolling hills, towards the heart of the Tarkine. The car
journey traverses highly productive agricultural land, before descending into the thickening
forest of the Arthur River, the northern boundary of the Tarkine. Approaching the Arthur
River, the forest grows older and wilder, and the green mosses deepen. It is here we depart
the vehicle and prepare to cross the Arthur River by raft. Your expert guides will accompany
you on the 20 metre crossing, ensuring you arrive dry and safe on the southern side of the
river. From there we walk across a number of small creeks and the Keith River, after which,
we begin the major ascent of the day along an old forestry road. The climb is steady and
consistent, with most groups reaching the top after one hour of walking. This is the most
challenging section of the whole walk. We then leave the road behind as we snake along the
edge of Pinner Creek. A small trail leads deeper into the forest and from here, evidence of
modern civilisation disappears amongst the ancient myrtle and sassafras trees. After a short
walk, we arrive at our first campsite located on the banks of the pristine Mystery Creek. This
is an ideal spot to explore with a camera, while we prepare your evening meal. The forests
of the Tarkine have retained their general floristic structure since the time of the final break
up of Gondwana, some 60 million years ago. Since then, the most abundant tree species,
the Nothofagus cunninghamii or the myrtle has continued to dominate the rainforest
landscape.



Day Two: Walking with Giants - 7 km walk
Highlights: Ancient rainforest, Octopus’ Garden, giant eucalypt forests.
Wake to the smell of your favourite hot drink, followed by a hearty breakfast by the banks
of Pinner Creek. In summary, today’s walk involves ascending to the rainforest plateau from
where the trail gently ascends into camp. The uphill sections are a moderate grade with two
short sections of steep walking. From camp, the forested path leads us deeper into the
heart of the Tarkine rainforest, the largest patch of cool temperate rainforest in the
Southern Hemisphere. Amazingly, the area has remained almost unknown to the outside
world with many unexplored valleys and wild rivers. As we venture deeper, the forest
structure changes and we encounter the first of the giant Eucalypt trees. The Tarkine is
home to some of the largest flowering trees on the planet. Giant Eucalyptus obliqua trees
tower 80 m above our heads. The circumferences of some of these trees are larger than ten
people linking hands at the base. These giant eucalypts are among the tallest flowering
plants on the planet and are simply spectacular. We have time to sit back and contemplate
these giant trees and capture some impressive photos. There is one particular tree that has
a large opening in its base that can fit numerous people inside! Winding our way through
groves of huge trees, we ascend onto the rich volcanic plateau that supports the open
myrtle rainforest of the Tarkine. These rich volcanic soils are located in a band across the
north west of Tasmania. Much of the rich agricultural land developed in the northern region
of the state is dependent on this fertile, volcanic soil. Luckily, the Tarkine rainforests
escaped agricultural development and we can enjoy them in their pristine state.
As we meander through the stunning mixed forest, the floristic structure changes once
again to include groves of musk Olearia argophylla. The forest floor is potholed with small
diggings created by the shy Southern Brown Bandicoot searching for an underground tasty
morsel. With fewer than 10% of their original distribution remaining in Tasmania, we are
truly privileged to be walking amongst the giant eucalypt trees of the Tarkine. Further along
the trail, we walk between two massive, fallen, Eucalypt trees. Root systems that coil like a
snake loom on both sides as you pass through this gateway. The ‘Tree Gate’ marks the
entrance to the Octopus’ Garden. Once again, the forest structure changes to one of almost
nothing but pure myrtle trees. Some of the trees make amazing shapes, and it‘s here that
we pass the largest myrtle we’ve seen in the Tarkine. At various times throughout the year,
you will see a myriad of fungi – purple, fluorescent orange, black, red and bright blue.
Tonight’s camp is located on the edge of a forest ridge surrounded by myrtle trees, giant
tree ferns and a carpet of green mosses and lichens.


Day Three: Tarkine Falls 8 km walk
Highlights: Tarkine Falls, the Shrine, views of thickly forested valleys stretching out to the
horizon, giant fern glade.
After breakfast we cross two pristine creeks covered with lush green rainforest where you
can fill up your water bottle for the day’s walking. The forest surrounding the creeks is
thicker as the extra moisture allows for more abundant growth. Here we encounter our first
patch of the infamous horizontal Anodopetalum biglandulosum. Horizontal is a Tasmanian
endemic species that grows in the wettest parts of the state. The tree trunks consistently
fall over and grow horizontally whilst sending up shoots towards the sky, creating a virtual
wall of impenetrable vegetation. There are many tales of walkers who have inadvertently
run into horizontal and have spent all day struggling through a maze of tree trunks to only
cover 1 km. Luckily we avoid such hardships as our trail cleverly negotiates around these
obstacles. Shortly after emerging from the valley, we walk through a glade of giant tree
ferns, Antarctica dicksonia. Tree ferns, the size of small trees, have grown in this spot for
hundreds of years, hence their remarkable size and shapes. There is one spectacular tree
fern that has four trunks growing out of the one root system! The ancestry of tree ferns
predates the ancient myrtle forests, with scientists dating their evolution at some 160
million years ago. After leaving the fern glade we complete the days uphill walking, before
contouring around the edge of a large rain forest dominated plateau. Views from the edge
of the plateau extend over vast, forested valleys. With lunch approaching we arrive at the
Shrine. The Shrine is a small waterfall located on the edge of the rain forest plateau. A short
walk leads to the base of the falls where you can fill your water bottle with sparkling fresh
water. After lunch we head towards Tarkine Falls. Our carefully designed route skirts around
most of the horizontal. The small patches that we do negotiate give you a taste of what it’s
like to explore in the Tarkine first hand. After two hours walking through stunning open
rainforest, we arrive on the banks of Eastons Creek. As we approach Tarkine Falls, the sound
of tumbling water increases and then the forest reveals a beautiful waterfall. Even during
low summer flow, the water on Tarkine Falls mystically braids over the broken basalt rock
face. Myrtles tower above and giant tree ferns lean in from the sides framing this previously
undiscovered gem. We spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the falls, taking a refreshing
swim and settling into camp. After dinner, there is an opportunity for a night time stroll to
see glow worms that form miniature constellations on the moss covered rock walls that
surround the base of the falls.


Day Four: Day walk to Tarkine Lookout - 9 km walk
Highlights: Eastons Creek, panoramic views of the Tarkine rainforest.
Today we embark on a 5 hour round trip to Tarkine Lookout. The day’s walk is backpack free
and traverses a number of pristine rainforest creeks, before descending into a valley of
thicker horizontal forest. We eventually hit a solid wall of bauera, Banksia and tea tree. This
vegetation change marks the edge of a button grass island located in a sea of rainforest. We
then ascend a ridge for about thirty minutes to Tarkine Lookout. From the summit of this
button grass knoll there are extensive views of the Tarkine rainforest stretching out to the
horizon in every direction. To the north, we view the Arthur and Keith River valleys, to the
east lies the18 000 hectare Savage River National Park, and to the south and west lies the
largest patch of temperate rainforest in the Southern Hemisphere. Interspersed amongst
the rainforest are small patches of button grass and tall eucalypt forest. Your guides will
explain how the landscape in front of you illustrates the important role of fire in the
evolution of Tasmania’s vegetation types. Lunch is served here, as we sit back and soak up
the glorious views. From our vantage spot, keep your eyes peeled for two of the largest
predatory birds found in Tasmania. The endangered Wedge-tailed Eagle and Grey Goshawk
both inhabit the Tarkine. The Goshawk lives in the forest, and flies through the tree tops,
hunting a variety of small forest animals and birds. If lucky, you may glimpse this stealthy
white bird flying through the forest canopy on one of its hunting missions. The Wedge-tailed
Eagle is often seen soaring high in the sky, riding the thermals in search of prey.



Day Five: Walk into Heaven - 6 km walk
Highlights: Heaven, Eastons Creek, breathtaking views.
The majority of today's walk follows Eastons Creek, winding through some of the most
scenic rainforest of the trip. As we descend past giant tree ferns and twisted myrtles we gain
occasional glimpses of a rainforest flanked creek. Eastons Creek is home to the threatened
Giant Freshwater Crayfish. This remarkable species lives for over thirty years and grows up
to one metre long. If we are quiet, we may catch a glimpse. Platypuses are also found in the
creeks and rivers of the Tarkine, so keep your eyes peeled. We cross Eastons Creek a
number of times before arriving at a gorgeous waterhole, suspended between a tumbling
waterfall and a gentle cascade. Call it what you like, we call it Heaven. Lunch is served at
Heaven whilst we relax and soak up the sun and, for the adventurous, you can take a dip in
the pristine pool. After lunch, there is ample time to explore the spectacular geology of
rainforest surrounding heaven. It is one of the most luxurious rainforest landscapes on the
walk. After lunch we undertake a short ascent to the top of a ridge and set up camp for the
final time. Heaven camp enjoys spectacular views of Blue Peak and the valley of Eastons
Creek all the way back to Tarkine Falls. From here, you gain panoramic views of the days
walking. Whilst dinner is prepared, sit back and contemplate the ancient wonder and
mystery of the Tarkine rainforest.


Day Six: Leaving the Tarkine - 6 km walk
Highlights: Picturesque rainforest, wild river crossings.
Today we slowly make our way out of the Tarkine rainforest and return to the comfort of
modern life. After the mornings walk through callidendrous forest, we link up again with the
most remote of old forestry roads. From here the pace of the walk quickens as we walk
towards our pick up point located on the northern side of the Arthur River. The majority of
the walk is slightly downhill. On arriving at the banks of Lyons River, we prepare ourselves
for the first of two river crossings. The depth of the river crossing varies and is dependent
upon recent rainfalls. The average depth for this crossing in summer is knee high water. Our
guides will give clear instructions on how to cross safely. After a short walk, the final leg of
the track is announced by arriving on the southern banks of the lovely Arthur River, the
northern boundary of the Tarkine. The crossing is approximately 40m wide providing a fun
end to a memorable experience. The average height of water encountered on this crossing
is also knee high in summer.
We will be met at approximately 1.00pm by our friendly diver, who prepares a wonderful
"surprise lunch" to tempt us back to reality. After lunch, we drive north to Burnie and then
Launceston.


Pick up points                                                       Back to top

Place                                Time Range

Hobart                               500am to 530am

Launceston                           800am to 830am

Devonport                            930am to 1000am

Burnie                               1030am to 1100am
Pick up point instructions
Please contact us if you are unsure as to whether your pickup is suitable
Hobart – city centre only (no Eastern Shore pickups or south of Battery Point)
Launceston – city centre only
Devonport – city centre only
Burnie – city centre only

If your accommodation is not suitable for pickup then the alternative pick up locations are
Hobart – Tarkine Trails office, 148 Davey Street
Launceston – Launceston Backpackers, 103 Canning Street
Devonport – Visitor centre, 92 Formby Road
Burnie – Fish Frenzy, Along North Terrace at the bottom of Wilson Street (Next to Burnie
Surf club)


Flying in – Recommended arrival times

Hobart – the night before departure
Launceston – flight must arrive prior to 730am on the morning of departure else the night
before departure
Devonport – flight must arrive prior to 900am on the morning of departure else the night
before departure
Burnie - flight must arrive prior to 1030am on the morning of departure else the night
before departure


Drop off points                                                            Back to top

Place                               Time Range

Burnie                              500pm

Devonport                           600pm

Launceston                          700pm

Hobart                              1030pm




Drop off point instructions
Please contact us if you are unsure as to whether your drop off point is suitable.
Burnie – city centre only
Devonport – city centre only
Launceston – city centre only
Hobart – city centre only (no Eastern Shore drop offs (including Hobart Airport) or south of
Battery Point)

Flying Out – Recommended departure times
Burnie - flight must depart no earlier than 7pm on the final day
Devonport – flight must depart no earlier than 8pm on the final day
Launceston – flight must depart no earlier than 9pm on the final day
Hobart – no flights on the final day


Group size                                                                    Back to top

Maximum of 10 travellers per group


Accommodation                                                                 Back to top

Twin share quality bushwalking tent – (single tents are used when there are uneven group
numbers).


Meals                                                                         Back to top

Tarkine Trails creates an array of culinary delights from around the world. Our guides create
tasty, healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We also provide you with a plentiful supply
of healthy nibbles, muesli bars lollies and chocolate (of course!).Evening meals include:
curry, Italian pesto pasta, Asian stir fry, Mexican beans and Indian dahl. Our deserts include
halva, pancakes, pudding and custard. Lunches include laksa soup and mountain breads
served with fresh vegetables, local gourmet cheeses and tasty condiments.. We can cater
for food allergies or preferences – celiac, vegetarian, dairy-free, nut allergies etc, please let
us know your specific details (including preferred substitutes) when you book.


Meal inclusions                                                               Back to top

5 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 5 Dinner – from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day
If you are travelling with us,
From Hobart – bring money for breakfast on the first morning
From Hobart or Launceston – bring money for first morning coffee/tea stop
To Hobart on the final day – bring money for dinner in Launceston


Single travellers                                                             Back to top

There are no single supplements on this tour. Single travellers share with people of the
same sex for the duration of the trip.
Transport                                                                     Back to top

12 seater Hiace or equivalent


Inclusions                                                                    Back to top

      All meals including snacks from lunch on day one to lunch on day six.
      All group camping equipment including all first aid and safety gear.
      Experienced and professional guides with a passion for Tasmania’s wild places.
      Transport from and back to your accommodation (refer notes on pick up points and
       drop off points above to ensure you are within range).
    Entry fees to National Parks/reserves/tours/ferries.
Not Included
    Accommodation prior to the start or at the end of the tour
    Flights
    Breakfast on morning 1 and dinner on day 6


Trip Grading                                                          Back to top

Tarkine Rainforest Track grading system

Many people who join our walks have no previous experience in overnight walking and no
concept of the standard track classification system. The Tasmanian track classification
system classifies walks into four categories according to the difficulty level of the track. This
grading is fine if you are a regular walker and understand it. For first time or irregular
walkers however, the system fails to define the specific tracks challenges and weigh them
up against people’s confidence and fitness levels.

Our grading system refers to the challenges of each walk we offer and explains these
challenges according to confidence and fitness levels. Please contact us with any concerns
regarding your chosen walk prior to booking. If you book, then we highly recommend that
you participate in the pre-trip training program that is specific to your walk.

(Refer to the booking form for a copy of the training program)

Tarkine Rainforest Track

      The trail has been created and tagged by our business and is located in a very
       remote and wild area.

      The trails winds its way through mostly open rainforest and the ground is soft and
       bouncy underfoot.

      There are very few sections of mud and these sections are no deeper than a walking
       boot.
      There are many small creek crossings, some of which require sandals to ensure you
       do not get wet boots.

      The bulk of the walk is on a forest plateau that has small but regular undulating hills.
       The ascent to the plateau occurs on day one and two. The ascent is gradual for the
       most part with several steep slippery sections.

      The final day’s walk is when we negotiate the river crossings and the walk ends on an
       old forestry trail. There are two river crossings, the Keith and the Arthur, which
       require sandals and will be safely coordinated by your guides. During the summer
       months, the river crossings are not deep or dangerous and can be safely negotiated
       under the watchful eye of your guides.


Grading                                                                     Back to top

We grade this walk according to an individual’s experience and fitness level. Please pick the
category that most suits your experience and fitness level.

Never done overnight bush walk / I don't feel fit or confident

For someone who has never gone on an overnight bush walk carrying a similar weight to
what we require, and doesn’t feel fit or confident then "probably" this walk will be
challenging for you.

We suggest that you call our office and talk with us if you have any concerns. This way we
can assess in detail your specific circumstance, thoughts and feelings toward the walk.

If you do decide to book, our pre-trip training program offers a valuable support to help lift
your confidence, strength and fitness.

The ‘Tarkine Explorer’ is a tour that we've developed for people who don't feel confident to
embark on this walk. Please contact the office or visit the website for a more detailed
description of this tour.

Never done overnight bush walk / I feel fit and confident

For someone who has never gone on an overnight bush walk, never carried a similar weight
to what we require, and feels fit and confident to give it a try then "probably" this walk will
be moderate for you.

If you do decide to book, our pre-trip training program offers a valuable support to help lift
your strength and fitness.

Have done an overnight bush walk with pack/ I don't feel fit or confident

For someone who has gone on an overnight bush walk carrying a similar weight to what we
require, yet doesn't feel fit and confident to give it try then "probably" this walk will be
moderate to challenging for you.
If you do decide to book, our pre-trip training program offers a valuable support to help lift
your confidence, strength and fitness.

Have done an overnight bush walk with pack / I feel fit and confident

For someone who has gone on an overnight bush walk carrying a similar weight to what we
require, and feels fit and confident to give it try then "probably" this walk will be easy to
moderate for you.

We still suggest that you participate in our pre-trip training program.


Common Questions                                                                  Back to top

   1. Pack Weight
                                                       Provided by TT – approx weight

                                  Starting Pack
              Trip Name           Weight - Total   Tent - share of   Food Bag     Snacks

       Tarkine Rainforest Track     15-20kgs           1.8kg           2-4kg       1.5kg

          Wild Tarkine Coast        15-20kgs           1.8kg           2-4kg       1.5kg

           Tarkine Explorer          8-10kgs            n/a             n/a        1.5kg

           Overland Track           14-16kgs           1.8kg            1kg        1.5kg



   2. Washing clothes etc on trip – there are no washing facilities on this trip, we
      recommend that you bring enough clothes to last the entire trips without needing to
      wash.
   3. Amenities – shower/toilet – no showers available but plenty of good swimming spots
      (no soap/shampoo please)
   4. Weather – What is the weather going to be like – click on this link to get historical
      averages for this tour.
   5. Mobile phone reception – Basically there are no reliable spots for mobile phone
      reception on this track. We recommend that you store your mobile phone with any
      luggage that you leave with our driver.
   6. Water – there are a number of opportunities to fill up your water bottle each day.
For more detailed FAQ’s please visit our website here


Travel insurance                                                                  Back to top

This is a personal preference however we recommend that you look into purchasing the
appropriate travel insurance for your trip.
Health                                                                       Back to top

All Tarkine Trails tour participants need to be in good physical health in order to participate
fully in the group travel experience. If in the opinion of our group leader or company
representative any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to
themselves and/or the rest of the group, Tarkine Trails reserves the right to exclude them
from all or part of a trip without refund. We therefore ask that you read the itinerary in
these trip notes thoroughly and then realistically self-assess your physical ability to
complete the trip as described. If you are over 65 we request that you show them the trip
notes and ask them to prepare a medical certificate indicating that you are clear to
participate in this trip. Please forward to our office at least two weeks prior to trip
departure.


Issues on your trip                                                  Back to top

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the
nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any
issue occur while you are on your trip it is imperative that you discuss this with your lead
guide straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any
potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.


Emergency contact                                                    Back to top

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our office can be reached on Tel: +61 3 6223
5320 or +61 424 000 937.


Your fellow travellers                                               Back to top

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the
frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all
corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding
of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is
sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you
have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time,
ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time
again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group
work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
         Gear list                                                                 Back to topi

        Please read the list carefully. We will complete a gear check with you after we have picked everyone
         up on day 1 of the trip.
        The items in bold green text are available for hire from us at AUD$10 /item/trip, except gaiters,
         torches and walking poles at AUD$5 /item/trip. You need to book these items on your booking
         form to ensure that we have your correct size.
        We recommend that you bring all the personal equipment listed below in black and green text.

    Item                             Description
    Pack                             At least 65 litres, with pack liner (from camping store or tough garbage bag)
    Sleeping Bag                     At least 3 seasons (–5 C) and lightweight (only required for nights 1 and 2
    Sleeping Mat                     Self inflating or foam (lightweight)
    Torch                            Head torches are recommended
    Waterproof coat with hood        Must be goretex (or equivalent) or japara, and of high quality (not a drizabone)
    Waterproof pants                 Plastic or goretex (or equivalent) is acceptable
    Walking Poles                    Optional but highly recommended to improve balance and prevent injury
    Gaiters                          Leg protectors (for protection from mud and unlikely event of snake bite)
    Boots                            Worn in bushwalking boots, waterproof, properly sealed
    Warm jacket or jumper            x 2 Either polar fleece or woollen. Cotton is not recommended
    Thermal top                      x 1 to 2 Polypropylene, chlorofibre or woollen
    Thermal Long Johns               x 1 to 2 Polypropylene, chlorofibre or woollen
    T shirts/ short sleeved shirts   x 1 to 2 For walking in and evening wear
    Shorts                           x 1 to 2 Loose fitting for walking
    Long sleeved shirt               x 1 For walking (optional)
    Long pants                       x 1-2 depending on personal preference. Wool/synthetic (denim not advised)
    Socks                            x 3 pairs, wool or synthetic
    Underwear                        x 3 minimum
    Spare plastic bags               x 4 Shopping bags are fine, snap log bags are handy for storing small items
    Sun hat                          Wide brimmed / lightweight and sunglasses
    Beanie                           Woollen hat
    Gloves                           Woollen / synthetic
    Sandals / sandshoes              Tevas, crocs or sandshoes, for wearing at camp and river crossings
    Bathers                          Optional
    Small towel                      Lightweight e.g. chamois (optional but recommended)
    Water bottle                     1 litre (strong plastic/aluminium)
    Personal hygiene items           No soap or shampoo please
    Sunscreen/Insect repellent       Small bottle (guides will have some in the first aid kit but your are welcome to
                                     bring your own particularly if you have a brand that you like)


         Provided by us

         Stoves, fuel and all cooking equipment
         All toileting equipment including toilet paper, alcohol hand wash gel
         Cutlery, bowls and cups
         Comprehensive first aid kit and all safety equipment including EPIRB device, (emergency satellite
         device)

				
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