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CAMPING WEEKEND… Or so we thought

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that my partner and I enjoy our winter camping trips.

Given we were in lockdown in July, we didn’t get to head out into the (semi) wilderness then, but we managed to book a weekend away for August… namely, last weekend.

Now, as we are in regional Victoria, the metro Melbourne lockdown didn’t affect us, so while counting our lucky stars and, at least for me, apologising mentally to my poor friends stuck in lockdown in Melbourne, we headed out to our little spot. This was on the Friday.

No phone reception, no internet- a chance to switch off and relax a little.

We even actually remembered to bring all three awning poles this time (last time I forgot about the other two 😅), so for the first time ever, we had a fully operational awning. The set up looked great…

We used the wood stove to heat up the pre-made bolognese sauce and cook up some pasta for dinner…

And managed to do pretty well against what appeared to be some very frosty early morning temperatures on the Saturday (the window on our vehicle was completely iced over). 😳 Large, 100% wool offcuts- get on it.

After getting organised for the day, we headed off for a bit of a hike. We’d never been to this spot before, but I figured that a ‘moderate’ level trail should be okay to do, even in my very unfit state. 😂

Now, in hindsight, I suppose it’s kind of moderate, but also bordering on difficult. 🤣 Because while the trail started off relatively okay, it quickly became narrower, and steeper, and…

Rocky. ⛰

See where the shrubbery is? That’s where the path was. 😂

Now, as a much younger individual, this sort of thing was a piece of cake. I was significantly more fit, limber, and… potentially more coordinated. Although I’m not very coordinated to begin with, so the bar is quite low in that aspect. 🤣 I’ve also always had a terrible sense of balance, in that I can’t really walk toe to toe in a straight line, even with no alcohol, or balance on one leg for any amount of time.

So yes, this hike required a fair amount of concentration, because one slip up could mean a steep tumble down a rocky cliff or jagged mountain side.

But I mean- look at the view.

Obviously not recommended if you have a fear of heights, because there’s also a section like this, where you’re a bit exposed…

But again, the view

But just as we were enjoying ourselves, my phone picked up reception (probably given the height/climb as well), and I was immediately flooded with notifications.

Regional Victoria was going into lockdown as well.

At 1pm.

We were atop a mountain side, with no quick way to get down but to continue along the narrow and rocky path… And it was already after noon.

There was no way we would make it back home in time, so we continued our descent (carefully).

But of course, given the recent wild winds and… perhaps just slight lack of maintenance on the path markers…

We got lost. 😂

Thankfully we were at a section where, if you headed down towards the base of the mountain, you were bound to hit at least a path, so we just very slowly made our way down, until we eventually hit a path. I did semi-impale myself on a tree branch, though. My poor thermal leggings now has a hole in it. 😭 (I did actually say, ‘oh DARN’ to my partner, who just looked at me with thinly veiled shame and disappointment for my terrible pun)

Thankfully we didn’t miss the cave that this trail is famous for.

There’s no way you can capture the giant boulders that formed this little hollow, so I recommend seeing it for reals (see below for details).

But even once we descended (and had some much needed brunch/lunch), the walk back to camp was another 3-4km 😅, so by the time we got back to our tent, and quickly packed everything up to head home, I think it was around 3-4pm or so.

And then we hit another snag, in that when we tried to start the car, we realised that the battery was flat. 😂 Thankfully there was still one other group nearby who could jump start us (everyone else had left by this stage), so we could actually get going. Keep in mind that there’s no phone reception at the campsite, so we are forever grateful to that family for helping us out.

So yes, while the trip ended a day earlier than planned, we still managed to do some pretty awesome things. It sucks that we’re back in lockdown again, with case numbers not decreasing, but we’ll just have to look forward to when we can eventually head out camping again.

Because this was a pretty bloody good view.

Even with the semi-impalement. 🤣

Stay home, stay safe, and get vaccinated if/when you can!

For those that are interested, the hike that we did is called the Buckertillible walk in Mt Buangor State Park. Highly recommended but certainly don’t attempt it without the right weather, gear, and some basic fitness levels, because you’ll definitely need it.

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A Ph. D graduate in Microbiology, residing in Victoria, Australia. Currently working in multiple locations but still in the STEM field. 👀 🦠 🧫 🧬

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