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Reisverslag My first trip
21 maart 2016
My first trip
But I'm getting ahead of myself, let me explain a few things we've done the last two days.
Thursday March 17th me and Elvin woke up at 5AM. We decided to take the 6:11 bus so we were sure to be on time. We were supposed to meet behind La Trobe for our first trip to Kooyoora.
We left around 7:20 and it took about an hour to get there. When we arrived near Kooyoora they dropped each group off on a different spot, our leaders were waiting for us.
Once we've grouped up we had a little chat about our essential equipment such as gaiters, sunnies, sunscreen and a hat.
We started walking right through the bush. The plan was to walk to certain spots, where we'd drop our bags and our leaders would talk about the specific place we were at.
The first spot we stopped was a hill, we dropped our bags at the base and got up the hill. Here there were big holes in the slope of the mountain. We were told these were called celestal pools. They were used by the indigenous peoples years back. These pools filled up with water as soon as it rained. To keep them from becoming watering holes for kangaroos they blocked them off with big rocks. Talking about kangaroos, there were a few standing 15m behind us in some shrubs, watching as as we were told about the celestal pools. Still not used to them, it's amazing to see a kangaroo so close by.
We had lunch in the shade of two huge boulders. It started heating up already, by the end of the afternoon it was at least 35 degrees, which is pretty hot to begin with, let alone with a 15/20kg backpack and going uphill the whole day. Still it was fun, and I've learned not to start complaining since this only makes it worse for yourself and others.
At around 2PM we found our camping spot. We set up our tents and relaxed at camp for a bit.
Later we went to one of the many mines located in the park. This mine was a quartz mine was used in the second world war. The quartz was used for radios back then. They had a very ineffective way of mining, since they blew most of the rock up with dynamite. Which is directly opposed with the view of the indigenous people, as they would never treat the land like this. In the background was Mt. Kooyoora. Some of the groups actually climbed the mountain, we didn't, our group had a slightly different route. We walked around this area for a bit and our leader taught us some map basics
At around 5pm we were back at camp and got into a cooking circle and everyone started preparing their meals. Spaghetti and mince for me. Whilst in the circle you had the opportunity to get to know everyone a bit better and chat with one another. We played a card game and basically waited until it was relatively dark so we could go to bed. I decided to stay awake until it was completely dark because I wanted to gaze at the stars before going to bed. Even though the moon was very bright and it was slightly cloudy, you see so much more out there compared to the Netherlands. It's beautiful.
Have I told you about my tent? No? Oh.
I borrowed a tent from Uni, they lend out tents for a night or two if you don't have one. So me and Liam, my tent buddy, got a tent from uni and brought it with us. It turned out the tent wasn't really a tent, it was only a tarp (just the outside of a tent). No worries as long as it's not raining, which it wasn't...yet.
12 o clock and the weather turned, badly. It started raining heavily and there was a tunderstorm to complement the gusts of wind.
Since it was only a tarp, everything got wet, and I couldn't sleep. After a while you just accept the random droplet that come from small leaks in your tarp. You accept that there are ants crawling everywhere, and you accept that you're both cold and hot at the same time, eventually I fell asleep.
After a good solid 4 hours of sleep we woke up and got ready for a second day of hiking. It wasn't raining anymore but it was hazy and cold. It was going to rain during the day so I put on a vest and a raincoat. Our leaders told us there was a water drop set up for us. Which was good since I was 'almost out of water'. We were told to bring 6L of water, but since thursday was so hot most of us drank more than expected. So a water drop was nice as it ensured we all had enough for the day.
We hiked up Melville Hill which has a lookout point on the top. Even though it was still hazy you had a fairly nice view of the park.
The next thing we did was to go down this hill, through the bush. This hill was about 400m high so it was a nice hike down, a bit slippery since it was raining a little bit but it all adds to the excitement.
At the bottom of the hill we found shelter for the rain and had a little break before hiking the last few kilometres to our pickup point. On the way we passed a hill, which we climed, on top were the 'wind caves'. These caves were hollowed out by the wind throughout the years. That was pretty cool, but the best thing was the view, which was stunning.
You could see a few nearby hills and the impact humans have on the environment. One side of a hill we saw was covered in bush, much like the ones we've been walking through for 2 days, and right besides that was nothing. All the trees were removed which left a bare side of the hill. Quite a weird thing to see if you think of the significance that bush once had for indiginous people.
After a few hours going through the bush we arrived at our pick up point at around 3pm, here we played a few card games. It's nice to see how quickly you can go from not knowing any of the 9 people you're with, to a group that has banter and is totally comfortable with each other.
All in all, this was a good trip, next trip is the Alps trip which is 4 days and a LOT more difficult. Looking forward to that one.
We closed the trip with a visit to the pub later that evening and returned home before 12 for a good night's sleep. Quite the experience, loved it.
21 maart 2016 09:31 | Door: Dikke Piel
Wish i could take a gander at the night sky there.. enjoy it for me as well!
21 maart 2016 11:11 | Door: Trui Veen
Good to see (hear) that you are settling in nicely. But, my oh my, are you seriously getting all your credits for outdoor activities!!?? Good to read that at least you have had to endure some nasty weather; seems more like an effort now! And a good preparation if ever you would like to participate in Expeditie Robinson. Real kangaroos; must be weird.... And as for the slowing down; remember that you will need to speed up again once you get back! ;-) Take care out there! And say hi to Elvin (I will read his blogs later on).
27 maart 2016 12:01 | Door: RickvH
Goed bezig Robert! Lijkt op een aflevering Ultimate Survival op Discovery Channel. Hou je taai en veel plezier toegewenst!