Because we were keen to secure a site, we set out early (for us) on Good Friday for our camping adventure to Kanangra-Boyd National Park – roughly 3.5 hours drive west-ish.
Given that I get terribly car sick for anything other than a short jaunt, I generally take on the driving duties when we go away, which I don’t mind at all, because 1. Don gets to relax and enjoy the scenery, and 2. I don’t get sick. The trip to the mountains was super-quick, the trip through the mountain rather less so, but post-Blackheath we’d shaken off most of the traffic and it was very easy going. And we had a lovely time listening to the very enjoyable History of Rome podcast.
Quite a way into the trip, while driving along on a quite busy (for the country) main road, we spotted a kangaroo bounding across the road – something I had never seen in the middle of the day! Then, suddenly, another followed it, stopped in the middle of the road, stared at me and then threw itself at GerryScotti!
There was no way I could have stopped or avoided it without causing a terrible accident. I’ve never, ever hit anything (animate or inanimate) with a car before, however I remained calm, slowed and pulled over to the side of the road (all the while worrying about how we would get the corpse off the road, how I would call WIRES without phone reception, wondering how to check for a joey &etc) and made Don get out and see what had happened.
Amazingly, there was no kangaroo corpse on the road behind us and there was no kangaroo corpse attached to GerryScotti. A very, very nice man (from Bob’s or Dave’s 4WD Adventure Tours – we were a little too shaken to read) who was in the line of cars behind us, pulled over when we did and said the kangaroo had just bounded back off into the forest and assured us that they were pretty tough. Amazingly, there was no damage at all to GerryScotti (or DeathMachine3000 as we now like to refer to him).
We continued on our way to the campsite, down and up the terrifyingly windy road to Jenolan Caves and on to the long dirt road to the camping ground.
The trip was beginning to as reveal itself as a journey of firsts – first time running down an animal, first time driving on dirt – what could be next?
Despite our worries, we scored a perfect campsite! But the $30 Coles tent was definitely the bodgiest around.
The firsts did not stop with the kangaroo and the dirt road. While I was making up the tent, I spied a scorpion heading toward our stash of blankets! I’d never seen one before! Don made me dispose of it before I could get a crisp picture, fuzzy scorpion below.
We were concerned that we were definitely the stand-out camping novices until later in the afternoon when a couple arrived at the neighbouring site – wearing white shirts and with camping equipment still in the packaging. Still, their tent was infinitely superior to ours.
Despite being novice campers, we were gratified to discover that we had packed all of the necessary equipment, without being excessive. Well, mostly all the necessary equipment – we did forget to bring plates!! But the lack of plates turned out to be not such a terrible thing – we Made Do.
After setting up and disposing of scary wildlife, we explored our surroundings: forded a swampy stream and meandered about a paddock heliport with old grazing/farming artifacts scattered about. There were kangaroos everywhere – fortunately they did not try to throw themselves at us!
And I Just Loved It!
Our decision to leave home early was again proved the superior one because a huge influx of people arrived around 3-5pm who were left without spots with a fire-pit. An English family with a camper-trailer was forced to park and set up camp on the roadway!
What we really adored about the whole camping experience was observing the peeps around us – close enough to totally to spy on and make up interesting stories about them, but not enough to have to engage. Highlights: the older mountain-bikers next to us, who had camping utterly and totally all down and amazing fire-building skillz; the lesbians with the separate samll tent for food supplies & the 45 minutes of meditation facing the sunset; the DFH’s who made camp, headed off in the campervan and returned with the campervan full of enormous trees; the aforementioned English family with the trailer who had Special Loud, Clear Voices for the children (either that or they just did not speak to one another when the children were not around) who served an awful lot of Milo; the princessy, white-shirted neighbours with the candles with dinner and the fuzzy, pink flannelette pyjamas.
Amazingly, on both nights, many more people arrived in the evening and set up their tents in the dark in odd places, such as the middle of the nearby swamp!
Many camping pix below (if you know our super-seekrit non-Don&Carol flickr account, go there to see many, many moar – if you don’t know it and are madly curious, email me).
It was initially kind of confronting not having any phone or internets. But I absolutely loved every second of it. So amazingly relaxing!
We’ve subsequently decided to upgrade our equipment – bye, bye lovely $30 Coles tent! – and regularly get out amongst it in the wilderness.