We booked this trip rather late as I’d been trying to contact another camp ground with no success alas. To date I've still not heard from them.
Arriving about 0930 onsite, we found that the site we had booked had been taken by a family friend and being a rather hot weekend, we would now have to set up and be in the hot, hot sun all day long. I tried to convince Glenn to take another site that was lightly shaded, but was in close proximity to another large camping group, but he wasn’t easily swayed. So with no choice but to make the best of it we headed down to the sites with no shade.
Noticing one spot where we might be able to get out of the worst of the sun, I encouraged Glenn to check it out. He was rather upset that we couldn’t get the site we’d booked and in no mood to really listen to anything, I left it up to him to decide. It then took us ages to get the camper in the right spot. There were raised voices and angry looks, but eventually things went together.
While still setting up, I got bitten by the biggest ant that has any right nipping me on the leg. And it really stung for quite awhile. As I was howling in pain, another ant got me on the foot. I dumped my thongs at the door to the camper and wasn’t going to move till the area got raked! Once that was done, I was extremely wary from then on. Consequently I only put my feet on the ground when necessary for the entire camp and even sitting on the chair wasn’t totally safe!
Realising that we were sweating profusely, I encouraged Glenn to head for the
(well more like a
creek up here). We don’t bother with
towels or swimming costumes … just straight in clothes and all. It’s not very deep here so we venture
downstream to see if there is somewhere we can get in the creek … body and all
… and we find it. The hole is about
waist deep so Telashi gets to swim and Kiah doesn’t hold back either so it must
be hot. Nerang
This is our first trip without Jack. It’s been less than a week and I still turn to call him. Glenn notices this and gives me some cheek, but when we return to camp, we both raise our glasses and toast the Old Boy. I will admit it’s a bit easier without him, but not … all at the same time.
Then one of the dogs gets bit by an ant the size of an elephant. Kiah I think. But by the end of the trip, we’ve all been bitten. And they really, really hurt! I’m sitting on my comfy chair with legs up and both the dogs are in the camper. So funny but not. Seems the ant bites will make Kiah feel under the weather later in the week - or that's what we think.
Cars slowly return to the large tent camp and we realise that it’s a big group of P Platers. Hopefully they won’t be very noisy tonight. They don towels and head to the Deep Hole to the south of the campground. It’s where we were going to head, but not now I guess.
A horse rider circles the paddock doing jumps. Apparently she is the owner’s sister’s daughter and they are up in the only house here. I recall when we came out here first time that the owner (David) said he had the yard up there booby trapped – I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking either.
We spend the rest of the day trying to avoid ants, going for swims and preparing drinks, but then it’s time to think about dinner. T-bone & Veg with a
chaser – mud I think. Camp Cake
Our neighbours thankfully aren’t all that noisy, but on a still night in the middle of nowhere, they are loud enough.
It’s early to bed for us although to start with it’s hard to fall asleep. There is no snoring from the dog bed area anymore. The kids are loudish, but get quieter as the night goes on. The drinking and laughing soon takes it toll on the P Platers though.
Next morning it’s easy to lay in bed snoozing, but seems Glenn can’t seem to sleep in and makes coffee.
We fight off more ants today and plan to do some more swimming. Glenn wants to pack things up fairly early and I suggest we head off to the
for a gander. So it’s a plan! Natural Bridge
We start our pack up and I’m keeping a nervous eye out for ants. Neither dog wants to come out of the camper and I don’t blame them.
We head down to the creek for another swim as it’s getting hotter and hotter.
Back at camp, we finish off the pack up and lock up the camper. The plan now is to visit the Natural Arch. It’s only about 5 – 10 kilometres further south of us, so it seems a pity not to visit it. We plan to leave the dogs locked in the Dog Box at the entrance and walk in as I believe it isn’t very far.
We are on the road and heading south before long and crossing over the
I make comment that there are a few of those in our travels. Seems the family name is synonymous with water crossings in the country. Not far past the bridge is a café and not far past that is the entrance to the park. We head in and park off the road, leaving the dogs with water. Glenn tells me that he used to come here as a kid and jump though the hole in the roof. I’m sure I’ve been here before but it must have been as a young child so don’t really have a memory of it.
And we start walking in. Before too long we are at the information booth and the trail starts not far past it. The signage claims that the easiest way to do this is to follow the arrows, but we start in the opposite direction getting all the stairs out of the way first. The map also claimed we could see the archway from the trail, but we don’t see if for awhile. I’d have really hated going the other way. Stairs really take if out of me since I hurt my knee years ago at a concert, but this is all downhill so we have to watch out that we don’t slip. We reach the bottom of the valley and there are people swimming in the creek beside a sign that clearly states you can’t swim.
Moving further along we see more swimmers and people jumping as Glenn did in years gone past. I head down to snap off a few photos and we encounter many people under the arch taking photos with their flash even though the sign clearly states that using the flash kills the glow worms in the cave. I see a small bat and would love to take a photo but don’t wish to kill any glow worms which aren’t glowing at the present time. Passing a family with a stroller, we head up to the top of the archway falls and then back up to the signage and out to the dogs.
It was lovely to see it and would have been nice to take some time to spend looking at all things natural, but it was exceptionally busy with people ignoring signs so I didn’t feel so bad about leaving our dogs where we did on the far edge of the park.
Back in the car we are heading off once more. Upon our return to camp roughly an hour later, we see the P Platers all lined up near our camper. It seems they have an archery passion and are firing off arrows into a bank not far from our camper. They seem to have about 50 arrows and are firing them off in turn.
Making lunch is easy whilst the camper is packed away and we start to do this and watch the archery antics.
After a while the arrow firing stops and they return to their camp, jump in their cars and drive off, so we guess they are off to the pub for more drinks for tonight. This leaves the campground rather quiet as we are almost the only tenants.
I suggest a dip in the Deep Hole upstream and Glenn agrees so we head off in that direction.
Telashi is very keen to swim, but Kiah doesn’t want to get in. We notice a rope bridge going up towards the guest house and wander over to investigate it. Before long I’m having a swim as well. It’s about hip height for as far as I walk out which is quite a ways. I stop and notice the owner’s sisters family boys coming down from the hill top. They jump in and swim across to the rope bridge. I ask them how deep it is further upstream and get a reply of 7 – 8 feet – so well over my head.
After being in the area for about ½ an hour, Glenn decides it’s time to head home, I wave to the boys and say goodbye and we return to the vehicle to hitch up the camper and go.
The trip home is uneventful really and we make good time. I suggest a stop for some YatalaPies and the vehicle veers that way. We’ve been buying the big family pies for years as they make great quick dinners or lunches and that is the plan today. My shout. I’m pretty sure my Grandfather took a photo of the shop back in 1941 … but it was on a different site and called a different name … I forget to ask if it’s the same place.
We are home ½ hour later and unpacking. It’s still early in the day for us as the trip only takes just over an hour. Guess house chores are in order –wrapping up and freezing some of those pies – and putting another piece in the oven for dinner.
Sorry, didn't collect our AH for this trip ... was too worried about getting bit by ants to relax.
Trip Kilometres: 194
Trip Duration: 48 hours