Test Run

Night 1

So far as well as organising and preparing goes, been an abomination. This trip was meant to be a stress reliever, instead it’s caused unnecessary stress. I feel that may be because I’m struggling to let go and be free. It’s only been small things, but they have escalated to ‘how will I ever get out of this situation, my life is a mess’

The drive to O'briens Crossing, Vic from Bendigo, Vic was a lot longer than I anticipated, but the drive was astounding. I was driving through a ravishing green forestry. Trees that almost touched the sky and plants fresh and teeming with life. Upon arrival of my campsite (5kms of dirt track forest was gone and welcoming in the bush) I was expecting a nice open area where everyone has their own space, but I was greeted with piles of cars crammed together and not much space to choose from. Luckily I found a nice spot by the "river" which is most definitely a dying a creek. There was a beautiful family of ducks along with some ducklings that made up for not having a TV. I decided I would try the annex and see how good that is. I couldn’t figure out how to keep it up, the legs would just cave in and I didn't understand why. After making was a fool of myself, I eventually admitted defeat, the laughs from the kookaburras got to much. It wasn’t a necessity for the spot anyway. I decided I would try and explore my surroundings and see what beautiful part of Australia I had landed myself in. Turns out the river is all dried up and everything looks, well, a little sad around here. After a few happy snaps I returned back to my car and thought ‘maybe I’ll drive up the road a little bit to see what else there is to offer, that's when I hit the major disaster. The fucking ignition locks up! I’m stuck in the middle of bum fuck with no phone reception and I don’t even have RACV to tow me out of here. I figured if maybe I leave it for a bit and have my dinner it might magically fix itself. It did not!!  My mind begins to panic more and more and I start panicking because I’m panicking. I’m meant to be relaxing and I just can’t shut off ‘why must these things happen to me’ I try and read a little Alan Watts to centre myself, even his mystical words can’t sustain my hysteria. I get about a page into the book and decide to try my luck on starting the Lucy up again. I use all my might and force to turn the key and by some miracle it didn't snap, and the baby purrs again! Was like somebody just decided they had enough of toying with me.... for now. With a smile on my face and back to feeling optimistic, I dive back into my book hoping to find some enlightenment and freeing of the mind. Then a great big Kanga comes bounding down the hill, i think ‘what a beautiful moment, I must capture’ I fiddle around trying to organise my camera and capture the big mama. Once I get the right lens on and turn around ready to shoot, he was hiding behind bushes. I leave the camera by my side hoping he shows himself again and continue with ‘the way of zen, by Alan Watts’ a little while after I lose myself in the book, I hear him dart off into the abyss never to be seen again. I put my camera away and I can’t find my lens cap, I begin to panic again because I feel I might of left it on the park bench because I have appeared to have picked up a foreign cap like object. I get frustrated at myself but don’t give up hope. I look all over the place hoping it’s still around. I try to use an end cap in the mean time after giving up. I then return to my throne made perfectly for duck watching and the lens cap was there all along, I am relieved but also annoyed at my mind. I decide before it gets to dark it would be a good idea to set up the make shift curtains so I can hopefully get a good nights rest. I had previously pulled down all the hooks that were made for the curtains, so I decided I would buy tape, hoping that would be adequate and at least hold for the night. I start setting up the sun visors, and couldn’t get it to stick. I reached down to grab my tape and what a surprise, it is not where I left it. I searched the van top to fucking bottom for 15 minutes, pulling everything up and ripping everything down. It’s no where to be fucking seen! I shit you not, it was sitting between the two chairs the last time I opened the van up. Some pesky bastard (I believe, but also very highly doubt) has stolen me fucking sticky tape. I now have no way of hanging my curtains, I am up shit creek. I was really looking forward to a nice relaxing first sleep in the van, but I will be woken up at the crack of dawn. I suppose I can flip that and turn it into a positive and get the most out the day. The night had a nice spin and I meet three amazing German backpackers, Stefan, Nicco and Jess. They only meet two weeks ago and have banded together to hit rainbow bush doof and try sneak in. They have traveled all the way from Perth in the hope to make the 3 hour hike past the security and party for free. I meet Stefan first when I saw him rest his beers in the creek hoping to chill them after being in the hot car all day, I offered him to use my esky and he was very grateful. He then brought his mates back over a few hours later and we all shared a beer together and had good chat. I learnt a lot from them passing on their stories of their travels around Australia and the dos and don’ts. I feel a lot more optimistic after the chat and can’t wait to fully set sail and find the meaning of freedom

Day 1

Sleep was a little restless, but I woke up feeling good and ready to explore. I realised I forgot a bowl and spoon for breakfast, so I just ate cereal straight from the box, off to a fine start! I throw my hiking boots on and head off down the track, I don’t even get around the corner and I already see 3 beautiful rosellas playing and dancing together, they’re colours so vibrant they bounce off the luscious green leaves and rich browns of the stones and tree trunks. The kookaburras are laughing away, I'm hearing them from all different directions. I hike on, in less than  5 minutes along the trek I’m face to face with the big momma kanga from last night.  She stares me down and as I whip out my camera I see the camera is flashing at me, screaming ‘you’re an idiot, why didn’t you charge me!' I couldn’t get a good photo, so I gracefully passed her by and let her be. Following along the "river", that was said to once flow, however now it’s just like a creek and you actually come to points where it is has completely dried up. Every couple of steps I would take I would hear the scurrying of little drop tail lizards heading in from their sun bake. The views were still wonderful, big tall trees that look to be over 100 years old, many have collapsed and given in which made for some interesting walking paths. There wasn’t any flowers however many different types of native bushes and ferns. After a while you kind of lost yourself in the maze seeming to never see anything new, then it will throw in a curve ball. Bringing you to the a breathtaking open view of the creek and trees and just silence but the hymns of nature. I sat on a nice little sand bar and meditated. Was beautiful to not have to be playing nature sounds and trying to imagine I’m there. The reality of being there is so much more. The breeze from the wind, the chirps from the birds and buzz from the insects just took me into a deep state of calm and serenity. I came across another hiker, he was fully geared up with a bag on his back that looked like it could carry everything I own. He had a great big walking stick like Gandalf and said he has been hiking for 2 days. He mentioned the track can be pretty rough and he found himself lost more than a few times. He told me there’s a beautiful water hole not far from here and wished me a good day. When I arrived at the water hole he wasn’t wrong, it was surrounded by big rocks and pebbles that made everything just pop that little more. I was exploring around the rocks when I hear that horrible sound of slithering. I take a look to about 2 metres away from me and see this black tail slide deep into the rocks. I feel shivers rush down my spine (I don't deal well with snakes) and decide to get back onto the walking track. I can’t quite gather my nerves to keep trekking on (was a one way and needed to turn back anyway) so I start the frantic trek back to camp, watching my every step and having my ears set to bat hearing. Thankfully I didn’t come across any other snakes and made it back to camp alive!

The test run was all in all a darn good experience that taught me a lot, Made me think more about organising and preparation and what to expect along the way. (hopefully not anymore danger noodles)

Austin GierischComment