I got a healthy 11 hours of sleep last night and even though my body is still sore from the weekend I feel much more alert and alive. We got to the campsite about 7:45 on Friday night. It was dark and raining a little bit. Our tentmate, Kate, had beat us there by about 10 minutes, enough time for her to set up our tent, which was quite nice. She said that when she first arrived there was a group of kangaroos hanging out at our campsite. The ground was covered in a mint plant that left the whole place with a pleasant smell. We weren’t sure what exactly it was until the next morning and we could see what was around us.
The first morning we went rock climbing. The Mountaineering Club had harnesses, shoes and helmets for everyone to borrow. I quickly remember what I was doing although I don’t think I’ve been climbing on real rocks since high school (now that was a LONG time ago). It was fun. I got a few good climbs in and managed to belay people without anyone dying. After climbing we headed back to the campsite for lunch and to regroup for the next activity. Rob and I had signed up for “Adventure Race”, whatever that was, but it was cancelled because the trails they were planning to use were closed. We played capture the flag instead. It was actually really fun. I was surprised that we all enjoyed it so much. After capture the flag we went back to the tents and set up slack lines. It’s a special rope that is tied between 2 trees and you try to walk across. It’s very good for balance and really difficult. I couldn’t do it at all without hanging onto my spotter and Rob only got a few inches after he released his death grip on my arm. One of the guys had done it a lot before. He could go back and forth and turn around on it.
The next morning we went bushwalking, which is the Australian term for hiking. It was fun and very challenging. First we began an ascent straight up the side of a mountain on a steep and muddy trail. Then we reached a point where we had to scale a rock wall. It wasn’t that difficult, but it was scary because if you slipped you would fall about 15 feet down the side of the rocks. After that climbing we reached a narrow rock crevice/cave that we had to shimmy through. I was not thrilled to go through it, but the girl behind me was petrified, so it helped me to walk her through it and calm her down. Then more trail and eventually a more difficult but slightly shorter rock wall to scale and we reached the top. The views from the top were amazing.
From the top of the mountain we hiked along the ridge line for quite a while. It was dangerous in some places and a lot of work on the legs. At one point, because I was wearing a hat that blinds me to the above, I smacked the top of my head pretty hard into an overhanging rock. It really hurt, but it wasn’t bleeding and the pain dissipated to a dull ache after a few minutes. Today I just have a sensitive lump on the top of my head. Boo. After the ridge line portion we went down a steep trail with rock stairs. I think that really did in my legs, which still hurt today. When we got back to camp, none of us could move and it took all our strength to stand up or sit down. Even though it was very challenging, it was also fun to get to scale rocks, go through caves and walk a ridge line. We ended up getting home about 6:30 and after some MUCH needed showers we got food to go from the Indian restaurant downstairs in our building. I went to bed at 8 and slept like a log until 7:30.