A few weekends ago at the start of the month, I went hiking and camping in Bungonia National Park. The Bungonia State Conservation area is a couple of hours south of Sydney in the Shoalhaven region. We left at a reasonable hour on Saturday morning and got to the park by about 10. A group of 14 of us were going to initially do some short hikes and then post-lunch, head down the gorge to a camping spot. It was a rainy Saturday — the kind of drizzly wet rain that doesn’t go away but is just enough to annoy you.
The short hikes were interesting and easy but we were unable to get decent views of the gorge thanks to the misty weather. After a quick lunch during which I realised that I was probably going to freeze that night due to lack of thermals, we headed down a treacherous track: The Red track.
Downhills are always scary for me and it was a major challenge. Unlike the previous trip though, the weather was cooler and well, the track was a bit better in that we didn’t have to bush-bash our way. It was an incredible relief when we reached the bottom of the mountain and by about 5 that evening, we reached a potential camp site. Setting up tents in wet weather is not something I’ve ever done so that was a challenge in itself. But once it was up, we tried to get the fire going. To no avail. I was freezing and shivering by then. Some wine helped. And a jumper handed to me in addition to what I was wearing helped too. I changed into dry gear and in a couple of hours, some of the guys had the fire going. Bliss. Pure bliss.
By then though, most of the ladies and a couple of guys had gone to bed and it was just another girl, me and the rest of the guys up around the campfire sharing crazy stories, hot tea and drinks. The rain eased off for a little bit but came back again. Being around the fire was good though — it really warmed me up. Bedtime turned out to be all right as it was a lot warmer inside the tent than I expected and I slept really well that night!
The next day, with the weather no longer rainy, we headed off another way and realised what a challenge it was going to be. We had thought of taking a different route and realised we had some massive boulders to climb. And I’m not exaggerating when I say they were massive! It was fun though as I do love rock climbing. However, after a while, the organiser thought it would be safer for us to head back up the mountain we initially came down on as some people were struggling with the rock climbing. So we did. We climbed a bitch of a mountain. I swear I am expecting some amazing calf muscles given all the steep mountains I’m climbing at present! 😛
We got to the top by about noon and it was perfect timing. It was an incredible walk and reminded me again why I love the outdoors so much. In spite of my first experience camping in the rain, I had a ball. There is nothing better than the simple life outdoors among nature.
Here are some moments from the trip:
Until next time,