BLUE MOUNTAINS

PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM, BABY

Only a fool like me make plans to go camp in the mountains just like that, and only Krista, my new best friend from America, is crazy enough to join in. Looking back, I think the mountains would have been quite boring without her. I also think I would have died. She knows how to read a map and she forced me to keep going when I wanted to give up. Just like Sam did with Frodo. Kinda…

Our imaginary trip to the mountains had become more of a real deal the day we had found a non-waterproof tent at the hostel. You could say it was laying around suggesting we should take it. Hostel mentality is as follows; you take what you need and leave behind what you don’t. Finding that tent transformed our dreams into action. What more could we ask for? We hid our stuff in someone else’s locker or under their bed and only brought what we really needed: A set of change, a sleeping bag, a blanket, a yoga mat, juice, Beef Jerky, nuts, bread with jam and peanut butter and 4 liters of water each.

To get to the Blue Mountains we had to go by train for about three hours. Lina came with us for the first bit but had to go back for work. First part was really crowded (asians) and not that impressive at all. At least not in comparison to what came after! We got our hands on a map and choose the most brutal trails to discover. Another trip with the train took us to a little town called Blackheath, from where we walked couple of hours to get to Govetts Leap Lookout. We had the mountains to ourselves except from a crazy man we thought would run us over with his car. We made camp on a grass field close to the parking lot, where it was forbidden to camp. But hey, the crazy Australian man did too.

HOW I ALMOST DIED

We made sure to get up before someone arrived to tell us off. Greeted by sunrise we could see why the mountains where called Blue. We were so excited to have the trail to ourselves. The crowd was missing and it felt so good not to be one of hundred of tourists doing the exact same thing. We wanted it hard core, and we got it! The walk was truly, as the signs suggested, HARD! First we had to go down the mountain. (Picture below show the path against the wall.) At the bottom of the stairs we went past the end of the waterfall and then back and forth over the river walking the Rodriguez pass. We got shade from the forest but it was still really warm. After some hours spent in the valley we had to climb back up the mountain. And this is when I barely could pull myself through to do it. The hardest challenge was in my head. To convince my brain it was a good thing to push my body even further. Every inch of my body ached, my head was pounding and I had almost drunk my four liters of water.  Thats when Sam, I mean Krista, was such a good companion. As I said, I would have died without her! The walk took about 8 hours to complete and we collapsed at Evans Lookout. And we still had some way to go.

We were happy to be back on top of the mountain. The worst part was over! But we still had to  walk the Cliff Top Track back to where we had started and all of our bottles where emptied. We searched the area for a tap. The last part was easy but we didn’t want to risk walking in the heat without water. Dehydration without anyone close by and no connection wasn’t something we wanted. Our mood fell not knowing what to do when suddenly the crazy car guy comes along. Luckily he was kind enough to let us fill our bottles from his water and after saving us we considered him less crazy. Refilled we covered the last leg and to our joy we could get naked at the end of it! There was an ice-cool pool at the top of the waterfall and I will never forget the feeling of stripping those sweaty clothes and enter heaven.

I still haven’t told you about the snake!? It was a little brown snake I stepped on. Those who know me know I would have freaked out by it but walking all day made me less “jumpy”. My fear of the snake came later though. That night, we made camp inside a shelter, at the same parking lot as before. The floor was of concrete but there was a storm coming so rather in there than out in the wind. I got such a headache I started believing something was intensely wrong. I whispered to Krista I’m sure I’m about to die and we talked bout the snake and whether it was poisonous or not or if it had touched me in some way. I searched my leg for bites and Krista assured me I wouldn’t die. I didn’t believe her.

A PLAYGROUND IN THE RAIN

Even though I was still alive when I woke up next day, I was still not convinced. I told Krista the venom probably needed time to spread and I surely would die soon enough. We packed camp, had some peanut butter and jam sandwiches and Beef Jerky, stretched our aching legs to even be able to stand up straight again and kept walking. We took the train to Wentworth Falls, another part of the national park. And we were so lucky with the weather. The rain took away most of the heat and it also brought out a thick fog that made the mountains even more stunning. And we saw endless of waterfalls! This part was more crowded but we didn’t mind now that we had gotten our wilderness. Almost everyone, clothed in nice rain coats making a fun day trip to the mountains, laughed at us commenting the trash bags we used as rain covers.

The walk was easier this time, and not as long. We agreed we had walked as much as we wanted to consider ourselves bad ass enough. We went back to town to find somewhere to set our tent, close to the Wentworth Falls Lake. We didn’t, and was thinking about asking someone to sleep in their garden. It felt to weird even to be us so we decided to put it under a playground. We needed some kind of roof considering our tent wasn’t waterproof, and it was still raining. We had to wait for the dark as it is totally forbidden to make such camp. We spent the last hours using Kristas crayons and walking some more. Night finally came and we apologized to each other when taking our shoes of. It was bad. It was raining all night and water was soaking through the tent. Obviously… At 4 am we gave up, packed our stuff and walked in pouring rain back to the train. We were ready to go home!

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