Sunday, March 13, 2005

Okay, now I'm really sore.

Lots of pictures this time, by popular request. Requested by at least one person. I think. eeh. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I've got a lot to blab on about. hehe

Well, the last week I've been camping out in the bush. To summarize, I had an excellent time. The scenery was fantastic, every person I met was extremely nice, and it hardly cost anything. :) My plan to hitchhike into the town at the start of the walk worked out very well, the third car that came by stopped and gave me a lift. The guy even went out of his way to give me a little tour of the town before he dropped me off right infront of the motel I was staying at. heh

So that town was called Mallacoota, it's right on the ocean over the border into Victoria. Pretty little place, it has a permanent population of about 1200 people, and during the summer gets up over 10000. Spent a couple days there anyways, I got there Saturday and had to wait till Monday morning when the Parks Victoria office opened up and I could get a permit for the walk. One picture from there; I went for a little walk around town just after it rained and got a nice shot of a rainbow over the inlet from the ocean.

Anyways, on to the walk... the first day the weather was great, just under 30 degrees and sunny. I started out the walk from Mallacoota, the official start of the walk is about 5km out of town so I could pick my own route to the beginning. I decided to do some rock-hopping along the beach to get there. Saw some nice caves... the tide was low so I had no problem getting through most spots. Just after I went through this cave (below) I had to kind of backtrack and climb up overtop of it. Of course I was doing it in my sandals, and of course a small piece of rock broke under my foot, I slipped a few inches, and cut my heel open nicely. Great start to the walk :) It wasn't that bad; I didn't even realize I'd cut myself until I was about a kilometer down the beach from the rocks and I realized my jeans were a little bloody. heh

It was about 17-18kms walking that day, once I got to the campsite it was getting kind of late. There were only two other people there, and they'd driven in. I was just sitting down to cook my supper over the fire and they came over and offered me some cold beer :) Very nice people, they didn't stay around for the night.

The next day was pretty short, only 12km. Half of the day was through a forest and across some plains (see picture), the other half along more beaches with some more rock-hopping along the way.

The third day was pretty similar, except the track across the plains got a lot thicker. And I met lots of happy little guys called paralysis ticks. So, it wasn't the snakes, spiders or crocs that got me. It was the ticks. After I'd gone through a particularly overgrown section, I was starting to get sore...uh, down there. (trying to put it delicately since I know my grandma and other relatives are reading :) It was kinda weird, cause I was sure things weren't sore from over-use... hahaha. I went on walking for a half hour, until I stopped and had a peek. And yeah, I had not one, but two ticks happily burrowing into... uhh, me. So pulling them off was an adventure, I'm glad there wasn't anyone around cause I was kinda half naked down in the middle of the trail pulling 'em off. hehe. No pictures of that, sorry. :) I ended up pulling off another couple ticks that night before going to sleep; one on my neck and one on my back. Not to mention the dozens I brushed off my clothing and backpack before they could latch on.

The rest of the walk was pretty easy, mostly along beaches. Lots of rock-hopping; generally there would be a stretch of beach for a few kilometers then some more rocks, then another beach. All very nice, and very deserted. I ended up seeing only 7 other people over the entire 5 days. Here's one of the beaches I had to myself...

The last night's camping spot was the best. I couldn't find the actual campsite I was supposed to stay at; there was supposed to be a clearly marked sign on the beach pointing it out, but I'd probably overshot it by a kilometer, and I didn't feel like backtracking. So I found a nice little sand dune that was sheltered from the wind, and pitched my tent there. Got to see a nice sunrise and nice sunset there. A couple pictures from there... there's me after getting to the site and having a dip in the ocean, and another of the sunset over the beach.

The last day was nice and short, a quick 8km hop along a long stretch of beach. My plan was to grab a ride out with people leaving the campsite in the morning, but I kinda ran into a problem... the place was almost deserted. There were about 45 campsites, but only a half dozen of them had people. I was running out of food and had no ride out.... and it was a 42km drive out to the nearest town. To make a long story short, I met some very nice people that insisted on feeding me (I ate kangaroo!) and found some other people that were heading out the next day and had some room in their truck. So I had to stay an extra night, but I made it out with no problems and picked up the bus to Melbourne just last night.

So yeah, what an excellent trip. Australians have to be the nicest people... so friendly, so helpful... even when I insisted I didn't want anything to eat the family there gave me a plate of some of their kangaroo stew. (they must've seen me cooking the last of my food over the fire; some rice in a Campbells Chunky soup tin and had pity. heh) Then I hung out with them around their campfire the rest of the night and played Trivial Pursuit with them. :) Good times.

Well, now I'm in Melbourne. Its kind of a shock being in such a populated place (3.5 million) after being so secluded the last week. Today was great here though, they have a Waterfest going on (like Belleville's Waterfront, but far less sucky) and there was a carnival and some waterski-jumping going on. Lots of things to see and do here.

Anyways, I apologize for the length of this post, but I figured it was worth typing it all out. Still so much more to tell but it'd probably get too boring to read that much. Well, me so hungy, so I'm gonna go shopping and make myself something to eat. The hostel I'm at here in Melbourne is enormous; there's close to 500 beds they have here. I'll probably stay one more night there then find a smaller place that's... well, better. heh



At March 13, 2005 3:53 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

whats up brad. rm from pennocks. really enjoying following your travels. keep em comin!

At March 13, 2005 10:27 a.m., Blogger Cruwysinator said...

haha...down where?
And thank you. Something to keep me from studying. Excellent.
You ate some roo? I'm shocked! Shocked and appalled!

At March 13, 2005 6:32 p.m., Anonymous Dani said...

Thanks Brad! The pictures are great. Sorry to hear of your umm discomfort. It's good for the post tho!
Oh and I heard there is an exotic meat store somewhere in Ottawa - would you recommend the kangaroo...

At March 13, 2005 10:54 p.m., Blogger martin said...

Great pictures and stories. looking into the $$ issue for you, have fun in Tasmania (if that's where you're headed)

At March 14, 2005 10:08 p.m., Blogger Bradtholomew said...

Heh, thanks all. Yeah, kangaroo is alright. Its supposed to be a good meat if you're looking at keeping your weight down, very lean. At that point I would've eaten skunk, or raccoon, or something else unappealing. Course, they don't have them over here... and it'd be kinda stupid to import skunk meat. Hrm.

And yup, Tasmania next. I've booked a seat on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry a couple nights from now. About the same price as flying, but I'd rather avoid the whole airport hassle. Plus, they have a bar :)

At March 15, 2005 9:58 p.m., Blogger Pamasaurous said...

Hi Brad, it's Nana. I'm really enjoying reading your comments and thanks for changing them so I'm not too shocked. Have fun, Love Nana

At March 16, 2005 12:13 a.m., Anonymous John said...

Sounds like a blast.....wish I was out tramping with ya. It would sure beat studyin....well except for the tick attack. That's pretty funny, just like the movie "Stand by Me" except it was leeches....I don't know what would be worse. Kangaroos pretty good eh, a little chewy but tasty. Just wait till you try the crocodile. Keep the pics coming. And watch out for the bed bugs!!

Safe Travels

At March 16, 2005 8:51 p.m., Blogger Bradtholomew said...

Hi Nana! Glad you're enjoying the reading. Nice to hear from you.

Yeah John, I told a couple people over here about that, and they'd never heard of Stand By Me. And I didn't faint or anything. Some extra fun, one of the other tick bites seems to have gotten infected, over a week after I'd gotten bit. Fun! And yeah, had a little case of bed bugs in a crappy hostel in Melbourne. eeh.

At March 17, 2005 11:04 a.m., Blogger CharleezGirl said...

Hi, Looks like you're having a blast... guess those ticks wanted some fresh "meat". Have a great time in Tasmania you little devil.
Charlie is in good hands

At March 18, 2005 10:34 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya Brad, Way to go! I'm really impressed with your stories and pics. Have tons of fun! Yur Cuz Cindy

At March 20, 2005 11:38 p.m., Blogger Bradtholomew said...

Thanks Cindy!

...Charlie? Whaaaa??

At September 05, 2006 7:43 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey was just rolling thru wanted to let ya know ya got a cool blog here Nice Job.


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