Friday, April 29, 2011

Camping days 1 and 2

During my second week of break, I went camping with my friend Jenny and her friend Jason. There were supposed to be more people as well, but unfortunately they couldn’t make it. We did meet up with 2 other guys in the last night, which was nice, because I had become a third wheel on the trip, but I still had a good time. There were ups and downs, but it was a great adventure.
Jason arrived shortly after 11am to pick me and Jenny up. We finished packing our bags and then we had to figure out how to fit everything in Jason's 4WD vehicle. Since I was going to be sitting in the back, I got in first and Jenny and Jason packed stuff around me. It was pretty packed but I wasn't too uncomfortable. It was a bit over a 2 hr drive to Port Stephens and the bay area where we were going to camp. Not a far drive at all and we were jamming to music.
Once we arrived, we got some lunch. I tried a beef meat pie but wasn't a fan. Meat pies are a big thing in Australia, so it was essential that I at least try one before I left. I ate half of it and then let Jenny and Jason finish it off. I just didn't really like the gravy on the meat and the whole pie crust thing was weird as well.
We then drove to the camp site at Shoal Bay and set up our tent and dropped stuff off. Then we changed into our swimsuits and some shorts as it was warmer there than Sydney and headed to the beach and jumped into the water, as that was the easiest way to adjust to the cold temperature, but the water wasn't too bad. 
After a short swim, we started walking towards the gorgeous mountains ahead of us. We came to Tomaree national park and followed the steep pinkish brick path up the mountain. Then we came to some steel steps and climbed and climbed and climbed. Over 550m and 300 and something stairs later, we were there and it was beautiful! We also were there at the perfect time to watch the sun start to set.
            The walk down was much easier and faster. On the steep pink brick path Jenny and I would sing "follow the pinkish brick road, follow the pinkish brick road, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the pinkish brick road..." as we skipped down the path for a bit.
            After that workout, it was time for dinner and we had some delicious pizza. I actually think it has been the best pizza I have had since I’ve been here. We got the garlic cheese pizza and the BBQ pizza. Great dinner!
We then had the luxury of hot showers at this camping spot and then played a bunch of card games and laughed our heads off in the tent. That was probably the best night I've had in ages, just laughing and playing cards.

Around 5am, kookaburras woke all of us up and we tried to get back to sleep. Jenny and I got up shortly after 7 and wrote in our journals outside while Jason continued to sleep. It was so much warmer than Sydney, it was wonderful. We then had to pack up the tent and everything as we were heading to Mungo Bush to camp for our second night. First we stopped for some food and had a brunch picnic on some rocks on the beach. Then we drove to Mungo Bush which was approximately 120 km away even though it would have been a 15 minute ferry ride or so to get there from Shoal bay.
sand boarding

me in front of the sand dune, so that you can see just how big it is
That afternoon, we went sliding down sand dunes. Pretty fun! I was too scared to actually stand up, but on my butt it's heaps [Australian lingo] of fun! You could see the water in the distance along with tons of other sand dunes. At first though, you really feel like you are surrounded just by sand in the middle of no where. After getting covered in sand, we went to the water for a quick dunk and jumped some waves. Shortly after we made burgers on the grill at the campsite for dinner and then headed back to the tent and played Uno and chatted for a bit and then headed to bed.

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