23 January 2007

Trip to Wollongong #1

We took almost a week to arrive in Wollongong on the 1st of this year. We experienced a range of weather. We left the smoky Latrobe Valley on December 27th, although we had intended leaving on Boxing Day, we were delayed by a day. Heading towards the hills, literally, we passed through Seaton on our path towards the ranges. Many of our planned routes were closed due to the bushfires that were burning and we saw lots of smoke and burnt out areas.
Our first night was spent at a delightful creek where we had our first swim. It felt invigorating to wash off the dusty, smoky aura that had surrounded me. The chill of the river water had me breathing deeply.
We camped here for the night. I must admit I felt nervous as I could hear in the distance trees falling in the bush. I heard 3 or 4 and that was enough for me. At some point during the night gentle rain fell on the tent and this soothed my fears enabling me to sleep deeply.
The next day we headed back on the dirty, churned up 4WD track heading across a river crossing first then up a hill. The road had been graded, probably due to the fires and we had some difficulty with it. We headed towards our planned route towards Mt Angus, hoping to make the Moroka River that night. The road became totally impassable with huge trees blocking the road entirely. We found another path, and from there we headed to Bairnsdale with the intention of staying in a motel and revisiting the route from there. We were tired. It had been challenging. My challenge was fear. I was apprehensive about the fires and the roads and the heights, Andy had to do all the decision making and concentration on driving. The road was the worst we had traveled on and the car, hit rocks underneath on two occasions, once causing damage that he had to repair. I am pretty blessed to have such a competent companion.
The video links below are of the creek we camped by and the roads and countryside we travelled through on that first day.

Rough Road
Burnt Bush

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