I've never ever been camping before in my entire life. Most of the people whom I tell it to seem rather surprised. The hubs wasn't impressed with that revelation and called me a 'city girl', which I always strongly disagree. :P
I've explained to him that my first camping experience should be a kind and gentle introduction, and our backyard would be a great place to start with!
And, should we ever want to venture into the outdoors, it would be a better idea for the campsite to have proper loos. As much as I'm used to peeing in the bushes (during hikes), I don't think I'd be able to poop in the wild. :D
About three weeks ago, I nonchalantly suggested to him that perhaps we could go camping over the weekend. Just for a night.
The hubs thought he was dreaming and looked at me with disbelief.
"Are you serious?"
"Er, well, make sure the campsite has facilities!" I replied, almost changing my mind.
We made last minute arrangements to camp in the Grampians National Park over the AFL finals weekend (read: Australian Football League and Friday, 3rd October 2015 was a public holiday in Victoria).
Just for a night!
I think I was quite nice to suggest camping in the first place. Wifey brownie points for me! Two nights might have been a bit too much for a gentle introduction to camping!
|Walking Silent Street.|
We drove for 3 hours before arriving at the Grampians. First stop was The Pinnacle, where we took almost 3 hours for a return hike. The place was busy with plenty of visitors going up and down, and everyone was looking for the best spot for photos of the view.
We decided to wash our hair with the available supply of rainwater beside the toilets (at the car park) before heading to our campsite. I forgot to read the description of the campsite and wasn't quite sure whether there was water supply. Heh.
Anyway, good thing we did, because the campsite was packed! Almost every camp area was taken up.
Our camp lot was next to a lot occupied by 2 Vietnamese couples. Now the picnic table is to be shared by both camp lots but our neighbours were kind enough to hog the table.
We quickly set up tent before the sun set, cleaned ourselves up and settled in for a long night.
|Not sure why he looked so miserable hahaha|
Our feast of instant noodles, fried eggs and salad was ... OK. It was hard for me to adjust to sitting on the ground as I can't sit cross-legged for too long - I needed them stretched out.
We both lamented that we should have brought some stools at the very least.
|Best camp food ever!|
Once we were done with dinner, er, there wasn't anything left to do. I should have brought a pack of cards to play!
I wish I could have taken a picture of the starry skies because it was so beautiful. The constellations were clearly seen ... a shame I didn't know them!
|Not much of a view, heh. That's the picnic table hogged by our camp neighbours. They were cooking up a storm|
last night. We were already done with our dinner before they even started cooking.
We woke up before 6am the next morning, with backaches. I think us old folks need an inflatable mattress for our next camping trip because lying on the hard ground really isn't comfortable for us at all. We didn't really sleep well, I was waking up every now and then, and we were both trying to stay warm as the temperature dipped.
|We need a bigger tent. This tent is for 3 people and honestly, it was such a squeeze for both us fatties!|
Breakfast was the same as what we had for dinner. I swear, since then, I've not eaten instant noodles! The thought of it makes me gag.
|A bush shower. Fill bucket with water and open up the shower head and taadaa, you'll get to have a cold shower!|
We packed up and left before 9am. Our plan was to go for a hike before driving home.
Lake Wartook was just around the corner from the Smiths Mill campground.
|Such a pretty place but no swimming allowed!|
MacGregor Falls is definitely a must visit. The place has been developed pretty nicely for comfortable walking. Its track goes as far as ... but decided to stay put.
Our next stop was Mt Difficult.
I didn't realise how difficult it would be. I suppose the warm weather did not help at all.
And we were ill-prepared for a long and difficult hike.
|Found a small waterfall along the way.|
The given distance was 4.4km one way but we must have went off track for a bit as my watched showed 5.3km by the time we reached the summit.
Boy, I was miserable and thirsty and tired, I lost my excitement after 2km into the hike. The track was overgrown as it has been closed since December 2014 due to a bush fire incident.
It was hard to spot the reflective arrows every now and then, to be sure that we were on the right path.
|The top of Mt Difficult.|
Before we reached the top, I had already conceded defeat and wanted to sit and wait for Bin to continue on his own, but he made me walk on despite the fact that my face was black as thunder.
Retracing our steps was one of the hardest things to do. The arrows were so hard to spot that we went off course and got lost. We had to look around to catch our bearings (and found none) so we decided to retrace our steps to the last marker and thought carefully about the direction we had come from.
We found the track again (thank goodness) to our relief, and we slowly trudged back to our car.
If not for the little piles of rocks which were left at some corners of the track by previous hikers, you would not have been able to know whether you were on the right track. We added a few piles of our own along the way as well as some arrows were too hidden from sight.
What have we learnt from our first camping trip?
1. Despite the need for traveling light, we definitely need to pack sufficiently for our comfort, too!
2. We need to buy a bigger tent and an inflatable mattress.
3. Bring stools and a small foldable table.
4. Bring enough drinking water.
5. Bring some card games.
You don't know how pleased we were to return home to sleep in our bed that night. :)