Bush Walks, Urban Camping, and Car Trouble

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
First Sun caravan park
Blue Mountains

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, November 13, 2010

The next day, after Cape Conran we scoured the coast for waves with no luck. The winds have really not been in our favor and Ryan has only surfed a few times. I didnt even get a chance to use the board that Greg loaned me! We headed to Mimosa Rocks national park and pulled up at dusk to tons of HUGE kangaroos. I couldn't get a photo cause it was too dark, but it was fun to observe them. I walked out of the bathroom and almost had a heart attack finding myself face to face with a male as tall as me! We decided to take a walk and see if we could find a more secluded area, and we were summoned by a group of Aussie guys who were on a fishing trip. We went and played a really fun game around their fire and cooked our dinner. These guys were all Aus. First of all they were burning the most GIANT log. I'm really not even sure how they got it on the fire. One of the guy's family owns a croc farm and they had all just gotten back from actually wrestling crocs that weekend. not joking. Then when I thought they couldn't be any crazier, they determined we needed another seat around the fire and so hooked a chain around and boulder and towed it over with their Ute (OZ for truck) Almost crushing one guy in the process. Oh Aussies....they sure do know how to have a safe, good time. We compared countries and they made fun of us for saying cooler instead of esky...It was fun, but we were stopped short by pouring rain. We hauled our wet selves home, went to sleep for a few hours and slipped out at 6:30am to look for waves...with no luck.

we finally stopped and cooked breakfast and i took a nature trail to the bathroom that ended up being a full on rain forest hike and arrived back a half hour later! "Where did you go?"...."I have no idea..." We continued along to Jervis bay and after finding no waves we went to the local Five Islands brewery to sample their fare. we had a nice pizza and tasted the Halloween beer. First time in my life i haven't gotten to celebrate Halloween :( made contact with our friend Tristan that we met in Bali who lives in Woy Woy on the Central coast north of Sydney. We decided to head straight up there to meet him and just do a brief drive through the Royal national park since there were no waves. We stopped off at a surfboard sale, but the ones i liked were sold already. We chatted with the local guy in front of his prime real estate and he told us how the old guys go out on their long boards with mugs of beer and cell phones in baggies and make business calls and all the kids are like "what are you doing out there old man?!" then the set waves come in and they ride them all the way to shore!

We made it to Tristan's moms house just after dark, The next morning we headed down to the beach for Tristan's grommet bodyboarding comp. the beach was warm and i lay out to read while Ryan went out to surf in the best waves we've seen in AUS thus far for a couple hours. It was such a nice beach morning. After that we got packed for a camping trip to Blue Mountains which is a national park with tons of bush-walking east of Sydney. We picked up this Columbian guy Alejandro at a train station. hahah! that sounds funny...No, we knew him from Bali (he surfed with Ryan at desert point, then recognized us in the water at medewi)...he lives in Manly beach by Sydney, so it worked out smoothly as we got there only 10 min apart, and the four of us headed up to the mountians. Due to delays from trying to herd these cats together and get everyone packed and situated we arrived to the Jenolan Caves just after dark...Which ended up being awesome cause we came around this clearing to find ourselves at the mouth of a GIANT lighted cave! we all just tripped out...It was like entering the Bat Cave and there was nothing else around for miles so we just drove in, and climbed around for a minute in the impressive cave, then discovered there was a cottage inn past the cave. So we drove through this crazy tunnel and learned that the campgrounds were shut down, but the only person we could find anywhere told us we could sleep at the top of the hill. It turned out to be perfect cause we had hot showers and a little picnic area all to ourselves and Tristan brought a bbq so we lit a wood fire in it. It was legitimate urban camping. We were then lucky enough to become further acquainted with local possums as this fearless one hung out with us all night, we had our bbq sitting out waiting to go on the grill and we had to be on top of it to fight off his attempts to steal our food! He managed to swipe a huge loaf of garlic bread right under our noses!

After a hilarious evening around the fire we prepared to Bush walk...we found out it cost $30 to go in the caves, so while Alejandro took the tour, we found a hike around the area with some pretty cool free caves you could check out. We then set further into the park to find a new camp site and check out Klamath Walls. We arrived just before dark to find a most stunning view of a giant valley and these impressive cliff walls. We stood on this ledge and were just awe struck by the blue mountains. (weird they look green in the pictures) there was no one else around, and we really felt far from civilization! Then...it started to pour down rain...

We ended up having dinner, four of us crammed into he back of the van...Bessie has never been so dirty. fortunately it let up a bit later and the guys were able to set up the tent and sleep dry. next morning we tried to go back to the Walls, but there were 100 cars (some kind of retiree 4x4 adventure group) so we headed into the main part of the park with the famous 3 sisters rock formation. We then took a 3.5 hour bush walk down some terrain designed for "advanced walkers only"...fortunately, we are very advanced walkers. we climbed some waterfalls, and Tristan was the only one brave enough to go for a freezing swim and jump off some cliffs. It was such an amazing highlight of the trip in Australia so far. To be with a group of mates, building fires, jumping in freezing water and battling possums. We had such a great time in the fresh air.

And now, for some exciting news!! yesterday in Noosa, I got my SIM card fixed for a great price! I got all my pictures back, and am super excited. I included the ones from our first week in Australia..They are kind of out of order now, but It's just easier this way...Enjoy!! (for some reason they are not all showing, so lemme know if theres an issue...) Cheers mates!

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Prices on

Berit, we're loving your Travelpod! What an adventure!
Love you,

Chris on

WOW Berit the photos say it all! What a beautiful place! This is a trip of a lifetime. I feel like I am there, only more comfortable! Miss you but can get
by until you are home See you soon. Mom

Brooke on

Awesome pictures! I'm very excited that you guys will be home soon!!! I'm curious to know if you are ready to be home? ready to travel more? did it feel like a long time or a short time? I definitely missed you, but also felt very connected through the blog. LOVE LOVE LOVE you my little sister!

dad on

Bears, so glad you got your pics back. It would have been quite a loss not to have them for the memories. This was your best pictures yet. I feel like I could live down under very nicely.......it really does remind you of Calif. Stay safe and see you in a few. Luv dad......or love me not.

beritjansen on

Yes, it is so hard to believe ill be home in one week!! Time to start planning Peru and Chile...hehehe See you soon!!

nalysale on

Pictures shows everything and it cleared that Byron bay in real beautiful place to visit.The tourists have so much choice ... more than any other beach town in Australia.Byron Bay is the no.1 destination for festivals, Splendor in the Grass, the Blues festival, The Writer's festival. All attracting huge crowds both national and international.

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