Day 1 – Monday 25-Aug-2014



Clouds are beginning to roll over, and I’m about to strap-on the pack and head down into the valley. Hope the rain holds off for me.


So here we are, inside the luxuriously spacious, dry, 4-season, 3-man tent. Paranoid about Funnel-webs now? Even an ant would need to do some pretty extreme dieting to squeeze past the zips on this baby, do nope – not even an iota of concern about bugs in here.

I got here at around 2:00pm, having suffered a fair bit on the way down here: the necessity to bring an extra 4kgs of tent plus two new rain flys on top of the 12-15kgs of food and water, batteries, all the usual stuff meant bringing the largest pack I have and a significant increase in weight. It’s great for the legs though, and I know – without a doubt – there’s no way I could’ve carried that bag this far out when I first started doing this, so it’s all good.

I’ll need strong legs to hunt the Panther 🙂

I didn’t even fill the blue 3ltr bladder until I got down to the creek, to save me having to carry that extra three kilos of liquid but that also meant no drink for me, from town all the way down the first three trails, ‘whence upon I hastily filled both gullet and bladder’ with fresh, cold, running creek water 😉

I had two additional one litre plastic bottles filled with water in my bag, but they were right down the bottom, and unpacking my bag halfway down a mountain while trying to outrun the coming rain – just not a smart thing to do.

Finally, after a week of some weird interactions with weird people, I’d had more than my fill of socialization for the week. The backpackers itself is a nice old building, and the “Boss” – the chinese owner/manager he’s great, but some of the guests wear pretty thin, pretty quickly so after a full week of rambling monologues from people I couldn’t give two shits about, ahh yes, it’s nice to finally leave them up top, in town.

On the positive side I suppose it teaches me tolerance, yeah.. How to tolerate fucking lunatics and couch-potatoes who’re experts on everything because they watch channel-sevens “Sunrise” every morning! Gimme a break.

This tent, I love this tent.

I bought it in Adelaide, after weeks of reading forums: asking experienced campers and hikers what tents they would recommend and why, then Googling various manufacturers, components and learning about the fabrics used for all different types of tents so by the time I had the money to buy one, (as with all the gear I amassed before finally coming here), I already knew exactly what I was looking for.

It had it’s first real workout when, upon arriving in Katoomba, I didn’t even know how to get to an area I could camp in, and stayed at the only caravan park in Katoomba for around two weeks before finally venturing down here that first time.

Anyway, the tent was set-up two weeks straight, not taken down at all once pitched, and had punishing winds buffeting it from all sides, flood-grade rain, footballs hit it and Cockatoos even walked all over it and never has it let a single droplet of water in from the top, sides or floor.

So to go from an open shelter, basically a tarp setup like a “U” tipped on it’s side, back to a fully enclosed, insect-proof, weather-proof, water-proof tent is just magnificent.


Every night down here – or almost every night – there are these “cucoo” sounds that most come from a bird. It’s one of the only animal sounds you hear after dark besides owls, and bats. Sometimes it goes on for hours, while other nights it’s just one or two calls. Nice sound though.

I just heard a tree or large branch crack nearby, but no “whoosh” of it falling. Sounded about fifty-meters away, but still not a comforting sound when you have large trees and branches right over you, in the middle of a forest.


I’ve read some amusing online accounts of yowies and bunyips, and am starting to fall asleep, so that’s what I’ll do now. Every night I’ve slept out here, I’ve had such vivid dreams, it’s like a bonus that accompanies sleep each night.

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