The Rainforest Journals: Outing 14 – Day 1

Saturday, 15th November 2014

The kind of day I woke-up to this morning: cloudy but not quite raining and warm, but not quite hot.

8:49 PM

Interesting enough week in town this time round. The old guy – Erik – had already left for Canberra the day I got here. That meant there was nobody to hang-out in the kitchen with, except the boring Indonesian fat chick but that only lasted a day or two; I started eating lunch and dinners with the French dood from there on out.

The French dood left two days ago for a job on a horse-raising farm near Bathurst and said it’s ‘fucking hot!’ there – no surprise of course, since it’s even further inland than here. Least it’s with animals though. He’s got some great photos in his Facebook albums taken everywhere from France to Mexico and some excellent shots on New Zealand. Don’t think I even bothered to ask his name all week long. What are names anyway though; but silly identification labels.

I also spoke here and there with this strange, hippy woman until last night when she walked-out the room on me mid-conversation! I showed her a photo of the heart I carved for that foolish, needlessly convoluted ex of mine – the one I stained with my own blood – when we start talking about Van Gogh; how he cut off his ears to give to some prozzy he had the hots for.

We both agreed it was “a bit over the top” – chopping ones ears off for someone – when I add, “could’ve been worse, he could’ve cut off his dick and handed that to her”. This woman immediately tells me, “now that’s disrespectful, I walk away from men who talk like that”, then stands-up and leaves. You believe that shit?

So I’m out here, getting my morning caffination before double-checking the backpack and getting moving. I have to really get out before 1:00pm to beat the lunchtime train from Sydney: packed with arseholes and fatties, they clog the Giant Staircase once they all start heading down it.

The only place I buy my bread: it's better bread for $2/loaf, compared to all the crap they sell at supermarkets. The Asian family who run it are nice too so that doesn't hurt.

The only place I buy my bread: it’s better bread for $2/loaf, compared to all the crap they sell at supermarkets. The Asian family who run it are nice too so that doesn’t hurt.

I also have to go over the road and buy a loaf of fresh bread to carry down with me. I’ve done this the past few trips because – even though I can’t fit it in my pack and have to carry it in a shopping bag – it’s so light it’s a non-issue and having fresh bread on day one means I can simply have cheese sandwiches for dinner. I like sandwiches, and it saves me having to cook the first night although I’ll still eat cheese sandwiches on day three when the leaf is stale ’cause that one loaf of the only bread I’ll get till I go back to town at the end.

10:50 AM

I’m ready to go a good hour or so earlier than I usually am now. Just tossing-up whether to relax another hour or start heading out.

7:29 PM

Just the second of five trails I gotta walk to get out here each time: Federal Pass.

So there wasn’t much chit-chat on the way down today, with no talkative tourists popping-up to converse with. I arrived – this time – to find not a rat hole but three, all of which are now repaired and – assuming I got em all – the tent is bug proof again.

I’m a bit paranoid I’ve overlooked a gaping hole, but the quick once-over I gave the fabric seemed to check out alright.

It’s still easier to repair three holes than dismantle the entire tent everytime I go back up to town, though I should put a little money aside each week as a kind of “emergency tent fund”, just in case something happens to this one. There are almost half a dozen camping stores just in the main street of Katoomba, but all decent quality tent’s are around the $500 mark, but well worth the money as long as you choose a good quality tent.

Why, just the amount of rent I’ve saved while staying out here has already offset the the initial outlay for the tent many times over. My only worry would be if something shredded the tent beyond repair, in which case a new one would be the only option and I certainly don’t have $500 just laying around.

That’s about all for today. A pair of Rosellas in a nearby shrub were my welcome-wagon this time. Cute birds they are. They always seemto travel only in pairs, and even though they’re on the large side they make very quiet noises to each other, which is all they need to do since they’re never more than a few meters from each other.

Shit photo I know, but the light was behind him and it's the only one I could get. My curious animal welcome wagon this afternoon: Rosellas.

Shit photo I know, but the light was behind him and it’s the only one I could get. My curious animal welcome wagon this afternoon: Rosellas.

Kangaroos are jumping around outside my tent as usual. Every night I hear them crunching leaves as they thump around the place. Never have I seen one though because they don’t come out until after dark and unless they’re hopping you wouldn’t even know they were there.

Hopefully my babies will come tomorrow: I took the time to actually *cook* boiled chicken-necks for them yesterday. To stretch them out some, I mashed-up some stale bread then bagged it into 5 seperate “serves”. I figure I’ll empty just one out each day for the first Monitor that shows up then.. ahh it’s started raining. Nice. Yeah since the necks are cooked this time, they won’t stink nearly as fast in the tent so I’ll hold on to them and try to make sure all the lizards get some this time rather than just dumping it all out for the forest reptile that walks over to the tent.

Mushed chicken-necks and bread: Five serves for five days - we'll try to make it last this time.

Mushed chicken-necks and bread: Five serves for five days – we’ll try to make it last this time.

9:02 PM

The Brush-tailed Possum is right outside – right now – eating the fresh bread and buiscuts I put out for him an hour or so ago. I can’t see him, but I know what he sounds like and I told him, “sorry there’s just bread tonight Bro, I didn’t cook tonight. We’ll have pasta tomorrow night.”

He no longer runs away when he hears me talking to him, even speaking in a normal voice at normal volume, so that’s great.

Edit @ 10:21pm: Various Brush-tailed Possum have been sneaking over to the tent for over an hour now, and I just felt a little Bush Rat rub against my leg from through the tent floor – no doubt lookjng for new spots to chew. And again. Keeps crawling under the floor. Yeah they’ve eaten all the bread and buiscuts, I’ll put some more out. Anyway here is the .. geesh there’s *another* possum came down a tree and is walking towstfs tge tent. Here’s a photo of the baby-ish Brush-tail I just took a few minutes ago.


Since this gorgeously naive young possum hung around a while, I took a few more photos and then – for the first time in Possum history – I hand-fed the youngen. He’d just eaten the last of his bread, so I got out a Scotch Finger buiscut and held it out towards him. He was a little apprehensive but still walked over almost immediately and – after a seconds pause once he’d reached my hand – carefully reached forward and grabbed the buiscut from my fingers with his mouth.


It’s quite an exciting event really, since all the adult Possums who visit the tent are so skittish they bolt up a tree if I so much as rustle the tent fabric. Anyway here are a few more photos of him..


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