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  • Writer's pictureJada Andersen

A Trip to Remember

I had no idea what to expect.

‘Camping and Conservation’, hubby had said.

What the hell did that actually mean?

This trip could go either way. I love hiking…but by hiking, I mean breaking a sweat early and always being too puffed to talk. Going slow was going to be a challenge and, as we drove into the camp site, I already wondered if I’d be able to ‘duck off’ for my own hill soon.

We arrived on a Friday morning and after a quick meet and greet with Jada and our other other camp mates, we set up our dusty tent and got ready for our first wander. Within minutes of our site, we were ankle deep in so many varieties of mushrooms (thanks to the recent weather), photographing like crazy the weird and wonderful shapes and colours, as I wondered how often I’d been on walks and never noticed anything beyond the trees. It felt like an adventure hunt and I was immediately hooked.

At our turnaround point, we could see for miles down into the valley with waterfalls all around. Gazing down as the breeze gently swirled, I realised I’d needed this. My heart rate had slowed, my jaw relaxed.

There had been no sweat but I felt a strange sense of contentment.

We headed back to camp to freshen up and have tea, salad wraps and Jada’s homemade (incredible) muesli slice and really get to know everyone. Our group consisted of ‘wildlife warriors’, camping and adventure lovers and those, like us, just looking for a new experience out of the city.

After some downtime (where some snoozed, others chatted or tried the slack line), as the Winter sun descended, we were treated to a delicious Mexican chilli with all the extras…corn chips, coriander, cheese, chilli etc. This wasn’t the camp food I remembered! Warm on the inside, we grabbed our gloves, beanies, scarves and torches and headed back along the trail to see what we could spot. Standing together and turning off our torches we stood in silence and looked up at the stars..mesmerised.

More beautiful than any night sky I can ever remember seeing.

I was cold. I didn’t care. I couldn’t look away. I wanted this moment to last forever.

We saw so many other things that night - spiders building beautiful webs and moths the size of my palm, but it was the sky I’ll remember forever.

The group headed to the ‘Blue Pool’, a little river and lake spot close by, where torches highlighted freshwater crayfish scurrying just below the surface.

Where else would I see this?!

Waking up the next day, surprisingly well rested, Jada already had tea and coffee ready for those, like me, desperate for their morning hit. She then sent us off with a picnic chair in hand, to find a spot in the bush for a twenty minute ‘silent sit’. No other criteria given. I raised my eye brows as she shoo-ed me away with a smile and spatula in hand for pancake making. I found a spot, further away than the others had gone, and stepped through mossy woodland to an area filled with the tallest, straightest trees where I set out my chair.

I curled up and waited…checked my watch. Twenty minutes to go.

It crept up on me. The overwhelming silence before the overwhelming life. Not just in the trees, but it was the trees. They were communicating to me. They felt like family. This felt like coming home.

‘What the hell had been in my coffee?!’, I wondered, as I dragged myself away eventually, whilst wiping away happy secret tears with my hand.

Sounds too much? There is so much more but I'll let you try it yourself.

I’ve signed up for my next trip already and next time I’ll remember tissues 🙂

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