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The South of Sydney Camping trip — Day 6 (Belanglo State Forest)

Posted on Thursday 6 June 2013

My plan for the full day in Belanglo was to sit around, hope not to get rained on, and then ride the Postie around to see the area…

You can’t see it because of the reflection of the flash, but there was a minus sign in front of that 4 on the thermometer.. The coldest night of the entire trip.

I wasn’t feeling the temperature that much, so when it was light enough, I went on a campfire fuel hunt on the foot-trails going north from the dam. I found some clean bones along the way, but decided they were animal…

With mushroom picking season over, the only ones left were the nasty Fly Agarics.

One of three wombat burrows I found around the area. I noticed some fresh wombat poo, but didn’t see any actual wombats during the entire stay.

The smoke might give you an idea of how cold and still it was.

Giovanni’s camp– the Italian guy riding up from Victoria I mentioned in the previous day’s post. It was a sleeping-in-all-clothes night for him, too.

An organized camping group arrived, of 6 or so people, with kayaks, and a good amount of camping gear. I went up to say hi, and to see if they’d like to be on the better part of the campground that I had laid claim to most of (they were on gravel) and to apologize for the trouble– “We should be the ones apologizing… A bus with 30 people for a Duke of Edinburgh course is about to arrive…” “Oh.. $#!*… :)”

And at around about 9am, a bus with 30 teenage girls arrived.
Constantly excited and noisy teenage girls
30 of them.

With the outlook of having 30 camps in Dalys Clearing that evening, I was giving some thought to scouting around for another campsite. (And it was a 2 hour wait before the queue to the toilets was cleared…)

And then several Gray Nomads rolled in.
Caravaner Richard left soon after (and I helped him move some stuff). He made a remark about G.N ‘convoys’ being a pain– such as the usually well stocked yabbie supply in the dam being overfished completely a few weeks ago, their using over a dozen traps for a week, and ruining it for everyone else for months.

omg! They left! \o/ … And actually, a few hours later, all the camping equipment was collected up as well, so I guess the DoE decided to camp somewhere else.

A common camping-n00b question on Internets is “What BRAND water bottle is BEST?!?” … Here you can see the 4 litre reused wine cask bladder that I store my filtered water in. The sky was looking bothersome, so I moved the campfire fuel under the fly.

With the unloaded postie bike, I checked out the forest and plantation a bit. The first two photos were taken on Bunnygalore Rd (certainly the oddest locale name of the trip– and didn’t see any bunnies)

In the north-west corner of the plantation there’s a small memorial to the victims of Ivan Milat. The DoE girls were resting from their hike at a parking area nearby.

An unfamiliar variation of the bottlebrush.

There was also a geocache (GC1XX86) nearby– a puzzle cache, which took me 3 attempts to calculate the solution and locate.

An orienteering control point?

I found the “gumtree camping ground” that Richard mentioned. No water readily available there, though.

When I got back from the ride, one of the G.Ns invited me over to use their campfire to cook with. All three RVs had their petrol-powered generators running, so I asked if they had mains power inverters? Yep. I was able to recharge the Nexus10, and pretty-much spent the ready of the day chatting and getting to know everyone there.

Had a great time, but I could see why the convoys of Well-Off-Gray-Nomads give everyone else the shits– they leave their generators running all day and most of the night, they treat everything like it’s theirs (I was proudly shown a photo of their dam-emptying yabbie haul from a few weeks ago) and ignoring the use-provided-fire-places rule, they keep a ridiculously over-sized campfire burning all day/night, going through 3-4 whole trees per day, that’ll leave a scar for a good decade. “It’s all about Us!” … They’re also almost always married couples (an extra annoyance for the Forgotten Males..), and geeze, stop talking about the sick and dying friends… :-|

But on the plus side, there was lots of talking and snacks, and was certainly a good way to spend the day.

These G.N’s were big on gadgets– that’s a scrolling message display for the back of the RV.
A funny moment: while everyone was sitting around the fire, it was noticed that all the oldest people had their faces stuck in iPads and iPhones, while the ‘youngsters’ where being sociable. A complete thwarting of the Nintendo Addiction stereotype. :)

Yes, I’m definitely a dog person. This is Jess, an old and very nice Labrador belonging to a G.N couple. I could tell from a distance she was having trouble with age from the way she walked. She was friendly to a fault. :)

Looking at the weather, I expected it was going to rain in a few hours, so I left to find the “Forest of Fear” geocache (GCHDHC) … You’re “supposed” to do this one at night :) … There was a surprising amount of bush-bashing needed to get to the cache site… but then, this was hidden back in the ‘prehistoric’ geocaching era when it was mostly bushwalker nerds, and years before the ‘wheelchair era’. Nah, wasn’t scared …I did raise an eyebrow, though.

Day 7

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

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