Camping on Mount Buffalo

20130309-171017.jpg

This is a panorama photo from our Mount Buffalo trip. I’m hoping it uploads correctly from my phone…..

Anyway, this is the view down towards the lookout from the Chalet. If you head down past the lookout, you come to the hang gliding ramp.

20130309-171240.jpg

I once pushed my dad off this. He used to fly hang gliders. I remember trips up to Buffalo as a child, and also with school, but its been a while since I was last there.

We camped out with a few of Gary’s friends. We had a great site at the lake Catani campground. Our site had a fire pit. Not all of them have one, so whether that was planned or luck I’m not sure.

20130309-171528.jpg

I accidentally forgot my waterproof and shockproof camera (stupid me) so I only had my phone with me. Which meant two things: 1) it went flat and I missed getting photos of the second day there, and 2) I couldn’t take my phone into the underground river with me.

So you’ll have to imagine us in the caves in really cold water, which at one point we had to swim through. It must be noted that we had safety gear (helmets, lights, rope and extra lights) and we were going in with someone who had been in before.

More of that later though. I managed to snap a few shots while climbing the Horn, the highest point of the Mount Buffalo plateau.

20130309-172510.jpg

20130309-172616.jpg

20130309-172732.jpg

And another panorama, from the top of the horn:

20130309-172836.jpg

Now for the caving.

It was quite an experience, for the 20-50 meters we went in. It was probably about 20 meters in a straight line, but there was a bit of twisting and turning involved. We got to a point where we weren’t certain we could get through so we turned back rather than risk it. I’ve been caving before, and there’s been mud and puddles, but I’ve never been in an underground river.

We came out and scrambled up and over the boulders filling the section above the river. We were looking for another way in, but as we weren’t sure we didn’t go too far in the second entrance we found.

On the way back to camp, we saw a snake, about 1.5m long just chilling in the last sunny spot for the day. And he did not want to move. We didn’t want to risk walking around him as there wasn’t really enough room so one of the boys got a really long stick and poked him until he moved off the road. Now sure what variety he was but he had a black back and a copper belly.

On the last day Gary and I took the walk from the campgrounds up to Caldwell galleries. It’s about a 20 minute walk up to the granite outcropping. You climb down through a snug space and it opens up into this awesome walkway. There’s granite walls straight up either side of you, with boulders balancing across the top. You walk along and climb down a bit, then you pop out the other side and loop back around to camp. It was beautiful, and next time ill make sure to take my camera and get some decent photos.
The rest of our time consisted of lounging about camp:

20130309-173026.jpg

Cooking lovely vegan camp food:

20130309-173133.jpg

And swimming in the lake:

20130309-173225.jpg

It was pretty relaxing, and I didn’t want to come home at the end. Just one or two more days there would have been lovely.

20130309-173437.jpg

Advertisements

A trip to Bright…

It’s been a while since I last posted. Lately I haven’t had the energy for it – Work has been hectic and by the time I come home and try and tackle some housework I have neither the energy or the time.

But on the weekend just gone, I asked Gary if we could go away for the day. We settled on a drive up to Bright for lunch. Bright is about an hour, hour and a half from us and it is up towards the hills. I remember trips there with Dad when we were young to head up Mount Buffalo, as well as school trips to the area.

It was a beautiful day for a drive – crisp and clear and sunny.

We got a few glimpses of the snowfields in the distance along the way.

Snow! It’s far off but it’s there.

We caught the dregs of the market. Apparently it finishes up at lunchtime. But the plant stall we saw at the June Long weekend markets in Rutherglen were there, and Gary took the opportunity to update them on the berry plants we brought last time and he also brought some Lebanese Cress. I eyed off the Cardamom plant again, however I again wavered as I’m not sure where I’d put it. We keep running into these guys and they are a local business so once I work out where to put the Cardamom I can chase them up again.

Let me explain something important: I love eating fresh trout. It is delicious, and I take delight in the process of carefully getting the pieces of flesh off the bones. I savour every mouthful. So when I saw “fresh baked trout with Horseradish and dill cream” on the menu of a cafe, I knew where we were having lunch and what I was ordering.

Gary ordered it too. It was as delicious as I hoped. And the skin was super crispy, the salad was light and a perfect complement. The dill cream and the horseradish gave it the extra burst of flavour, and I loved it.

delicious, crispy skinned, perfectly cooked trout.

Gary wanted some juice with his meal, but couldn’t decide what combination of fruit to have. So he ordered “everything juice”, which was literally a bit of everything. It was quite nice.

this is what “everything” juice looks like

After Lunch we had a wander about and looked in a few shops. I brought a lovely little Owl tealight holder, which I may take a photo of later (if I remember). It was a really nice day and it was pleasant to wander about the town. Bright is a place for tourists, in all seasons, due to the access it has to the mountains. In the spring and summer there is a lot of bushwalking around, in Autumn it’s beautiful as there are many deciduous trees and Bright turns a beautiful burst of gold, orange, and red. In winter it’s a lovely place to be a base for the snowfields.

the centre of town

On the way back we swung by the walnut farm. There was nobody in the shop, but there was an Honesty Box, so we grabbed a mixed bag (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), a bag of walnuts, and a bag of hazelnuts. We’ve been making our way through them slowly with a nutcracker and a bit of excitement. For me, food that takes a bit of process is always good. I think I get enjoyment out of the process of preparing food, whether it’s cracking nuts or peeling prawns or slow-roasting tomatoes.

We stopped by some cows…

they were confused as to why we were interrupting their grazing

…to take a photo of what we called “Titan’s Hill” because we imagined the rocks as a giant’s hand reaching up out of the hill. We decided a giant was buried under there and is forever trapped, reaching up towards freedom but never getting enough of a grip to free himself.

see the fingers reaching up?

All in all, it was a good day out with my wonderful boyfriend, driving through some beautiful scenery and eating some delicious trout. A lovely saturday indeed.