Published: July 28th 2009July 4th 2009
I can't sleep ... and I can only blame it on the freezing weather and high caffeine intake. I have consumed too much tea and coffee throughout the day just to keep warm. As I lay awake, my eyes got fixated on the shadows of trees swaying back and forth around our tent. Gust of wind eerily bellows through the night making my skin break out in goose bumps. Thermometer drops a degree by the hour. I put on another layer of clothing and thicker socks…still…no reprieve from the wintry windy weather. As my body shuts down from prolonged restlessness, my consciousness drifted away…
Jamie woke up early in the morning and got the campfire started. Still feeling lethargic for only having few hours of sleep, I got up and made myself a hot cup of instant cappuccino and sat by the campfire. Sausages, bacon and eggs started sizzling in our makeshift kitchen. My mother is making a hearty breakfast - the stroke inducing kind, which hardens and clog up arteries . A simple jam on toast or bowl of cereal is not what she’ll call a real
breakfast. Her version of a good breakfast has to be swimming in
Valley of Diamonds
The crystals glisten as the sun shines on the gorge
fat and seasoned with tons of salt. Though I must add that she made really nice chicken schnitzel and stockpot for lunch and dinner...can't complain really
It’s our third time camping and pretty much know what to bring and get everything organized, except for one important thing - Jamie's bag of clothes was left behind. So right after breakfast, we drove to the town of Toowoomba to get him new wardrobe and some more food supplies. Toowoomba
is about an hour drive from Crows Nest National Park
where we setup camp. And because it’s Sunday, most of the shops are closed. We drove around and lucky enough we managed to find shops that have the supplies we wanted. I bought myself another tracksuit pants and hot water bottles to keep us warm in the tent during the night.
Toowoomba is now a lot more built-up than the last time I remember. We used to go to the flower festival every Spring few years back to check out the flowers parade and award-winning beautiful gardens of the locals.
Back at the campsite, we explored the park’s rugged landscape by following the walking tracks through forest of
Eucalypts, which leads to stunning scenery of granite gorge, cascades, waterfalls, waterhole, rock pools
and the valley of diamonds.
The minerals found in the Valley of Diamonds glisten in the sunlight sparkling like diamonds. If real diamonds were found here, this beautiful national park would have probably already been torn apart to mine the precious stones. I can't really understand how society put so much value on shiny things.
Whilst frolicking around Kauyoo Pool
, Jamie and I thought to scout the area further. We heard a waterfall nearby but it's nowhere in sight. We climbed over massive boulders and weaved through bushes just to find the hidden waterfall ... and it's worth it !
Crows Nest National Park is also home to a lot of native wildlife
. We spotted a brush-tailed rock wallaby
(smaller version of kangaroos) across the creek and different species of birds. The campsite is regularly visited by possums, brush turkeys, echidnas
. It’s a sheer entertainment just watch them lurk around and chase each other. I also wanted to see a platypus
, but this elusive nocturnal creature can only be seen at dusk and before dawn.
The donkey boiler
Where we get our hot water for washing and shower
Thanks to this ingenious piece of invention, we had hot showers everyday. It’s a little puzzling at first figuring out how it works. This type of hot water system is called Donkey Boiler
because it simply looks like a donkey. It’s really quite easy to operate. The drum (or donkey’s trunk) is already filled with water. Simply put firewood underneath the drum and start a fire to heat up the water. To get the hot water out, turn the lever, cold water pours into the funnel (donkey’s ear) causing water to overflow to an outlet pipe (donkey’s tail). Then place a bucket by the donkey’s behind to catch the warm/hot water.
Part of the fun of camping is having a campfire. Marshmallows and turkish bread are toasted over the amber. Jamie re-tells his funny stories from his old work whilst waiting for our treats to be warm enough to enjoy. The fire provided us warmth and illumination.
It is hypnotizing to watch the flame as it dances with the wind under the moonlight.
Almost in a state of trance, I retired early to bed to catch some sleep.
There are more photos below