Day 1 – Monday 11-Aug-2014

@11:25am

The Boss has come and locked my bags in storage for me, and I’m almost ready to get moving.

I haven’t eaten any solid food today, and won’t until I’ve walked down the mountain and setup my camp. Hope my sleeping-bag is still where I stashed it, but since I’ve never seen any evidence that anyone has visited the camp when I’m not there, I think it’ll be all good.

I also won’t get another coffee until I’m down there and set-up, so I’m gulping down what I can before leaving, then waiting to empty my bladder.

@4:09pm

Well here we are; At camp, tarp raised and coffee made. The walk down this time was a bit more strenuous because my backpack is loaded with much more weight. More sugar, more powdered milk, more gas, many more packets of pasta and sauce, plus this time I’m giving deep-fried noodles, garlic, shallots and dried mushrooms a go – just for a change from pasta all the time. The mushrooms weight nothing but the noodles are over half a kilo ’cause I bought two large packets from the Asian Food section at Coles.
Anyway, my back muscles were starting to hurt before I even got down the Giant Staircase, so by the time I’d arrived here at camp, I couldn’t wait to unstrap the pack.

It’ll be dark in about an hour, and the air is already icy, so I’ll layer-up and get some noodles cooking before then. I always have dinner early here – at around 3:00-4:00pm – because.. Well it’s just more difficult with a head-torch.

@8:24pm

There’s something creepy about the place tonight. There’s a full moon and it’s foggy, but that’s not why.
No doubt, my spending the last few days reading online missing persons profiles hasn’t helped.

The cleaner at the backpackers asked whether I’d bumped into anybody out here, stating quite earnestly “you never know, anyone could be a psycho or anything. There’s so many places to hide down there. People go missing ’round here.. It does happen you know”.

Maybe it’s a combination of these things, and the fact it’s only just past dinner-time, and already it’s dead quiet: no leaves rustling, no wind at all, not even the usual distant own hooing.

Gives you that feeling someone else is here, or why would the wildlife be so quiet? But of course, I haven’t heard as much as a leaf rustle, so nobody *can* be here.

Still eerie indeed.

@9:35pm

So I’d just laid down and started drifting off to sleep, when the fog and clouds cleared to reveal a full moon – which lit-up the entire forest – and animals finally began to mill about.

Seconds ago, while writing that last paragraph, I hear an “ooo” noise coming towards me and look up just in time to see a bat – dimly lit by moonlight – smack into the gumtree just a few feet away then claw it’s way up the trunk. They hit the trees so hard it’s a wonder they’ve survived as long as they have. I swear I can feel the vibration as they “clunk” into the tree and then, the way they clumsily claw and grapple their way higher up the trunk is quite a thing to witness.

I probably had time to hit me head-torch and snap a photo, but I would’ve scared it away, so I didn’t bother with the cameras.

I’m also hearing other unidentified animals at ground level, and hopefully those Marsupials are coming ’cause I’ve laid-out a feast for them.

Day 1 – Monday 11-Aug-2014
Rate in Guidos

Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.