Sunday, May 22, 2011

Campertrailer trial

Smithy and I bought a campertrailer last year and took delivery of it in September. Very excited to try it out, we booked ourselves a weekend away, but it poured with rain that weekend and we didn't go. Once we came back from our India trip, we booked another camping weekend, but it rained then too. Then of course, we had all that dreadful weather over the summer and so had no opportunity to go camping. Then March this year, we made another booking to go to Binna Burra in the Lamington National Park on the Gold Coast hinterland. Bucketed with rain, didn't it? So we didn't camp, just drove down on the Saturday to join our friends for a bushwalk along the Ship's Stern circuit and drove home again that same evening.

So, not ones to give up, we picked this weekend to have another go. This time we decided we wouldn't book - we'd just take our chances. After all, every time we booked, the weather conspired against us. So, Friday afternoon, we packed up and headed off on our inaugural campertrailer trip - to Binna Burra. Well, it is one of our favourite spots and very accessible from inner-suburban Brisbane. Got down there in good time and trotted up to the lodge to get a camping spot for the weekend. Wouldn't you know it, we could only get a site for one night. Totally booked out they were! Oh well, one night it is. We found our site and set about organising ourselves. Since it was the first time we had used the campertrailer, it took us a little while to sort everything out, but we soon had ourselves nicely established. Poured some wine, broke out some dips and crackers, and made ourselves comfortable whilst we watched our Japanese neighbours trying to put up their brand-new straight-out-of-the-box tent. Smithy had to lend a hand when it turned out none of them was tall enough to get the fly over the ridge-pole.

Had some cute dinner-time visitors - a pair of brushtail possums. They were very tame and happily took food from our hands. One of them bit me when it mistook my finger for more food. No more hand-feeding after that!

We didn't have a great night's sleep. Nothing to do with our campertrailer - it was very comfortable and we were certainly warm enough. Just kept drifting in and out of wakefulness. So, we were well awake by 6.30 and brewing the first cuppa of the day. We had to pack everything up before we went off for our bushwalk, but that went very smoothly and by 8.30 we set off for the Coomera Circuit - a 17.5 km walk.

What a great day! The wildlife was terrific. Lots of pademelons bounding across our path. Never seen so many in one day as we did yesterday. We were almost tripping over them! The birdlife was prolific too. Couldn't see many birds, but the air was filled with their songs - including the uncanny baby-cries sound of the catbird. We also saw a python. Actually, I nearly stepped on it! It was laying across our path and it took a moment or two for my brain to register what it was. When it became obvious the python wasn't going to move, we very carefully scrambled up a small embankment to go around it. Good stuff!

I love the Coomera Circuit. It has lots and lots of waterfalls along it, which are quite spectacular. Of course, waterfalls mean rivers and creeks and we had rather a lot of crossings to negotiate. Some were straight-forward but others necessitated some tricky rock hopping and wading through water. Many of the rocks were very slippery and at one point I found myself emulating a cartoon character on ice. You know how their feet go slip slip slip before they fall on their bums? Well , that was me - both feet doing that little ice two-step, before I managed to retain my balance and complete the river crossing.

By the time the track rejoined the Border Track, we were both feeling a little footsore and I suddenly remembered the reasons why I had bought new leather trekking boots instead of sticking with my Goretex and suede Kailash boots. Sure, they are lightweight, but the trade-off is a reduction in cushioning. So with sore toes, we trudged our way closer and closer to the Binna Burra Tea-house, spurring ourselves on with thoughts of the big bowl of hot chips waiting for us when we got there. We opted for the wedges, in the end and very delicious they were too. A fit reward after our 5.5hr, 17.5km hike.

Tucked up in our own bed last night listening to the rain on the roof, we were not at all disappointed that we'd only been able to camp for one night. And we can finally say we've tried out our campertrailer!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Bootcamp 2011: Month Four

Smithy and I had our final weigh ins at Jenny Craig today. Smithy has done really well over the past three months and reached her goal weight. Me - not so good. My weight yo-yoed a bit, but I did lose just over 5kg. Three kilograms short of my goal weight and less than half a kilo a week. But a good weight loss all the same. We're both going to continue with a reduced calorie diet to see how much more we can lose - I definitely want to lose at least 3 more kilograms.

The best thing about the weight-loss so far? I can now fit back into all my jeans! Haven't worn them for a couple of years, so it's nice to have them available again.

We're five months out from our Himalayan trek, so still have plenty of time to ratchet up the exercise and training. Now that the weather is getting cooler, we're starting to look at doing some regular all-day bushwalks and I'll be starting some strength training work in the next month. My back really needs to be stronger and I want to build up the muscles around my knees. It sure won't hurt to get some definition in the ol' biceps either. For now, I'll just keep up with the walking home from work each day. That's maintaining my fitness levels nicely and giving me a good platform to build on.