One lesson from this weekend's hike is that Google maps cannot be described as accurate! The purpose of the trip was to test our gear, and find out what we will and won't use over four days hiking and camping in Peru.
Just packing for the trip was an experience, with jade and I unpacking and repacking her bag the night before. Debra cut a bunch of stuff from her pack to save weight, and I didn't but would grow to wish I did!
Our adventure began at 5am Saturday, among wild weather warnings. We drove through the dark and thick fog to Govetts Leap, and a spectacular sunrise. With excitement and energy we gingerly began our walk, as the frost was still on the ground. We wound our way through Australia's Grand Canyon, which is a gorgeous green, mossy canyon.
Not long after this we began using the trusty Google maps to find our lunch spot- Junction rock. For around 2 hrs, it was just around the corner (20 minutes to be precise). Finally, exhausted by the demands of the "walk," we stopped where we stood for lunch.
Junction Rock was over an hour deeper into the forest, and we faced a serious decision at that point. Do we continue another "500 metres, about 20 min" to where we planned to camp? Or do we face the gruelling 1300 step climb out of the forest to our cars (which at that point may have taken hours).
Everybody was tired, particularly dad who had carried two packs for the past 5km. We decided to push on.
For the record, Acacia Flat is 4km from Junction rock. Chris carried two packs for this section. We made to the campground only about an hour late, but physically, emotionally, and mentally spent!
Nothing left to do but pitch a tent, change, and crack open the wine. This we did with great relish, and enjoyed a crackling fire in our wet weather gear, with the lightest rain sprinkling overhead.
Day two, we changed our plans to tackle the climb out first, rather than 8km in. This club was spectacular and intense, with all of us scrambling on our hands and knees to get up. To our right were sheer sandstone cliffs, to our left, steep and lush mountainside.
The fog got thicker as we got higher, so there wasn't much of a view, but finally after 2hrs of steep and technical climbing, we made the top! It was a fantastic achievement, simply because of the level of difficulty.
Everyone is already sore, but I have a feeling we will all be sorer tomorrow! Well done guys!