listening to Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
Mt. Warning & Byron Bay weekend
Before I embark on this arduous task of blogging this entry, let me just whinge. Blogger's photo uploading function is really CRAP. I have such a bigass chunk of photos to upload for this entry that I have been procrastinating for a whole week and when i finally got down to doing it 2 days ago, I couldn't finish it in one go because it just took too bloody long. It is insane, I tell you.
Keerling, i feel your pain. All together now, GAHHHH!!
Anyway, on to happier things! Last weekend Wayne brought us for an overnight trip to Byron Bay, which is this town in Northern New South Wales (different time zone some more) and about 2.5 hrs drive from Gold Coast. It was quite a major trip and we went together with Darryl, Wayne's good friend, and his family. Before that we went to Mt. Warning for some bush-walking cum back-breaking climb. That giant lump of soil is about 1400m high and the whole walk up and down was 8.8 km. It was quite an achievement for me yippeyay because seriously, when was the last time I climbed something remotely similar to a mountain?? The summit of Mt. Warning is actually the first part of Australia to see the rising sun, so people started climbing as early as 3am just to catch the sunrise. And true enough, when we started climbing at around 8, there were already people making their way down. What early birds these peeps were! Anyway, I mentally prepared myself for days for the walk because Wayne had made it sound like a damn challenging activity. As though we were about to literally go beating around the bush while balancing ourselves on loose rocks and waving sticks at random snakes.
But lo and behold, we DID stumble upon a snake. HELLO THERE! It was this skinny grey snake that was lying at the side of the pathway and while we slowly inched our way past it, it was making hissing noises, like almost ready to take a chunk off our feet. It was quite small though so there was no drama, no fainting, no blood, no commotion. Everything under control.
We didn't take much photos on the way up because everyone was just too tired to pose. As for myself, even in the midst of huff puffing through the trees I personally was more concerned about not getting enough photos out of the trip than getting ambushed by wild mountain animals. haha.
By the time we managed to steal a glimpse of the peak, the ascending steps had turned into some really steep mass of rocks which we had to climb in order to reach the top. It was madness! Super steep and the photos below (especially the 3rd) are damn misleading because maysan and I looked like we were just catwalking up the rocks but really.. I was actually holding the metal chain very tight til my knuckles turned white and clinging on for dear life.
The sign says, "Only fit and experienced walkers to proceed beyond this point". Woohoo, what does that make me? :)
Surprisingly, I didn't feel as bad as I thought I would be after the whole thing, even though at some points of time I was nearly so exhausted that I was on the verge of going down on all fours. There was definitely plenty of damn unglam moments. Perspiring buckets while hobbling down the rocks and nearly taking a tumble about a hundred times on the way down. Next time any of you wanna go bushwalking, bring me along. I am a valuable entertainment factor. Ask Wayne.
The view up at Mt. Warning, or "Cloud catcher" as the locals call it because the peak always seemed to be perpetually drowning in a sea of clouds.
We took slightly over 4 hours to climb up and down, and by the time it was over, half my blood had rushed to my head. It felt damn shiok! After Mt. Warning, we took a leisurely drive to our motel at Byron Bay, passing through mountain ranges, macadamia plantations and all. The view along the way was spectacular.
Everywhere we drove, the mountains were like a ubiquitous backdrop that peeked out from a sea of green. Lush green hills and grass stretched for as far as the eyes can see and rows upon rows of macadamia trees dotted the hills while cows roamed about. Brown cows, black cows, spotted cows, all wagging their tails while greedily munching on grass. Little brick houses with wooden fences were scattered around the plains like mushrooms. It was a rather surreal feeling.
I still remember last year when I was knee-deep in some sort of depression, I wished above everything else that I could go somewhere far, somewhere tranquil where there are just grass and hills and mountains. I even blogged about it here and googled out a picture of what I thought would be a perfect place to wake up every morning in. No tutorials to hand in, no obligations, no handphone, no laptop, just getting away from the humdrum existence I had grown to loathe.
But now i've gotten more than I bargained for, complete with the cherry on top of the ice cream. Just that instead of lying flat on the grass gazing at it all, I was sitting in a car moving at 60km/hr, eyes darting left and right, trying to take in everything while frantically attempting to snap good pictures to capture the beauty of it all.
But to no avail :(
Anyway, the next day we woke up in Byron Bay!
We were really fortunate because the day we were there, it was the first sunday of the month and there was a bigass market going on. Plenty of things to see!
The doll-like thing in the middle is a "Dream Carer" and it is supposed to look after your dream. Quite interesting, 'cept that its head is made of macadamia nut and it costs $25.
Wayne and his chilli plant. It was a really cool plant called Rainbow Chilli plant. The chillis are red, yellow and purple and they look so adorable growing upwards like little buds! :)
It was a bloody hot day and the temperature got as high as 40C! At the end of it all my arms and back were absolutely sunburnt. I
had have tanlines down the front too. A strip of fair running down my chest because of the crumpler sling that I was carrying. Brilliant.
So, people complaining that I was too fair *cough keerling cough cough rudy*, THERE YOU GO!
Speaking of fair, the other day when Wayne, Nathan and I were taking a dip at the pool of our motel after the Mt. Warning climb, a random angmoh asked if he could take a photo with me because he found it intriguing that I was so fair.
Anyway, after the market we went to the famous Byron Bay lighthouse, but not before we took ten thousand steps up the hill to get to the top. I tell you, by the end of the weekend my calf muscles were crying bloody murder.
This coast in Byron Bay is actually the most eastern part of Australia!
We had so much fun monkeying around the lighthouse, taking silly photos and snapping so many pictures of the lighthouse left right centre, from a myriad of different angles. I mean, how could we not, after all those stairs we scaled just to get there?!
The view of the beach from the top was awesome! We even managed to see a school of dolphins swimming in the sea and one of them was riding the waves and did a momentary jump-flip out of the water too! CAN YOU SEE THEM? look at those little fins! Managed to capture them after some hardcore zooming.
So that about sums up our weekend. Exhausting but well spent. My legs cramped big time the next day and we were hobbling to work on monday morning. Despite all the fatigue, I had a jolly good time and I feel really thankful that Wayne is nice enough to bring us around, especially to all these places we otherwise wouldn't have been able to visit on our own. Hmm.. better start thinking about where to bring him around when he comes to singapore end of this year.
Labels: aussie, travel