This week I participated in VU’s Adventure Race with my Adventure Programming class!
School here is so different. Im taking a university course called adventure programming, the class has 13 people in it and we just went on a 6 day camping trip where we participated in our own adventure race. Whaaaaa
Going into this trip I seriously was regretting not dropping the course when I had the chance. The trip cost $300 and being as broke as I am I felt as though my money could go towards other uses. But nope I was stuck so I sucked it up, paid the fee, packed my bag and prepared myself (mentally and physically) for a week of what I thought would be hell in the bush – I was very overdramatic
Good Friday! – yes this trip was over Easter weekend which is also the mid-semester break aka reading week here. We set off early in the morning for Mt Baw Baw where we would be spending our week. In partners we had to prepare ABL (Adventure Based Learning) lesson plans, hand them in and present our lesson to the class. I went first, having no idea what I was doing but hopefully managed to pull it off. It was literally torrential downpour at this point and I was seriously scared for the week ahead. We were warned that it might snow! After realizing the area we wanted to camp in was very busy due to the long weekend we eventually found somewhere to camp for the night. The adventure race began and we received our first envelope with plans for the next day.
Woke up, and packed out bags so we were ready to spend 3 days bushwalking. Yayyy. We completed an initiative activity (traffic jam) and then set off on the days bushwalk. We hiked up to mushroom rocks and from there went off track in an attempt to navigate ourselves to a unmarked hut in the middle of the forest. Thankfully we had some experienced navigators in our group who took the lead. We hiked off track in the thickest bush possible and I swear I thought I was never going to get out. After crossing a creek we found the hut! This was super exciting becuase we were only the second group in all time history to actually find it! From here we navigated ourselves through some even thicker bush (didnt think that was possible) to get to Alpine Meadows; which proved to be a beautiful spot to camp for the night.
We got up right at the crack of dawn to pack up our bags, eat some quick breakfast and start the hike of the day. We had to head back the way we came and get back to Mushroom Rocks. So we headed back through the thick bush which seemed to be even thicker again! We took the most terrifying route and I thought I was going to slip and fall so many times but the view was spectacular! No thanks to my broken camera I have no way of documenting any of this :(. We eventually made it back to Mushroom Rocks where me being the monkey I am decided to climb up some of the rocks which was sweet! We completed another initiative activity “Toxic Waste” and kept on hiking. Thankfully we were back on the trail (The Australian Alps Walking Track). This hike was much longer than the day before and after making it to the road and walking down it for a bit we met back up with the track and heading downhill which seemed like for forever! I swear it was probably 4km of pure steep downhill with crazy heavy packs on our backs. There were times in this walk where I definitely did not think I would make it or at least that my back would and the entire time I just kept thinking of what my mother would say about how bad that was for my back and how awful my posture was. But we eventually made it to camp, where the other group was as well and we ad a lovely evening around a campfire and it was a clear night so we got to see some stars! I can now identify the southern cross star constellation.
This day was supposed to be spent mountain biking but (thankfully – I was so tired) the mountain biking was removed as it did not pass the safety check so we moved onto plan B for the day. This involved us going to the old mining town of Walhalla for the day. Some more people presented their ABL lesson plans and then in the afternoon we did an ‘Amazing Race’ style scavenger hunt around the town trying to answer all these questions in our individual teams. Our team won! And I discovered some of the weirdest facts about this weird town. There is only 22 permanent residents, they just recently got electricity, Charles Speets was Swedish, the general store is at the site of the old Bank and so many more absolutely useless random facts.
Day 5: RAFTING!!!
Wooo today was rafting day! I was pretty nervous as everyone was wearing wetsuits but of course I don;t have one here so I was wearing 2 pairs of thermals, over pants, and a fleece and praying that I wouldn’t flip or at least if I did that I would be warm enough! But nope – the instant I got in my boat (RK-2) which were 2 person inflatable rafts that were canoe/kayak shaped it flooded up with water and I was instantly soaked and remained that way for the rest of the day. Oh well! We rafted approximately 8km down the Thomson River and it was so much fun. Even though the water levels were very low so we were constantly getting stuck on rocks I had a fantastic time and would love the opportunity to do it again! Such a thrill and it required lots of thinking and strategy and trust and communication between you and your partner. It was an awesome day! In the end, I was the only person who didn’t fully fall in the water so I’d also call that a success. By the end of the day everyone was exhausted as we headed back to camp for the last night. It began to rain and didn’t really stop all night but thankfully we were headed home in the morning. Also saw and petted a crazy ass spider! It was apparently just a small huntsman but it was pretty big to me!
Home time! The camp came to a conclusion. After packing up, loading the trailer and the bus and hitting the road we eventually made it home safe and sound. I hate to be wrong but I was definitely wrong about dreading this trip as much as I did. It ended up being quite a good week and I got to try some new things (such as rafting)! After having a good week in the bush I find it really hard to come back to real life. I am back at home and have assignments to do, stuff to plan, hopefully get some shifts at work this week and I have to get this all done in less than a week as I go on a canoe trip in a week! But guess YOIAO (You’re Only In Australia Once) – new saying
Word of the week: Bogan = an Australian version of a hick