Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good 'Ol Newnes

Road trip!
Wife is out of town so I took the chance to get a really sore butt and get outta town.

Newnes state park had a lot of trails so I went there to do some off-roading and bush camping.
... only I ended up in a planted forest surrounded by idiots.

This is the campsite I found, and the wombat burrow right next to it. For some reason I am really afraid of wombats, and so I was happy to have a hammock to keep me out of their stumpy reaches.

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Ah, so calm in my hammock.
Then I realised I had surrounded myself with funnel-web spiders. There was literally one nest every 2 or 3 square meters. Very scary! Keep moving while eating! I started to wonder if that really was a wombat burrow after all...

Then my hammock broke in the middle of the night. I was sound asleep and I hit the ground with an involuntary "oof!" and white flash of light. It didn't hurt a bit, but then I was scared of the wombat clawing me through the mossie net. I opted not to leave the safety of my hovel, and instead choose to sleep on the ground.
It was not a good night's sleep, and there was sporadic gunfire from dusk until 9pm when the fireworks started. And I mean big ones. Like, mortar-style where you can hear the "chuuf" and then later the explosion. And they had multiple cylinders. This went on for hours. What part of total fire ban do not you understand, people?! I imagined a wall of fire moving at 100mph through the oh-so-flammable tight-packed pines I was trying to sleep in.
I was happy despite getting poor sleep. Happy just to be alive.
I drove out of camp after eating a piece of white bread and an apple, and found some great spots away from the logging / shooting / fireworks-during-total-fire-ban / 500cc-2-strokes-after-10pm-with-no-muffler woods that is Newnes SP.

ants. I think these hurt if they bite you. They definitely weren't afraid of me. They moved in a little pack, not like a trail, but just a group of maybe 7 ants traveling together.

Here's a male and female parrot I came across on the trail to the glow-worm tunnel.

Meh. They were quite nice in person...

Glow-worm tunnel. Some teens came along and went ahead, pretty annoying, plus I didn't have a good flashlight (I brought a crank-style one) so I didn't go in.

I headed up and around the tunnel,

And there was amazing scenery with caves and rock pagodas.

This was Wollemi National Park.

Immediately after taking this shot I was walking back to my bike and a huge black snake slithered past on the trail. It was about 4' long and very fast. It had a wide head area. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a black rat snake... It wasn't shiny black though, more like a dusty black. Almost charcoal. I can't find it online.
Update: Eastern Brown Snake

I wasn't exactly quick on the draw. Actually I already had my cam in my hand but it was off and I was shocked. I chased it a bit and it crawled up the rock face into a crack very very fast.

I'm home now. Home sweet home. I love home. I think I hate camping. Karin makes it better by refusing to stay in stupid places where there are bogans and funnel-webs.

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