Beech Forest

Jess, Nav, Matt and I set off early on a Friday morning towards the Great Ocean Road in search of a new camping spot. I came across a little gem of a spot in Beech Forrest, situated right next to a carpark of a waterfall where camping was free and it allowed fires. Perfect! At first we were the only ones camping there and the occasional group of people would visit to see the waterfall, it was absolutely blissful.

For the remainder of the first day we relaxed, it's not often we reach our destination while there was still light so after we'd set up camp, we chilled out for the rest of the day. We cuddled up in my swag, found warmth by the camp fire, cooked marshmallows and talked for ages. Then later in the evening we had our first neighbouring camper arrive, Jerry. Jerry joined us for the rest of the night, telling us of his adventures while on the road alone, travelling around Australia in his 4x4. He also saved us by contributing firewood to help keep us going through the night, we'd already burnt through our full bag already since arriving. He was strange and quirky man, but also very nice company to keep. I asked to take a portrait of him the following day and he declined, but I sneakily took a side profile of him crossing water with his walking stick the next day (shh) hehe.

In the morning Jess (the head chef) cooked us up a feast and off we went to explore Beauchamp Falls and Hopetoun Falls. We made our way through the rainforest and I was so in awe the whole time, it was a nice change of scenery compared to our recent camping trips at the beach or out in the bush. In between visiting the waterfalls we collected a large supply of sticks and wood for the fire, the boys were having the time of their lives cutting into all of the dead tree limbs! Investing in an axe and handsaw had been the smartest decision of the entire trip, it was so cold that even my thermals and many layers of clothing couldn't stop the shivers from running through my body.

We ended our day with a beer, a pub meal and game of pool at the local Beech Forrest Pub. Afterwards we returned back to the campsite, made an outrageously big fire and then early in the evening we suffered torrential rain. We'd managed to grab a camping spot under the trees that saved us from the light rain all weekend, but there was no escaping this downpour so we went to bed a little earlier than usual. I didn't mind though, falling asleep to the sound of rain hitting the sides of a canvas tent has recently become one of my favourite things.

In the morning we woke up to a slushy mess outside from the rain. It was so cold that I couldn't feel my fingers and we couldn't make a fire because our firewood was saturated to the point of no return, so we decided to pack up early and not suffer in the cold. We headed to the closest cafe for coffee and then started our drive home, singing along to some great classics and ranting on about how great of a time we'd had. The entire weekend left me with the biggest smiles, a heart feeling so full and so many dirty clothes. Nav's moving to South Africa soon, so this trip had been extra special because it would be our last one with him for a while.

I can easily say this has been my favourite camping trip so far.

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