Eager to slip on my hiking boots and go exploring, I made an open invitation for my friends to come join me on a camping trip to The Grampians for a little weekend getaway.
The eight of us camped at Plantation Campground located on Mt Zero Road in Halls Gap. If you're looking for a place to stay close to The Grampians, I highly recommend this place! You can enjoy camping for free in a beautiful, well-kept environment full of all the facilities you'll need.
Some arrived at the campsite earlier, setting up around 3:00pm. Myself and a few others arrived much later, around 10:30pm after having finished work, getting grub and completing the three hour drive from Melbourne. Once we were all together, I introduced everyone to one another, as some were meeting new friends for the first time. We stayed up late, eating baklava, listening to music and talking of what plans we had in store for the following day.
In the morning we all enjoyed a nice 9:00am sleep in and a big hearty breakfast was served to us, courtesy of Fran. We then played a bit of frisbee before setting off in our hiking boots, ready to climb to the top of the Pinnacle. Our friend Cody loves to explore and it's no secret that he's a little nature child, he kept us entertained during the hike, climbing onto any rocks he could find and searching for secret caves to enter into. We found a cave at the top of the mountain that we spent some time chilling in, having a cheeky smoke and listening to some music. Afterwards, we set off to MacKenzie Falls for a dip in the waterfall to cool off, then back to the campsite for dinner, before packing up and heading back home.
Although our adventure was short-lived, it was still the perfect amount of time to leave me feeling rejuvenated for the rest of the week. I had read in an article recently that majority of us get to work on a Monday morning, dreading the work week ahead and dreaming of going off on holidays. With these thoughts in the back of our minds, we easily forget that you don't need to take days, or even weeks off of work to just to feel like you've had some time away. Instead, all you need is 48 hours, a good group of friends and a destination within hours reach to have a fulfilling weekend away. Our weekend was the perfect example of this, by the end it had all of us feeling that we would all be off again soon, curious as to where our next adventure would take us!
Thanks to Fran, Cody, Mitch, Nav, Matt, Sab and Cathy for an epic weekend <3
‘Yeah buddy! We found you!’
‘Haha I know!’
‘How… is this even possible?’
The night had gone quiet, the occasional roars and cries of the sizeable band of young backpackers camped nearby the only noise piercing the silence of the bush. Whether this silence was perceived due to my highness or real though, I could not tell.
'I sent Nat a text...' I said as I exhaled a dense cloud of white smoke and passed the joint to Matt who was laying next to me on the grass. 'Told them I'm wearing a bright red top and that my car is a black 4WD.' 'You know they can't see your red top or your car in this darkness yeah?' He said dreamily.
'Maybe tell them we are listening to Bob Marley?' One of the girls suggested. 'They could find us that way?'
This 'they' included Nat and a few other friends who had left Melbourne a bit later than us, and were supposed to meet us at camping grounds around sunset. Except that they didn't. It was almost 10 and they were still nowhere to be found. I got up, climbed onto the roof of my car to get some phone reception, sent them a final text and then plopped back down next to the others and took the joint from Matt.
'Do you guys think they'll actually find us tonight?'
I don't know how much time passed. But it didn't really matter, for the sky was ablaze with a trillion little burning dots and the night creatures were up singing and keeping our company. We smoked and drank and talked about whatever. Our plans of rendezvous seemed to have failed, but we had left our anxieties back in the city. Out here, the darkness was no veil trying to keep us from our friends, but rather a blanket under which laid the mysteries of a whole universe. It imbued a sense of whatever was to happen, would happen. And then...
'Nav?' There is something revitalising about waking up in the bush. You don't stretch as much, your body feels fresher, younger, ready to step outside and embrace the world. A breakfast of toast, beans and freshly-brewed coffee. We are off to do some hiking. But then, less than 12 hours after being reunited, we have lost each other again. Slowing down to avoid the dust storm the first car was kicking up in their wake, I lost them somewhere along the way. We circle the streets of Halls Gap for a while, try calling them (unsuccessfully) and eventually that same feeling we had last night tells us to go and it'll be fine.
We take on the hiking route known as the Pinnacle. The sunlight is crisp, the air laden with light. The ancient sandstorm rocks feel reassuring under our feet as we navigate one of the most captivating landscapes in Victoria. We sit at the very top, where the land juts out into space, with our feet dangling over the side and snack on nuts and crackers. And I'm thinking to myself; it's been a good day, even if we can't all be together to enjoy the views, when I hear someone's voice from behind; 'Nav!'
I turn around, stunned. The bush has reunited us, once again.
Written by Nav Samedi