Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dream Camping Trip

Last Friday at the office, so weary, but all set for the camping trip: esky, camping gear, clothes packed, knew where I was going. Then first thing in the morning, "A" emails me with an I-know-it's-late-notice-but invitation to a fabulous Disaster Movie themed birthday party the next night. And I said no I couldn't go I was all set for this camping trip.

Then I see on twitter that Donna Summer died, which made me sad about my ex and me, nostalgic I suppose, he used to play her a lot. So I got a bit teary, and as the day wore on I found I wasn't excited about the trip, but was determined to stick with it - cos I never know when to stick with a plan or when to give it the flick - so I stuck with it, and Lolly Sherman said I'd feel a lightening of spirit once I was on the Open Road, but the first half hour of the Open Road got me down the Princes Highway as far as Rockdale, and though it got better after that it was just driving, in the dark, for a long time...

And I got to the National Park, and had trouble finding the entrance from the highway, no signs, just a gap amongst the shadowy trees, a dirt track disappearing into the dark...

yes I though Deliverance, I thought Cabin in the Woods as I  drove down it to the camp-ground, negotiating the 4wd track at 15kmh, the camp-ground when I reached it a series of clearings on a final loop of the track, on hillocky ground amongst the trees; and all of spots seemed filled up but it was hard to tell in the flickering light of one big bonfire surrounded by 3-4 guys all staring at me with beer bottles in their hands - staring at my car rather, as it slowly circled them - and it was the sort of place where the anti-government the-NPWS-is-idiotic my-farther-(sic)-and-grandfarthers-(sic)-fought-for-this-country (rough quotes from a 4wd website about this camp-ground) crowd liked to gather; and one of the big tents had a sofa out the front, and there was no moon and it had taken 5 hours to get there instead of 3, and I didn't want to put the tent up in the dark and my spirit hadn't lightened on the Open Road, and as I finished the loop by the bonfire one of the guys mooned me as his mate slapped his thigh and guffawed, and I felt a little despondent.

One aborted stop-off at a flood-lit Tourist Park, where everyone was asleep; a nightmarish walk onto the beach there in an attempt to get into the being-awayness, but it was pitchy dark, and cold, I couldn't see, I almost walked into the surf, it was strange and weird and unfriendly; and dinner the packet of squashed-fly biscuits I'd fondly imagined having for afternoon teas over the weekend, eaten as I drove home without stopping, slapping myself to stay awake from exactly 11.11pm.