As my car rolls off the driveway I feel butterflies in my stomach, partly from excitement and partly from nerves.
I made it to my first stop on my six hour drive. I took a couple deep breathes and stepped out of my car to meet Kintan, as I fake my confidence by chatting too much and stumbling on my words we continued on our journey to Warrumbungle! Questions upon questions were passed between us, slowly learning more and more about each other and discussing what we expect the next three days may be like. Counting down the hours and eating our weight in snacks (“SNECKZ!”), we finally drove passed a large road sign ‘Warrumbungle Drive” we both cheered and begun to get excited and decided it was time to stretch our bodies and take out our film cameras for a few snaps of the horses and cattle along side the road. Back into the car we went for the last leg of our drive before arriving to Acacia Motor Lodge where we greeted Dan, Dave and James prior to checking into our rooms with relief that we completed our drive to Coonabarabran.
The next three days was nothing like I had expected.
I woke early and organised myself for the day. I felt uneasy at the thought of hiking 13kms, little did I know it would turn out to be a 16km incline hike in the blazing sun whilst attempting to look half decent. I went through stages of being confident, wanting to vomit, in love with the slight breeze battling with my self doubt and wanting to quit, but with a LOT of help, the cooling down of the weather and a little self bribe (hello, new 50mm lens) we made it to our sunset location, we filled up our water bottles and headed up a little further. All the negativity instantly disappeared, and all I could feel was zen. As the sky turned dark we headed back to the car park with Kintan and I leading the way singing and discussing our favourite songs, safe to say ‘yellow’ by Coldplay was playing on repeat in my head while the stars shined down on us. The Breadknife and Grand High Tops was beyond rewarding in the end, strangely enough I would do this all again in a heartbeat.
I slept on and off that night, none the less I woke up ready for another day of adventure.
Today was nice and cruisy, all packed and ready we headed to the information centre which I of course picked up a pin and patch to put onto my packs.
Next stop, Burbie Canyon which was a nice little stroll to our picnic spot, after a tasty feed I laid back beneath the trees watching the clouds roll by as the warm sun shine kissed my skin.
Before to long we were packing up again and moving to our next location, Canyon Picnic Area for a quick rock climb (Not a bad spot to claim as our first outdoor rock climb area if I do say so myself). Back down to the cars we went where Kintan and I ran through a grass field to the dried up creek to stack stones and talked about our crazy lives at present, how we’re just living life to the fullest and that anything in our pasts no longer mattered.
Baaack to the cars for a quick get away to Camp Blackman to set up ‘camp’, which mainly was us running a muck through literally a dream field of flowers with butterflies flying around us during golden hour. I still smile at the thought of us running off into the sunset with our cameras in hand and how ridiculously cheesy yet perfect it was.
The whole crew headed back to our accomodation to freshen up and grab dinner before all deciding that we wanted to chase stars for the night. Half of the crew captured the dark sky covered in a blanket of stars and planets while the other half laid in a row on rugs staring up into the milky way counting how many shooting stars we could encounter.
After the most incredible night we headed back, Kintan and I followed Dan, Dave and James, though Kintan and I ended up in an accident with wildlife which instantly put us into shock, broke our hearts and put myself into an unfortunate anxiety attack. I’m not one to let my walls down and to become vulnerable so I can’t explain how unbelievably grateful that I am that the crew that were driving along in front of us turned back to assist us and help me get through my episode, it makes me tear up even thinking about how grateful I am.
I slept between 1.5-2 hours before waking up for sunrise. I still felt anxious and dreaded driving back on the same road, after a couple silent tears I pushed my anxiety to the side as much as I could to continue on shooting for the day. The fresh morning air calmed my soul and the coffee made me feel alive again. For our last stop we headed to Whitegum Lookout which Kintan and I agreed was the perfect spot to remember this adventure by. I could wander barefoot around this lookout til the end of time, it was perfect.
Safe to say it was bittersweet to head back to our hotel for a cheeky glass of wine (or two..or three..)
by the pool along with our little dream team.
It’s strange to think that simply 5 days ago I had either met these people once before or this was the first time and to have experienced so much mentally and physically together in such a short amount of time. I did the 5 hour drive home alone which went incredibly fast as I reminisced on the past 5 days (no, I wasn’t crying, I just had something in my eye).
Side note for the crew: Thank you for such a gnarly trip with so many tasty mems, I cant wait to see all the photos by Rob and videos by Dan and Ken I’m sure they’ll all be bangers. *wink* *dab* *shakas* #thickhairproblems #everydayliving- Sorry was that too cheesy for you Rob?