After leaving Gideon’s we called in at Brendan’s house to pick up two camping mattresses he kindly said he would lend us, then made one last stop at Paul’s house in Parramatta to check his post as he is currently back in the UK and finally we were on our way to the Blue Mountains.
Tom and Chris were also coming camping with us but we planned to meet them at the campsite as they wanted to watch the football (zzz) first. It didn’t take us that long to get there from Parramatta (roughly 1.5 hours) and Brendan’s directions to the campsite were exceptional. We were very lucky, in fact, that Brendan was round at Gideon’s house on Thursday evening when we popped in after work, as the whole trip was a bit last minute and we had initially planned to just drive around until we found a campsite that wasn’t fully booked. On hearing this Brendan immediately said he knew of an excellent place that he goes to every Easter (this one being an exception as he and his wife now have a 6 week old baby) that always has space, is next to a river, has toilets and showers and allows open log fires. He then drew me an intricate map as standard Australian road maps don’t seem to cover the Blue Mountains in detail and stop entirely short of the campsite. Very handy!
Anyway, as I said, we got to the campsite with no trouble at all and found ourselves a nice little spot right next to a place where Cox’s River joins up with the Let River and apparently (we were told later by the campsite owner) is where the historic explorers, Gregory Blaxland, William Wentworth and William Lawson made their crossing on their great expedition across the Blue Mountains in May of 1813.
As it was still spitting and daylight was quickly disappearing we got a start on setting up camp straight away and were soon joined by the boys as they were only half an hour behind us. We were very glad of the firewood we had brought with us and the tarpaulin that Gideon had lent us and it wasn’t long before the tents were up, a fire was blazing and we had a nice rigging for the tarp so we could sit comfortably in the dry. Mat got a fine beef stew on the go and we all sat round chatting and appreciating being outside with the elements. Okay we weren’t in the middle of the bush wilderness but it felt pretty close.
Even though it continued to drizzle and rain throughout the night we had much fun and stayed surprisingly civilized considering what the boys are normally like after a few beers (I think it has something to do with the fact Steve has temporarily left us to go travelling round Australia with his girlfriend for a few months – when you put all three of them together and add beer it generally equates to raucous shenanigans). We finally all crawled off to our tents around midnight and went to sleep to the gentle sound of the river gurgling next to us and the intermittent “drip drip drip” of rain on the tent roof – Fantastic !!!