Monthly Archives: October 2014

Why I won’t be going back to Tidal River

Sometimes camping really sucks.
Like when the campsite you’re at has had a wedding booked at it and the frigging nightclub music doesn’t stop until 1.30am.
That was my recent Saturday night at Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory with a friend after we’d just walked over 20km on blistered feet (to be the subject of another blog) and were looking forward to an early night and a long sleep. But it was not to be.
Even with earplugs it was impossible to drown out the racket. The dull thump thump bass of a DJ’s beats were constant. At every pause between songs we silently wished that was the last. We were disappointed often.
Tidal River is a very popular campsite, with families as well as walkers and holiday makers there. Few would have got a decent night sleep this night.
There’s something utterly incompatible with this scenario. A beautiful natural location, managed by Parks Victoria, the government organisation charged with looking after our wilderness areas, hosting a loud, intrusive wedding and reception.
I realise there may be a view that parks should have to pay their way. But to the detriment of what makes them special? And disruptive to other users?
Anyway, I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be going back to stay at Tidal River. And I’d recommend anyone thinking about it to carefully consider what they may end up experiencing.

Climbing walls again!

After a break of a couple of years I’m back climbing.

It’s something I’ve done off and on for about 20 years. The thing about climbing is you need someone at the bottom of the rope to belay you, to hold and tighten the rope if you fall, stopping you from falling. And if you’re going to do it outside, you should go with people who know what they’re doing – ie how to tie knots and set up ropes safely and securely.

So the off times have been when I haven’t known anyone who likes climbing, or has the right amount of knowledge, or just the time to do so. The on times when circumstances have aligned and I’ve have found the right people.

I’m back on again after an old friend originally from Germany moved back to Australia.

I find climbing a great combination of a physical and mental workout. Physical because you’re using your arms and legs to climb the wall, and mental because you need to think about how best to get to the top.

On the wall

On the wall

You can’t just muscle your way up. You need to think how to place your feet, where to put them, which holds to grab and how to hold them. You need to be efficient in your moves otherwise you’ll tire quickly.

And that’s one of the things I like most about climbing. The best climbers aren’t necessarily the ones with the biggest muscles. The people who get up quickly and make it look effortless are actually small and lithe and are economical with their movements. They look like they flow up the wall.

I climb at an indoor gym although outdoors is the best. At the gym you’re using colour coded holds to determine your climb while outdoors you use anything and everything to get yourself to the top.

The shoes.

The shoes.

Plus being in the outdoors in the fresh air, amongst the trees and birds, just makes everything better. But if you’re going to go outdoors, you also need equipment, which can be expensive. And as I said earlier, know what you’re doing. Because while climbing is a safe sport, it’s only safe if you make sure you follow safety guidelines religiously and don’t cut any corners.

So if you’ve never tried climbing, give it a go. It’s a fun bug to be bitten by.