East Gippsland 2003

Meuller and Hicks

Goanna in the campsite

Goanna in the campsite, looking for food. The wheel on the right is a bicycle wheel. I think it wanted to have a ride.

My back was killing me when I awoke. Lesson one when camping: don’t buy a cheapie sleeping mat.

A morning walk along the beach cured it, and I was able to see little bouncing bug things. I have no idea what they are, but they would crawl around for a bit, then leap half a metre or so, and land on their back. Then they’d flip over, crawl around a bit more, and repeat.

After spraying on some insect repellent to keep the HUGE flies and other creepy-crawlies at bay (only time I’ve had a fly actually inflict pain on me when it bit into me), we walked along the beach to Mueller River. There was a nice peaceful inlet there, which was a great spot to stop for lunch and then have a swim. Then we walked back inland along the road. It was very hot, but frequent stops for drinks in the shade kept us going. We got back into the camp site to see a huge goanna creeping along the sites, looking for food. It skulked off into the bushes when it saw us.

In the afternoon we went for a walk west along the path to the lighthouse. A little way along was a gate, and a sign claiming the lighthouse was but a mere 2.2km "easy" walk. So we thought we’d try it. Whoever wrote the sign were a pack of lying bastards. It was torturous, and we should have taken more water. Up hills, down hills, up more steeper hills. It seemed like ages before we actually got to the lighthouse. And even then we didn’t quite make it. C was stuffed and waited by the information board while I kept going down the track to look at the lighthouse. The view off the coast was worth it, as well as the marker with potted history. Point Hicks was named after Lieutenant Hicks, who was the first man on Captain Cook’s ship to spot the eastern Australian coast in 1770.

The rock formations on the point were very pretty to look at. I was dying for a leak, so carefully choosing a spot where the wind was less strong and more predictable (I will always remember that centuries old advice: He who pisseth into the wind, wetteth his shirt), I left my mark on one of the rocks. On the way back up the path C came and yelled that she could see a brown snake on the path with me. I didn’t see it, but it scared the shit out of me, and we made our escape.

Further down the path on the way back we passed a beach. I was so hot and sweaty that – despite the presence of others on the beach, perhaps 500 metres away – I stripped off and jumped in the water for a minute. It was very comforting, until I noticed a woman walking down the beach towards us, and I put my clothes back on in something of a hurry.

We walked back thoroughly exhausted.

Lesson two when camping: When going walking, take along plenty of water.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.