I am part of a great group of buddies, the male half of which get an annual itching to go hiking for a few days. The itch occurs around January of each year and all at once a hike is planned, Henry dehydrates his famous spaghetti bolognaise and the women and children are left to figure out what to do. Alas, hiking for a bunch of ladies with tiny tots does not really figure into any equation and while we talk about ‘one day’ doing our own little hike, that probably won’t happen for a few more years at least. In the past the guys have hiked in and around the ACTs own Namadgi National Park and the Snowy Mountains, this time they decided to do a hike from the top of Clyde Mountain down to the Coast and so this was a perfect opening for mums and children to do their own little camping trip.
It was the Australia Day long weekend and I think it is perhaps the busiest day for camping on the South Coast for the whole year, so good luck booking a place. We had to take our chances with one of the ‘first in best served’ campsites. I settled on one we have been to before. I arrived on Friday night in the middle of a steady drizzle, found a great secluded campsite (quite hidden, so it was one of the few remaining campsites left) and set up two tents on my own with wet kids to deal with. It was a bit of a saga, but nothing you can’t laugh about, KerenM had her baby to feed, KerenN got lost (actually we all got lost) and went all the way to Ulladulla and Julie arrived at about 9pm but in the end we all were fed with kids in bed by 10pm. Fiona and Jen arrived the next day and with kids we made 13. Girls, if you’ve never gone camping without the guys don’t let it phase you, it’s actually very easy, especially when you are all together helping eachother, which we were. Together we celebrated ‘Little Hannah’s’ birthday with a treasure hunt and cake before all the kids sort of caved to tiredness and had some meltdowns! We discovered ‘Mermaid Cove’ and even found an Octopus and a few fish together. We went to the beach often, the mums taking turns to have a dip, and the kids hardly able to be torn from either the sand or the water.
I was very impressed that we managed to pull it together and have a relaxing camping holiday without any men to chop our firewood and pitch our tents, though of course we were all pretty happy when they dragged themselves out of the bush a few days later to the comfort of our very pretty campsite. It was a great last hurrah to the Summer holidays and I’m so glad we all made the effort to get down to the beach together.
Just for fun, here are the boys pre and post hike. It changed their lives.