We decided to go on camping as we had discussed we would do as we were making plans for the wedding and after. Going camping was an integral part of our honeymoon plan. As a result of this, I had rented and arranged for a car to be brought to the hotel the next morning. On our way, we got all the equipment we would need for the camping, and we set out for Main Range, Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales.
For me, camping is one life I enjoyed a lot since I was in high school. We would go on summer camping as part of school activities before the summer break starts in full. Spending time around a cluster of people deep in the woods was an activity I could not miss in a year since then. I had traveled many campgrounds across many states in the United States since I became an adult and could decide to do things I wanted, like going to places I wished.
I found it very delightful that I had married a woman who has almost matching enthusiasm for adventure as I did. I remember when I informed her that we would be going to Australia for our honeymoon; she was super excited. And when I told her one of the honeymoon plans involved camping on the highest peak in Australia, she was more excited and beamed with joy as I told her all the beautiful things we would be experiencing.
With so much excitement I withheld some of the activities we would be carrying out in the camp. If I told her other things, we would be doing at the park, and she likely wouldn’t be sleeping on the one night I planned for Sydney, which is in the southwest of New South Wales.
It was in the bright sun of a summer afternoon that we got to Kosciuszko National Park. It was just as beautiful as I had imagined it, even more beautiful. Bridget was held in awe of the place. For a few minutes, she just watched and said nothing. After a while, she said, “It’s so beautiful.”
“I know,” I said. “But wait till you get to the Mount Kosciuszko Peak. We will be making the 9 kilometers walk from Charlotte tomorrow. For now, we will make our tent, go to the river to swim and bask in the sun for the rest of the afternoon.” She smiled at me in a way that I had come to know as her way of saying ‘I love the plan.’
We were like that till early evening when I saw a man returning from the river in his boat. I approached him, and he agreed to rent his boat to us. We took the boat back into the river, but we couldn’t fish because we hadn’t gotten the permit to do so. We watched as the trout swam close the surface. It was as if we could even touch them if we wanted to. I told Bridget the next time we got on this water we would be fishing, and we would do that before we completed our camping out here.
It was close to nightfall before we returned from the river. We lay a small blanket outside our camp and ate dinner with a little talk about what we had seen and experienced so far. It was that night that I discovered that my wife was scared of spiders. She even had the premonition that wherever a spider was found, scorpions and snakes could also be found there.
So we spent most part of the night keeping a look out for scorpions, snakes and other dangerous crawlers. When finally I was able to reassure her that there were no such things around there, I felt relieved when she eventually fell asleep.
The next day we went to the highest summit of Kosciuszko National Park, Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak. It was the most beautiful view I had seen in my entire life. I was captivated by the view stretching across the alpine country and cool mountain stream, and I could say the same for Bridget too.
We spent part of the afternoon watching a mountain bike race at Grey Mare Trail, up to Valentine Trail and Ingegoodbee Trail. And we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in the river. We visited places like Yarrangobilly caves, Cooleman caves, and Australia’s highest waterfall. The tour guide we hired for the day took us to several caves in the Karst region of Yarragobilly. We spent that night at the peak of the mount.
We did our fishing on the 3rd day, and I must add that Bridget was better at fishing than I was. Her grandfather had taught her and her siblings how to fish. I never had the privilege as my childhood was filled with memories of going to boarding schools.
We left Kosciuszko National Park on the fourth day after we were satisfied that we had exploited as much as we could and went to Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell National Park, NT. It was a memorable night as we spent the whole of the night outside our tent star gazing. There were lots of satellites visible to us and shooting stars traveling through the sky very often, and we counted eight times before we drifted to sleep.
We talked about that night at Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell National Park all through our journey back to the United States.