Now clearly Miss K had not been exposed to nearly enough Alby Mangels World Safari films because she started to get a wee bit teary and emotional. I guess she had left her sense of adventure back with collective, *sigh*, she obviously didn't harbour a secret desire to be a Park Ranger when she grew up, unlike yours truly.
After reassuring Miss K, we continued on until we approached a billabong (I kid you not). There wasn't a bunyip or jolly swagman to be found but a small campsite had been set up and I think it was one of those rare instances where a sixth sense really did prevail. We by-passed the camp site very quietly. It was actually a very eerie spot, gloomy and silent, and something just didn't feel right. Now here's the bit that will make you go "ooooh, creepy," *insert dramatic music here* it was only upon my return home that I discovered a couple of guys had escaped from a prison in the general vicinity of the bushland we were hiking in (goosebumps, right ?). Was it their camp site ? Were they watching us ? Was one of them actually The Jolly Swagman ? I have no answers to any of those questions, but it was pretty darn spooky I tell you.
Anyway, finally we hit the ridge and discovered paddocks and a few houses below us. I couldn't tell you how long it took us to reach the houses, but the sun was dropping and the chill of the approaching evening was upon us by the time we were knocking on doors.
Could you believe it, not a single house was occupied. We were greeted with locked doors and dark windows. Talk about a bummer. But at least there were taps so we could get a drink, and a road, which provided us with a little comfort, even without a single street lamp.
As darkness descended I decided we should bunk down near the road. I had figured we were there for the night so I suggested to Miss K that she have a rest, whilst I kept watch, then I would wake her and we would swap.
Sometimes Lady Luck is following you around and you don't even know it. Suddenly we noticed something in the darkness, something coming towards us. We both leaped up and start jumping around like a couple of crazed wallabies.
It was a car. A middle-aged couple and their two children were in the car and to say we were delighted to see them was an understatement. They squeezed us into the back seat and drove us back to camp, which it turned out was over the other side of the mountain, doh.
So there you go, lost on year six camp, perhaps it wasn't for twelve hours, it may have been more like six or seven hours, but it was certainly an experience I won't be forgetting anytime soon.
5 years ago