Yet another relatively eventful weekend has passed me by, and I am certainly ready for things to settle down a little bit so that I can get a decent bit of sleep, and stay in bed beyond 06:00 for once.
Last Saturday, Markus and I headed south to meet up with don_preacher and Matty for a late afternoon hike up the Toolbrunup Peak, and a spot of camping in the Stirling Ranges. Preacher and Matty had spend the last couple of nights in Dunsbourough.
I've been getting better at preparing for these trips... thanks to a empty banana box that has recently become vacant. It really makes it a lot easier to organise things to take, rather than having plastic bags floating around the car, filled with random (hard to find) items.
It was Tracy's day off, which made it quite difficult to leave. None the less, the car was packed by 10:30 and I made my way to the Rick Hamersley Centre, stopping for fuel, ice, camping chairs and a mantle, along the way.
Markus was eventually picked up at 11:15, and to the sounds of Unkle - Edit Music for a Film (Bonus Material Edit -- Strikes Back) made our way towards the deep south.
Four and a half hours later, having passed the time with conversation, Sigur Ros, Avenged Sevenfold, Iron Maiden and Peter Bjorn & John. We arrived at the site, expecting to find the boys complaining about the fact that we've left them waiting for 15 minutes.
We did not find the boys complaining... in fact, we did not find the boys at all... we assumed that they had made their way to the Toolbrunup base camp, since we were running a little late and we wanted to climb to its bold crown that day. We found them there, not. As such, we drove back to the campsite, expecting them to have arrived in the mean time. We found them there not. The time was 16:15. Close to an hour after our original scheduled meeting time.
I discovered that I had received a text message from the boys at 13:45 (according to my mobile) stating they were 250km away. As such, a 16:30 arrival could be safely assumed. Markus and I decided to set up camp, assuming they would arrive immanently.
By 17:00 there was still no sign of them. Amusement was starting to transform into a feeling of worry, fuelled by the fact that I had no mobile reception and something might have happened, unbeknownst to us.
We decided to head up the Bluff Known Cafe (itself a 32km round trip) to try to use a public phone. We eventually found one a little up the road at the Stirling Range Retreat. I called Preacher (Mobile out of Range), Matty (Mobile out of Range) and then Tracy to see if she had heard anything. She had not heard anything.
We headed back to the campground and decided to wait a while longer. At 18:30, 3 hours after our scheduled meeting time, we decided to wait another 15 minutes before packing up camp. Naturally we were not going to enjoy ourselves, and stay the night, while not knowing what the hell happened to the others. It was not a pleasant feeling.
None the less, at 18:40 they turned up. I was greatly relieved to see them pull in safe and sound. A feeling of joy that soon made way to anger, fuelled by their laughter and joking. They claimed that they had no idea how they managed to be so late. Quite frankly, there was nothing to laugh about. The fact that they thought it was so terribly amusing was quite shocking to me, and continues to make me question their integrity, their intelligence and their maturity... and I'm not referring to their sense of humour, which I generally enjoy.
Their lack of consideration, and lack of sincerity in their apology/explanation has certainly left an impression with me. Even Markus was shocked by their rolling laughter and ignorance to what the situation was and failed to see the funny side. We were dissapointed by their attitues, not with the fact that they arrived late... though one lead to the other I guess.
Markus and I drove back to the Stirling Range retreat to call Tracy to let her know that everything was ok, and that we would not be coming back that night. She was relieved to hear the good news.
After the drama, we decided to head up the Tool in the early hours of the morning, as not to waste the trip. We enjoyed a couple of beers and scotch, ate some meat and such and headed to bed around 2300. The alarm was set for 04:15, so I was quite happy to have an early night. Preacher gifted me a self-inflating mattress for Christmas, which certainly made things more comfortable in the tent.
We finally got up at 04:30, packed up camp, ate breakfast and drank coffee before heading off to do our trek.
After 40min of walking, Matty gave up and decided to wait for us to come back down. Markus, Preacher I continued on without him, after trying to persuade him to struggle on.
While I did struggle in parts, the trek did not seem as hard to me as it was on previous occasions. Markus made me look bad, as he was happily jumping head, with little energy loss to show for it.
It was a clear day, and nature provided us the 360 degree views for which the Toolbrunup Peak is famous (among those in the know). We headed back down and arrived back at the car at 09:15 - a little more than 3:30 after starting the ascent. This was a record for us, though I'm sure, not for others.
We got in the cars and made for home, dodging lizards, emus, kangaroos and snakes on the way. It was glorious. Muse, Moloko, The Beatles and Zwan provided the soundtrack and time flew by.
Preacher and I said our final farewell (for this visit, at least) in Armadale, before dropping Markus off and meeting Tracy at the Wanneroo Markets a little after 14:15
It turned out to be a good trip. I had a fantastic time with Markus, and it was nice going on a camping trip with him - which we have not gone in years. I look forward to going on further such trips in the near future. Unfortunately the circumstances of our arranged meeting has left me with a bitter taste which I'm sure will subside soon enough.
That night, Kelly and Dan came over for a quick visit. While they were welcome, I felt exhausted and not too chatty. We probably should have just watched a movie or something.
That is all for now.