Friday afternoon after our ‘hanging of the washing’ event -it takes a while, I got lots of cute baby pictures which is why I began with that sentence….just so I had an excuse to splash them around- we sat around thinking about the weekend. I really wanted to get out of the house, get some fresh air and do something different. For so long I’ve wanted to go check out the ‘rainbow falls’ a beautiful waterfall which is one of the major touristy type attractions in our part of the land.
We’d decided against it previously. Sticking to the shorter bush walking tracks and exploring places that didn’t require too much walking and hiking for the little ones. The track to the rainbow falls is 2.5 kms. Not so much for grown adults but little people it’s a loooong way!
Ok decision made. We’ll attempt to make it to the waterfalls.
Firstly I had to think logistics.
Did we need the stroller? And if we took the stroller would the terrain allow us to even use it? Or could Glen and I carry 10kg Buddy the entire way between us? What about Molly? She wouldn’t walk the whole way. Who is going to carry the picnic, spare clothes, blankets, drinks, nappies and first aid kit?
I wanted to travel light.
I decided yes; we’ll take the little fold up stroller. It’s light weight and can be folded and carried easily. I also decided that I’d pack everything in back packs to keep our arms free to carry tired kids. We wore our swimmers under our clothes and I decided no; I wouldn’t take towels we’d dry off on the walk back.
SOOO…with all that organised, we climbed out of the car. Glen, Bella and I each had a back pack to begin with and I was pushing Buddy in his stroller. As the path got rougher, I folded the stroller; carried it and Buddy. Bella gave up her back pack and Glen carried it on his front. Not long afterwards he also had Molly on his shoulders.
The walk was nice.
Gently slopping ground, birds calling, the golden sun filtering down through the trees. It was serene. All us girls ditched our shoes very early into the walk. Violet began tripping and stumbling on little things, and as clumsy as she is I decided barefooted was best for us all. We’d feel our way.
Besides being a little hot we were all doing great by the time we reached a little lookout. There were seats and a few metres away we saw ‘the sign’ ….
Ok we’d stop at the seat and have a drink, revive and refresh then take on the downward stairs.
Firstly they were STEEP steps and VERY narrow. With a steep drop on one side. SO….whilst I carried Buddy, the stroller which now had 4 pairs of thongs hanging off the handle and the back pack I set the pace and also braced myself in case Sophie needed me as she followed closely behind me.
Bella was next holding Violet’s hand.
I kept stopping to look back and do head counts to make sure I’d lost none over the edge also to call out to watch their step or to rearrange who went first down especially narrows turns and bends.
Let’s just saw my hawk like instincts kicked in.
Then Glen with his 2 back packs and little Molly Moo.
We made it thank goodness.
It was beautiful and worth it. It was peaceful for about 5 minutes until some very rude and obnoxious people turned up drinking and smoking and swearing like they didn’t notice the pile of little kids wandering the water’s edge. They promptly set themselves up sitting in the only shallow area suitable for little kids to paddle in with their esky filled with beer….but anyway…the surroundings were pretty. It was breathtaking. I went off to explore the more difficult areas that needed climbing and crawling which required the use of two WHOLE hands….
The whole place kind of reminded me of that place they called ‘hell’ in the ‘day after tomorrow’ books…kind of like a hidden place in a bowl like canyon kind of thing. Very cool.
After we’d explored and had our picnic lunch (and secretly waited for the noisy people to leave…but didn’t…) we decided we’d go and find our own waterhole to go swimming in.
UP the 240 stairs….
This is where things became ugly.
I’m not the fittest, healthiest, athletic type person…actually scrap the word ‘athlete’ from that completly…but I’m not THAT bad, but holy moly……I seriously imagined myself on the Biggest Loser. The pain in my thighs was agony. I had to keep telling myself just a few more, if I can’t do it then how do I expect my girls to get up them?! I MUST do it!!! I didn’t mention anything about it being hard or plain crappy…I just did it and kept calling to them that the top was near.
I stopped every 8 steps. I figured if I were in pain then Glen, and my poor girls would have been too. Once they all caught up, UP we went again. They were tough steps! My arms were killing me. One holding my baby, the other had to hold the stroller UP so it wouldn’t bump on the steps ahead….ouch my arms.
We made it to the top.
For a moment we weren’t sure we would.
We once again stopped at the seats at the top to prepare ourselves for the walk back. It took us and hour and five minutes to walk down, not too bad with toddlers! But I knew it wouldn’t be so pretty on the way back.
After about 10 minuets Buddy became a dead weight. He’d fallen asleep which meant I couldn’t reposition my arms without waking him, so once the pain turned to numbness, and once I fought the urge to move my arms, my joints then locked up and I was ok. (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, that’s what eternal screaming sounds like.)Glen also had Molly on his shoulders the entire way back and she too decided to nap on his head, arms flopping around as she rested her chubby cheek against his head. I think he had a bit of silent screaming going on too, but I guess if your wife’s not sooking then it’s probably best to follow suit.
I think the worst part was when Sophie just started crying. Her dust smeared cheeks became little rivers of mud as tears created rivulets down her pink cheeks..”I’m just running out of power mum, please carry me.”
Awwww! My little Honey! I felt so bad. I couldn’t pick her up. I wouldn’t have walked very far with her if I had! She was so tired and so over the whole ‘lovely bushwalk’ not even the mention of Yowies distracted her from her tired body which was losing power quickly. I asked her if she could tell her knees that “too bad, we’re walking and you HAVE to keep going.” Only to have her reply “My body just doesn’t work like that mum. The power is going.” I could only keep her going with the promise of a break every 10 minutes. Walk ten minutes, stop for ten minutes. Turns out I’m good at verbal encouragement. “Let’s just climb this rock.” “Look at that pretty tree, we’ll stop once we get past it.”
Violet was tired but didn’t complain. She just kept on going. She’s more of the outdoorsy type and loves that kind of thing. Sophie’s more of the book reading type. Inside. With her doonah. Bella denied either liking or disliking the current activity.
I think she inherited my mindset with things like that ”if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
There were moments when I thought we’d be stuck in the bush forever. Moments where I thought it would be kinder to my poor Sophie -and to my poor arms and Glens poor shoulders- to just sit down on the side of the track or perhaps on a comfy log and just make ourselves at home.
Just give up.
But we saw the car emerging from the bush as we came closer and closer. I think the girls could have just about kissed it.
It took us only 1 hour and 5 minutes to get down to the waterfalls and only 2 hours and 26 minutes to get back UP to our car.
The kids slept all the way home.
It was an adventure. A difficult adventure I was glad to have partaken in. But an adventure that we will never, ever have again! I feel like it was a bit of a lesson, the girls pushed through a few barriers, my arms got a work out and I learned that I really don’t like carrying all that extra weight and probably could do with losing a few extra kilos! I think Glen learnt that he can complain ‘in his mind’ without verbalizing it. Which was kind of nice! Sophie learnt that even though she felt like she couldn’t….physically she actually could, she was capable of far more than she thought.
Anyway we all learned something that day…and you know what? even if we didn’t, we won’t be forgetting it anytime soon and really what could be better than creating memories we’ll talk about in years to come with the ones we love?…
(Think we’ll limit ourselves to 1 kilometre tracks until atleast our youngest is…. hmm….25!)