|Gibraltar Rocks Fire Trail|
Alastair Humphreys coined the term microadventures, which I think sums up short overland adventures nicely:
They may be small but microadventures can still be challenging and rewarding. Each one is designed to inspire others to set their own challenges, challenges which may be short but which grasp the spirit of adventure.
This is the goal of my microadventures.
Jenolan State Forest and the Blue Mountains national park. Our first adventure was to search for a remote camping spot named Gibraltar Rocks. The night drive in the State forest, following GPS coordinates, proved to be quite challenging to tired eyes and tired bodies. A few u-turns later we engaged low range and crawled our way down a rocky path to flat piece of ground. Tents up, brew on and a few stories later we stumbled into our sleeping bags...
The UHF radio channel we had pre-selected buzzed with conversation between the three vehicles as we headed to our next destination. Good humour, along with a few comments on vehicle brand reliability vs capability (i.e. Toyota vs Land Rover vs Jeep) had us all commenting on the various overland vehicle modifications, capabilities and driving pleasure.
|Memory Map - NSW|
'Snake' echoed the speaker on the UHF radio as the front vehicle spotted it in the road. Twitching in the middle of the road was an Eastern Brown snake, the second most venomous terrestrial snake. It looked as if a vehicle had hit it and was clearly stressed as it attempted to straighten and slither off the road. I was keen to move it off the road but its reputation, even when injured, did not justify getting near it.
|Eastern Brown Snake|
Our first issue was a flat tyre on the Prado, caused by a stick in the road. This was my first experience of repairing the damage (I usually just swop the flat tyre for the spare) but Mr P wanted to test the puncture repair kit. We followed the instructions of cleaning the hole and pulling through the rubber bands. Impressively it worked (not sure why I doubted it).
We successfully met up at the waypoint and continued through dusty State forest areas. The dust seals on the vehicles did little to keep the dust at bay and soon a thin layer settled on the dashboard, the digital equipment and ourselves.
|Prado & Discovery|
Once again I was reminded to take time to plan a recovery, communicating with the team what was expected of each person and what the primary and secondary recovery options would be. Plan, prepare and recover on the first go saves time, energy and moral. Getting stuck should not be reviewed as a negative issue. Getting stuck is part of any overland adventure but those scenarios where a recovery might be needed, should be assessed and the right equipment to hand. Plus any recovery makes a good story and that's just one part of why we love overland travel!