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Tuesday 24 Jun 2003
Byron Bay, Australia

Mount Warning

First things first... I joined the NRMA today! Phew! I saw another camper van stuck in the van park today cuz it couldnt start (albeit the van is not quite up to the quality of mine.. haw haw!) so I wouldnt want to get stuck in a similar situation in the middle of the desert (NRMA will come out to help you even if you are in the middle of the desert.. although it might cost a bit extra if there are no service stations nearby)

Today I decided I was in need of some REAL exercise so I headed on up to Mt Warning National Park to tackle the dormant volcano climb!

Mount Warning was named by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770, as a warning to seafarers of the numerous treacherous reefs along the coast and its the most dramatic mountain on the Byron Cape skylike reaching 2,380 feet above sea-level!

The walk up the mountain is quite strenuous, stepping over large boulders and dodging age-old tree roots in the rainforest while listening to the birds on a constant uphill push for 4.4 km! The last 200 metres are an almost-vertical climb up the rock face where you eventually come to a viewing platform on top (populated with MORE bush turkeys and I even saw a wombat!). Needless to say I was wrecked when I got to the top but the view was outstanding: I got to the top around sunset having left the base 2.5 hours earlier...

I sat on the peak for 20 mins feeding peanuts to the turkeys and gazing at the view... the problem after was: how the hell do I get down from here?!?

Have no fear I managed to scramble down the mountain (in the dark - the tropical forest gets darker earlier because little light gets through the canopy) and thanks to my excellent Meindl boots I managed to avoid spraining the old ankles.

A pretty exhausting day to say the least.

Afterwards I headed out with the guys again and ended up wasting all that good exercise on a few too many beers... doh! We went to "Cheeky Monkeys" which looked like a model photo shoot, and people were dancing on the tables since there was no room on the dance floor... cheeky indeed!

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