Finally a little detour from all the Roadtrip writing! Since returning home from Tasmania I have been working hard to try and finish off all the posts from my travels before uni starts back up again! In addition to this I have been pushing myself a little to do preparation work for my dissertation (I almost faint of anxiety every time I hear that world). Since coming home I have lived at Shawnee and Max’s for a week before I finally move back into my old room on Campus East last week! The livingroom is looking a bit bare, but I am guessing it won’t take long before we can add some decor and colour to the place! At this point we are still missing two people, but there are already two great people moved in! Jordan, a super friendly, relaxed surfer dude and my friend Braydon who I already knew and lived with last session! The atmosphere is already really lovely, and I have only heard good things about the two people still to come, so I have a feeling this session’s flat will be as good as last year! In addition to moving back and settling in, I have made time for drinks with Hannicke at Diggies café by the seafront, had breakfast with Jen at Pepe’s café next door, been swimming at URAC (only once), made pancakes on pancake day, listened to “Pillowtalk” by Zayn at least a hundred times, made some nice dinners (including mastering the ability to cook the perfect chicken breast with chickpea, courgette and goats cheese salad), eaten lots of fruit and tried fresh figs for the first time, and got addicted to peach and mango tea! P.s. I realize how food orientated I am when I summarize my weeks and most of it is about what I ate… haha..
On Saturday I ventured out of the house with my buddy Jen, Hannicke and Steven for a day out exploring the national parks and waterfalls around this region! It was an early 8 o’clock start followed by a beautiful drive along Jambaroo road, which winded through hilly landscape of lush green fields and forests. This is definitely one of the most scenic routes from the Illawarra region, if you ask me. It feels secluded and rural, with open spaces and beautiful views of the escarpment. I think if I was to live in or around Wollongong, that would definitely be the place I would go! Our first stop was at Minnamurra falls where we went for a quick 40 minute board walk in the forest, crossing rivers and bridges, and trying to be so lucky and spot a platypus.
P.S. It was a beautiful forest, and something I think you (Mum) should do with Carolyn when you come to visit!!
After the quick board walk we left the Minnamurra falls and headed over the escarpment, driving through dense rainforest before getting onto the flat tops and driving through dry eucalyptus forest. Here we stopped at Budderoo national park, where we settled down for lunch and a swim at a beautiful waterfall! When we first arrived we had the whole place to ourselves andso we managed to slip in some swimming before the masses came, which was really special! The waterfall was slow falling, and the flat, shallow surface just below meant I could stand under the falls and pretend I was showering in a shampoo advert!
After lunch by the waterfall we decided to go for a little walk in the bush to a beautiful lookout. The view looked like a mini Blue Mountains; the shimmer of blue reflecting off the eucalyptus trees and the way the the stream had carved the valley. After our hike we returned to the car and drove home, slightly exhausted from the activity level we had achieved in the heat! It was a great day and I hope there are more days like that in the future! It’s so nice to finally be able to discover more of what’s outside of Wollongong now that my leg is healed!