August 27, part 4

There was a lot of up and down now, with the vegetation changing every hour or so. About an hour after lunch, we came upon a large carpet python sunning itself on a rock. We stopped to watch it slide away, then continued our up and down hike.

By 4 o’clock, we were back in the rainforest. Here, I got a lift from the amazingly fragrant native gardenia that was growing in abundance at one place along the path. The perfume surrounded us. It was, of the dozen or so lovely fragrances I’d breathed on this hike, the loveliest.

Back in the rainforest

Back in the rainforest


It was beginning to get darker, and I was beginning to feel pretty weary. But you don’t have any option but to slog on. My next big boost came when we reached a turnoff to another trail, and there was a sign pointing ahead that said, “Binna Burra–4.7 kilometers.” That at least seemed manageable.

I continued to be amazed by the lushness, the beauty, the variety around me. It’s like the flora is playing a game of “let’s see how many totally different leaf shapes we can come up with.” It’s astonishing.

At one muddy bank, Jenny pointed out the little hidey-holes of the trap door spiders. Glen used the tip of a knife to carefully demonstrate how the silk-hinted trap doors work. Amazing.

We finally walked back into Binna Burra just as the sun disappeared from the sky–about 5:45. I was shattered, but also triumphant. No time to whimper, however, about sore muscles. Time to clean up and head to the lounge for music and munchies before dinner. (Too late to watch the sunset.)

I had a Strongbow cider (which I’d discovered during my first trip to Australia) with my dinner, and amiable conversations with a substantial number of people. People who travel tend to strike up friendships easily, and I ended up with a lot of recommendations and some invitations–for next time.

I didn’t really feel up to the 1-1/2 hour, flashlight stroll to see nighttime creatures (I figured I didn’t need much more than the adorable brushtail possums that climbed up on the porch to enjoy the fruit put out there for them.) It’s an early start again tomorrow, so I hobbled off to my cabin for a good, long stretch and then to bed.

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