so, mike and made it to Arapiles with no problems from the subi. we made it out climbing our first day and met up with friends on our first climb. sometimes we have the best of luck! it has been warm here, but out at the cliffs we have been able to find shade and avoid the heat. better, we are staying at a friend of a friend’s place so we have a real home to return to at night. actually, we are getting spoiled with staying in ‘real homes.’ while in sydney, mike’s friends he made while in italy (christina and alan) were kind enough to house us for a few days, even picking us up from the airport. what was to be a few days turned into nearly two weeks, what with the accident and ol’ susi’s water pump cracking on the highway one day. our hosts have all been awesomely accommodating and just super friendly. bonus was that we got to climb with christina and alan several times (at the blue mountains, at a bouldering place called the Balkans and in the gym). except for the constant delays in sydney, i had a really great time there and i thank our hosts tremendously for putting themselves out for us. now, back to natimuk.
natimuk is a small town maybe 10 or 15 minutes outside of the araps. very small, blink of an eye kind of town. you drive through it in less than a minute. that said, some really cool people live here. first, Cate. Cate is interesting. there is a seriuos drought happening here and water conservation is stressed. she has some interesting ways of saving water and reusing water. i’m also learning about bore water. can you believe this town is fed straight from the waterhole? there is no treating of the water before it comes out of your tap. makes for an interesting feeling as you think about whether you will drink the water and how you will use it for cooking and cleaning (mostly yourself). mike and i have bought water in town to help with the drinking part, but it’s expensive! i believe 10 liters cost us $8 aussie dollars. aside from the oddities of life in natimuk, we are happy to have a friendly host and a real place to sleep. mike gets to work more comfortably and at least we have access to rain water and internet as we need it. camping at the araps would be neat but the water thing (particularly for showers) would drive me crazy.
After our first day in the araps, we finally saw something close to a kangaroo. Apparently, these little guys are called Wallabees. We climbed some classic climbs for the first day, nothing too easy, which was a bummer because i want to learn gear placements and hard stuff makes it hard to relax and learn gear at the same time as learning to climb a crack. 🙂 the next day we met up with some friends and did some sportier style climbs where i led my first gear climb! i’ll try to get a photo posted if i can get my hands on one.