We woke up in the morning and headed to the parking lot of Mount Warning to eat our breakfast, which consisted of canned tuna, bread and hot tea. Captain Cook (he discovered Australia) named the mountain Mount Warning because the mountain is visible from the sea and this saved Captain Cook from crashing his ship into rocks off shore in a storm. (It also turns out that very many towns/cities/mountains/attractions are named because of Captain Cook…this gets kind of old after a while. Each town tries to make it sound exciting why they named the town this or that but really it’s all the same story. Captain Cook arrived here in 1770 and noticed this town had a lot of this; he arrived here in 1770 and that’s why we named it that; his boat crashed here and he had to stay here for months to fix it so we name it after him, he saw a kangaroo and decided to name it kangaroo (apparently the aboriginal word for “I don’t know”), etc. Not that it’s wrong to be proud of how the country was discovered, it’s that a lot of towns make such a big deal about it. I don’t think they realize other towns are using the exact same story to differentiate themselves, and after you’ve heard the same story over and over, you realize how unoriginal it is and you start to wonder, is this the only thing this town has going for itself?)
It had been raining quite heavily the past few days and we were hoping today would be more dry. It was drizzling when we headed out for the hike but I was still optimistic. On the board at the bottom of the mountain it said to reach the top of the mountain would only take around 2 hours and 2 hours to come back down so it wouldn’t be too long of a hike. Unfortunately there was really dense cloud coverage so we didn’t have any good views on the way up. The last 300 meters of the hike were vertical rocks which we had to climb with the aid of chains which were there. When we reached the top the view did not improve and everything was white because of the clouds. On the way back down we ran into a few people that were climbing up. About 15 minutes before we reached the bottom it started pouring rain. It wasn’t just raining, it was like a torrential downpour. Initially we tried to walk faster but gave up quite quickly as it didn’t make any difference. I felt sorry for the people I had seen going up in their flip flops. Because it had been raining for the past few days everything in the forest was wet and slippery. With the downpour we had just encountered everything turned to mud and puddles. We had a hard time walking in our running shoes. I even wiped out and fell pretty hard on a large rock and ended up bruising my thigh and arm and scraping my knee, so I’m not sure how the girl with the flip flops fared. By the time we reached the bottom we were completely soaked. Even though we were wearing rain jackets, every single item of clothing was completely drenched, including my underwear. We quickly changed in the car (it’s very convenient living out of your car because everything is very close at hand) and went to a campground we had found near the mountain. There we were able to take hot showers (the first since leaving Sydney) and do our laundry. It was nice to have clean and dry clothes, even if it cost $10 to get them to that state. 1 load of laundry can end up costing quite a lot. Unfortunately our shoes would take a few more days to dry. The campground had a large covered eating area with a gas stove, fridge and toaster. We went back to Murliwumbah to buy some “proper” food and made sausages that night. It was nice to eat something besides tuna and instant noodles. We hung out at the campground that night and it rained the whole night. The next morning we hung around the “camp kitchen” and tried drying our stuff. Unfortunately they were so soaked it would take a lot longer to dry than we thought. I had a brilliant idea to dry our shoes over the gas stove. I removed all the shoe laces and was holding the shoes above the flame until they were steaming. This seemed like a good idea at the time, unfortunately I ended up burning parts my shoes so now when I wear them the burnt parts rub my ankles so much it hurts. I have to wear long socks any time I wear my running shoes now, which is not that often since I live in my flip flops most of the time.