And so I set up my tent by a small slow moving creek, and threw a few essential things inside.
Pillow. I had brought the mushy-soft one by mistake and so had to fold it over in an uncomfortable wedge to get any use out of it.
A sleeping bag. I have had this thing for well over 10 years and it still serves me well.
Plastic bottle. The label says ‘Peach iced Tea,’ but it now serves as a convenient urinal so I don’t have to get up in the cold night only half pressed awake by my bladder to fall in the creek or stub my toe on a tent peg. Or both.
Kelly calls it disgusting. Or rather, disGUSting. I call it repurposing.
Outside, I calculate the trajectory of various tree shades and open a single camp chair.
Here I will settle in for a couple of days to decompress. To do nothing but sink into a good book and acquiesce to the slow oozing metre of the tannin stained creek (only 3 steps from where I sit and slightly darker and slightly creamier than peach iced tea).
I highly recommend it. A few essential things in a tent somewhere a significant distance from where you usually are. A chair. A book. And if you are lucky, a slow stream moving through it all.
Later, as the evening dimmed into greys, and rolled sparse the Currawong and Kookaburra calls, and the dabbling duck sploshes, I found myself listening instead into the conversations of a group of French speaking girls as they gossiped around a nearby wooden camp table. Amongst the slicing tomatoes and boiling pasta and smell of torn coriander.
Only understanding a word or two, but soaking intently in the whole song of it.
Soon enough the food was cooked and eaten, the dishes washed (all in French) and they drifted back to their tents. I read on for a short while under the light of my headlamp until my eyes became heavy and nudged me wilfully to bed.