FrostyMorningTue 2 June – We have finally left Canberra and have reached Tumut. Carmel was left behind because she had not finished her work. (Have you ever missed out because you didn’t get your homework finished?) We passed through Gundagai so had to visit the Dog on the Tucker box. Unfortunately, there were people about so Ash did not want to pose in front of a tourist attraction. Pip is always happy to be in a picture though!

ThomasBoydTrackheadWe left the dual carriageway at Gundagai and took a country road to Tumut. This was a bit of a novelty for Ash. He took his eyes of his iPhone and actually looked at the terrain. When we were winding down some hillsides he actually began to give me some driving advice. It is amazing what a caravan, a single lane road and a hillside will do. Perhaps we need to do the Andes next!

AGoodFireWe found the camp site at Thomas Boyd Track head without too much trouble. It is at the crossing point of the Hume and Hovell Walking Track and the road to Googandra. The camp was deserted – it was the first day of winter, so I am not surprised. The sun had already set behind the hills – we were in a steep valley, so we had to make camp quickly. We had the site set up in 30 minutes (I forwent the annex) and raced around collecting the firewood along the river banks. We found plenty of kindling, but needed to drag two whole dead saplings to our fire pit. Despite the damp wood, the scout skills my parents loving foisted on me (wasn’t it really about getting rid of me for a few weekends a year) came to the fore, and we had a good fire going. Alex learned that a camp fire was a bit different from the gas fire in the TV room at home – you have to get up every 5 minutes and feed it!

RawDamperThe first order of the day was damper. I have a lot of experience making damper as a teen, all of it a failure. Somehow, this time it was perfect. Perhaps it was the baking soda and extra virgin olive oil I added. (You can take the boy out of Sydney, but you cannot take Sydney out of the boy!) I made the amount for a large scone and a couple of pieces to wrap around sticks. The fire was a good one – not flaring too much because the wood was damp, so the stick cooking was only slightly burned, but fluffy and steamy in the middle.

CookingDamperOnce we had a bed of coals, the steak and sausages went on in a gridiron. (It is actually a “net iron” these days, more suitable to the explanation of chess than American Football.) Despite cooking quite quickly, it was well cooked – the steak was even a bit pink inside if our LED hurricane lamp was anything to do by. (The good old days of primus lamps with delicate mantles is long gone! I suppose my grandfather’s generation thought the same with the passing of the suicidal kerosene lamp.) So we feasted on bush tucker for dinner. Note the lack of veggies (as if I had just done a Cash Out). The truth was that by that point my fingers were numb, and I did not want to fiddle with knives and carrots. Tomorrow night I will have the veggies prepared ahead of time.


Tomorrow we are off to the caves!