well, this is australia so it's not edelweiß but flannel flowers. the leaves have exactly the same texture though! these were observed at yuraygir national park, on a hilly headland maybe 500m from the beach.
as you might tell from this i've been camping a bit; read on for some more photos and a bit of a report.
my list of top buys of the last year:
my felt slouch hat
summer is hot here, and i really don't need any sunburn on my head.
this is at 'tommys rock lookout', near the mann river nature reserve. i found driving up that trail quite scary, really steep and with near zero chances of turning around should that become necessary. as usual i was totally by myself, which didn't lower the anxiety level any. the colorado did scrape in a few places and i had it in low range second gear much of the time, but made it fine in the end. there's a clip on themtube where a bike rider makes it look effortless and almost flat - clearly i didn not find it that way, but the view was pretty good.
it's just oh so pleasant to have that much storage space. in the pic above the tray area has swallowed tent, chair, mattress, sleeping bag, tarp and poles, portaloo and shower tent, drifta kitchen, 40l fridge, solar panel, 40l of drinking water, food bag, recovery gear and toolbox, secondary/'dual' battery and other bits...
and the stuff in the back seat i put there not because i had to but because i found that more convenient that piling it up in the tray.
its 3l turbodiesel is also quite frugal in my experience so far (just under 5000km); it averages around between 8 to 8.6l/100km - quite a bit less than my old forester; note, though, that in oz diesel is usually more expensive than petrol for whatever unfathomable reason.
the camping fridge
with the weather as hot as it was last week it was utter bliss to be able to donk in a bottle of fresh but hot water and get it back out cold a few hours later. and with the solar panel powering things it felt like a guilt-free luxury :-)
the combination of the camps australia wide book and the wikicamps application
the book is less uptodate (naturally) but paper doesn't fail. on the other hand i find the comments in wikicamps are easily worth the few dollars for the application. getting that to work w/o gargle services or gargle account on my phone was a bit of a hassle, though.
i like these two as a source of inspiration as to where i might want to go and what area might be worth checking out; i'm not averse to paying a little for camping permits etc., so it's not entirely 'free camping or bust' for me.
my solar panel
this 100w foldable/blanket-style kit with semi-flexible panels has failed after just a few weeks of use. i hope to get that sorted out under warranty; in the meantime i've picked up a used classic framed style (and thus heavier and clunkier) 120w panel.
overview of this most recent trip
the trip started with spending a few days with friends at the illaroo campsite in yuraygir national park. besides the usual beautiful beaches (some bluebottle jellyfish though!) there are some nice walks around the headlands, great little coves (mad mix between pure rocks, pebbly and sandy ones). the weekend was a bit busy at illaroo (school break isn't over yet) but it quietened down quickly.
later on i headed out west onto the old glen innes/grafton road, and camped for a night at buccarumbi bridge, near the confluence of boyd and nymboida rivers. it was so hot that even i went swimming numerous times (which is not common). beautiful clean water, not many people around, great scenery. with my ground tent the shady but rocky spots lower down near the water weren't much good, so i camped a bit higher up in dense grass. i got woken by lots of cows all around my tent and the sun expelled me from the tent very very early...
after checking out a few more prime spots in that area (dalmorton, mann river nature reserve, tommy's rock lookout) i drove on to kwiambal national park on the river severn.
camping at lemontree flats camping area was quite nice - really hot though, but the river severn was flowing so swimming (well, soaking) was very much a necessity. this time i managed to put the tent into a spot with shade for the morning sun, but even so i didn't sleep especially well - the nights were too hot and without enough of a breeze.
the place was almost devoid of human visitors (just one old couple nearby) but had lots of cheeky kangaroos.
one of the roos used an unsupervised moment to pull my rye bread (with walnuts) off the kitchen top, got it out of the bread bag and then started nibbling.
most of the cheeky ones liked my handouts of salad leaves, cucumber and zucchini, except for one that preferred green olives and haloumi cheese - maybe because of the salt?
despite the heat i did the 7km walk along the severn rapids to the confluence of mcintyre and severn rivers. the views of the severn were great, but the mcintyre is not really running right now. the heat was pretty harsh, though, and i used up almost 2l of water on that fairly short walk (i'm not a total doofus, so i had carried 3l).
some of the afternoon was spent soaking in the severn's fairly cold water again.
on the next day i checked out the mcintyre falls, but there are no falls right now and the water was stagnant with a fair amount of algae in it. a pity.
on the way back home i revisited the upper clarence area (rediscovered one usable camping spot, too) and also checked out tooloom falls near urbenville; but as that was on a friday evening there were a few doofdoof-type campers there and the falls were just trickling so i didn't stay overnight.