Sunday 10th February
Bronwen and I got up early and drove to Maz’s—via the bakery, where I foolishly bought a cream filled straight doughnut. From Maz’s we drove to the Mapleton pub (118km/1hr 34mins), arriving just before ten, and meeting Clint there.
A short drive from the pub took us to the top of Mapleton Falls. We had a quick look over—there wasn’t really much water going over the falls, and you can’t really see it very well from the lookout designed for seeing it from—something of a foolish design flaw really. We then walked to a nearby ridge, exited the track, and bush-bashed our way down the spine of the ridge to the creek. We managed to find most of the lantana—having to back-track a few times when the going got too tough or too swampy—but eventually, and somewhat surprisingly, we popped out into an open field. From there, it was a relatively easy, and much cooler, walk up Pencil Creek to the bottom of the falls.
We sat at the bottom of the falls—which were generating a constant, cool and refreshing breeze—and had some lunch. I made the mistake of eating some baked beans and Pringles, and Bronwen made the mistake of drinking nearly all our remaining water.
The walk back was much hotter. The part down the creek was fine—but once we got to the field, and back into the lantana and the steep ascent, Maz and I began to slow down. I’m not sure what happened—perhaps it was the lack of water (as we’d run out by then), or perhaps it was because I was still a bit sick from my tummy bug earlier in the week, but by the time we were nearing the top of the ascent, I felt very, very sick and was going very slowly—fearing that I’d throw up. Maz—who was carrying half a ton of camera gear—was also slowing to a crawl. Eventually, I sat down to cool down, and threw up. Bronwen rushed off to the car to get more water, fearing we were dehydrated. Interestingly, after throwing up, I felt fine and had no further problems getting back to the car.
All in all, an interesting bushwalk—and a fantastic waterfall. The walk in (3.4km) took 2 hours 23 minutes, and the walk out (3.4km) took 2 hours 40 minutes. We averaged 1.4km/h on the way in and 1.3km/h on the way out.
After getting back to the car we drove to a nearby IGA and bought drinks, and sat and drank them and chatted. After rehydrating, we dropped Clint back at his car, and drove back to Maz’s. Feeling like junk food we drove to Hungry Jack’s, and then to KFC for Maz, and then back to Maz’s to find that the two veggie burgers we’d ordered from Hungry Jacks were in fact meat burgers. This necessitated a drive back to the store, where they offered us a refund, or new burgers, but not both. Being fairly unhappy about having had to drive back, and not in the mood to accept that kind of service, we demanded to speak to the manager—who isn’t trusted enough to be able to do that, so had to phone the regional manager. However, ten minutes later, we did have two veggie burgers—without meat this time—and a refund. I submitted a complaint online while I was waiting, and subsequently got an apology and offer of another free meal—which I will be sure to check before leaving the store.
Monday 11th February
Another quiet day at home.
Bronwen and I drove to Maz’s, and then to the Burrito Bar—which was actually open, had all the ingredients, and was really quite yummy. We even got good service, though we did have to move from our inside table and go sit outside because the music inside was so loud and awful… but they did apologise for that.
Tuesday 12th February
I had a quiet day at home.
Bronwen and I had Domino’s pizza for dinner.
Wednesday 13th February
I drove to Woolworths and the post office, to buy some food, and also to verify my identity to ING—having failed to manage to open Citibank and Bankwest accounts so far (due to technical issues at their ends), I’m trying for an ING one.
In exciting technical news, a fan in the server started making a noise, so I went and banged it. Not only did this not fix the fan noise, but it made the system hang. Then, after rebooting (which is an awfully slow process after a failure, as the boot disk is resynchronising and the virtual machines all reboot off it at the same time), I found that it was missing a stick of RAM. This would explain why it froze I suppose. So, I had to pull it apart, make angry faces at all the RAM, and put it back together again. I also swapped the graphics card for one without a fan. Then, of course, it didn’t turn on properly—I’m not sure why, but I changed graphics cards again, then re-plugged in the power on the motherboard, looked at it from strange angles, and tried again and it worked. It’s probably not confidence-inspiring, though it does now have a fanless graphics card in it.
Bronwen and I drove over to Maz’s, just in time to say goodbye to Ngoc, who is moving out. Unfortunately, Maz had a conference call at nine, so wasn’t able to come out to dinner, so we went to Halim’s without him and had a yummy curry.