An erratic frontal wind hit us hard, stripping loose leaves from the forest canopy and throwing them about like confetti. The weak light in the rainforest dimmed to almost darkness – it was only 3.30pm. I walked in circles at a manic pace thinking we might have time to pitch the tent before the storm hit. But, it was far too late. The noise in the treetops left no doubt that we were going to get caught out. Around us we could make out the black sillohuettes of gnarled beech trees: a fine grey mist drifted through first and then thunderous white streaks of rain began hammering down. Within 3 minutes every single thing was totally saturated. We huddled together, rain jackets on, packs at our feet, and a one metre square piece of tarp over our heads, water pouring off it so fast we could have filled our drink bottles in a second. The forest canopy swayed wildly above our heads and leaf litter washed away in rafts on the slope around us, exposing the rainforest topsoil and tree roots at our feet. It was a rude interruption to what had otherwise proven to be an idyllic weekend adventure.
Thursday, 21 March 2013
Saturday, 2 March 2013
Searching the grooves and hollows of the sculpted rocky river bank, big dumps of flood debris yielded shapely logs tumbled and worn smooth from the motion of water. Unfortunately, we needed something smaller than logs. One pile yielded a few possible choices but, we were after spoon sized pieces of clean, smooth timber. We were hungry and I'd left the cutlery at home, 400 km away.