i swear everyday in australia is better than the last. this past weekend, i tried something i had never done- bouldering! i went down with 20 or so people to a town called bowen, a two drive south from townsville. here, beautiful beaches and awesome rocks awaited. we set up camp minutes away from the water and immediately had to go swimming. best surprise ever: there were waves! the water was even cool and refreshing, a welcome change from the ocean by townsville. there weren't nets, but i was assured that no stingers (or at least minimal) were present there. sidenote: everyone told me that there are fist sized holes in the nets at the strand. a reassuring tip considering the highly venomous irukandji jellyfish are the size of a fingertip..
i got a new point and shoot camera, this one can go underwater to 15 meters and is overall pretty tough! good considering i tend to drop everything.
mike & i enjoying the waves
then we were onto our first boulder of the day, which required a small hike up from the beach. what's cool about bouldering is that you don't have to wear a harness- the rocks aren't too high so if you fall you fall on a cushiony crash pad. still, the climbing can be really hard! my hands are still missing several layers of skin in a few places.
jasper kicking that boulder's ass
admiring the view
one of my many attempts
just hanging out on the crash pad
after climbing around for a while, we decided to move onto another site for our next few climbs. we crossed over the beach to the other side.
crashpads with legs
this next climb was exhilarating- no ropes but still looked fairly high up. i watched several other people succeed and with a lot of encouragement, i decided to give it a shot.
pre climb excitement
the final push! when i got to the top my heart was beating super fast, but i felt amazing - on top of the world.
later we checked out some cave climbing. i felt way too novice to attempt, but it was really cool watching others climb. i realized this weekend that watching others climb really can be just as exciting as climbing yourself.
a successful climber at "wall of certain death"
just a casual tree pose
i completely lost track of time the entire day- it just was so awesome to be out there climbing and exploring with no need to check in with the real world. seeing and really experiencing beautiful places like this make me feel incredibly lucky.
plus our campground had pretty clean bathrooms. ;)