The Travelling Trooper Hikes Around Tambourine Mountain

Things didn’t go as planned the next day. Trevor and I were supposed to go hang gliding, but it never happened.

We drove to the address that we were given and arrived at a farm. I picked up my phone to call the owner of the hang gliding company and noticed that I’d received a text message. It was from the guy I was scheduled to fly with. It said that I had been given the address for the company’s New Zealand location by mistake.

This was frustrating, since I’d called the owner the previous day. The pilot had sent me a text asking to call because there were concerns about the weather. He wanted to know if I could re-schedule.

That was a problem, since I was only going to be in Tambourine Mountain for a short period. I called the owner to clarify, and said, “But I’m not going to be in TAMBOURINE MOUNTAIN for very long.”

She responded with “Don’t worry, it looks like the weather is going to be fine for tomorrow! We’ll see you at ten!”

Clearly, somebody needs to work on their listening skills.

I called the number, and the woman immediately got to apologizing. She said she’d get in touch with a friend of hers who runs a company in Tambourine Mountain to see if he was available that morning.

She rang me up a couple minutes later and said that all was good to go. I just had to call the guy to confirm.

I called him and got the details from him. It was pricier than the woman’s  price, but at this point I didn’t care; I just wanted to hang-glide.

After we hung up, a thought occurred to me.

“Wait a minute…did he say paragliding? I didn’t sign up for paragliding; I signed up for hang-gliding. I’ve been paragliding already. I don’t want to pay $300 for something I’ve already done. I DID sign up for hang-gliding, right?”

I went back and looked at my old e-mail. I’d signed up for paragliding…I messed up too.

I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t end up calling the guy back to cancel. I was too embarrassed. I’m a terrible person, I know. I felt so stupid.

Instead, Trevor and I headed for the Tambourine Skywalk and pretended like this whole episode never happened.

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After the Skywalk, we hit up the glow worms. These guys are in an artificial cave built right beside a local winery.

I had no idea glow worms were so fascinating. They go through the egg–>larva–>pupa–>adult lifecycle. When these tiny little guys are larva, they produce a little hanging sticky line of mucus that catches stupid flies and mosquitoes that are attracted to their shiny asses.

As adults, though,  they don’t have a mouth, so they obviously can’t eat. That’s probably why they have such short life spans. Male glow worms can live up to five days, while a female only lives two days. And she dies after laying her 100+ eggs.

The larva is the longest part of the glow worms lifespan. It can last up to seven months at this stage, getting fatter and fatter and brighter and brighter until it’s ready to move on to the pupa stage.

Cool stuff, right?!

So we walked into this artificial glow worm cave (though it was more of a tunnel, if you ask me), and it was an entire constellation of green lights shimmering in the dark. It was pretty cool. You almost want to reach out and touch them.

After the glow worms, we spent the rest of the afternoon taking in a pair of hikes.IMG_2508IMG_2511IMG_2519IMG_2526IMG_2534IMG_2539IMG_2540

The second hike threw me for a loop in that it was literally a loop track. First we went left and enjoyed the waterfall, then we headed the other way to start the hike.

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At this point, we had to cross these very wet rocks if we wanted to continue the hike. I immediately thought back to a hike we did with Doris way back in Ireland around the Ring of Kerry. Doris crossed a set of rocks with total grace, while I stumbled like a fat drunken blind-folded elephant and got my pants wet.

I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I was going to cross this thing on all fours if I had to! And that’s pretty much what I did, because I have absolutely no balance or coordination skills. It was not a pretty sight, but I did it!

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Then something strange happened. We reached a point that I was certain we’d already passed. We must have already completed the circuit. But then where was the path that led back to the parking lot? How did we pass right by it? It’s a loop, so we should have seen it.

We doubled back, and still couldn’t find it. I was starting to feel like I was in an episode of Doctor Who or something, and I was trapped in an eternal loop.

And the sun was going to set soon.

Finally, just as we were about to take another turn that I was certain we’d taken already, I noticed a path past a couple of bushes. It deviated in another direction. It didn’t look familiar, but I figured we had nothing left to lose at that point.

I’m happy to say that Trevor and I didn’t end up sleeping in the forest that night. We made it home just in time to catch sunset with Frazer and his sister, Darcie.

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The evening ended with beer and a delicious home-cooked meal courtesy of Darcie.

Frazer also tried to teach me how to play the didgeridoo. It didn’t go well.

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