After a crazy few days in Katoomba and Sydney, it was time for Alex and I to continue on our journey. After departing our caravan park at Katoomba Falls, we dove to Wentworth Falls, which were just a town over. We were both a little tired still after our crazy night two days prior, so when it came to deciding which walk to take we took the shortest and easiest. It did not disappoint though, we got to see a beautiful view of the falls and the mountains.
From Wentworth Falls we then navigated our way down the mountains towards Sydney, avoiding toll roads at all costs! If you read our blog about our time is Brisbane you will understand that we are a little hesitant and skeptical when it comes to toll roads, after all in Perth we don’t have them…
We successfully avoided the toll roads, it took us longer, but we got to see a scenic route around the outskirts of Sydney.
We ended up just outside the town of Bundeena in the Bonnie Vale camp grounds, which was apart of the Royal National Park. We had luckily secured a spot, because for some reason it was very busy and full of families with kids even though school holidays had finished. We also had only been able to secure a regular camp spot, not a drive on camp spot. This meant that we could not use our rooftop tent. Luckily we had kept our other two man tent and blow up mattress, which we used for the night.
We set up the tent and let it air for a while given it had not been used for a while. We also aired out the rooftop tent, because a few days prior we had enjoyed some insane weather, which unfortunately had soaked through our tent and into our foam mattress. That is a funny story if you want to read it: How we visited Sydney in 12ish hours!
Anyways, we aired out our rooftop tent mattress, cooked ourselves some dinner and then when it got cold outside we went to set up our regular air mattress for that evening.
Alex was at the car and I was with the mattress in the two person tent pumping it up and ready to turn off the air once it was full. I did that, only to hear a whoosh sound.
Now this mattress has been an interesting one, it was in fact my parents and we had swapped our exact one with them back in Exmouth a few months back when ours had a hole in it. In Exmouth we had in fact plugged that hole and it may have been fine if we had kept it. But no we took mum and dads mattress, which we are very thankful to have, except for the fact that since having it, it has deflated every time and we wake up on the floor. It has been so wonderful to have it, and to solve the deflating we would just pump it up right before we went to bed, waking everyone around us up with that annoying noise, ensuring at least we would not be touching the ground but just be close to it when we woke.
So when I heard this sound I automatically thought, the deflating has finally shown its location! And it had, it was a 1cm hole in the mattress seal.
In our eyes there was no way of plugging it, it was cold, about to rain, we had no plugging materials or another mattress we could sleep on, because our other one was wet!
That was until Alex thought to get the superglue we had in the car and attempt to plug it with that. It may seem strange and yes it is, but he gave it a try. It wasn’t really working and he was just getting superglue all over his hands. So he went to get toilet paper to wipe it away. And within that attempt to clean his hands and the area, we somehow plugged the hole with superglue and toilet paper. Alex at first went to take the toilet paper away, but then we didn’t hear the noise again so we left it there.
Thinking it was definitely not going to hold, I then made the bed with anything soft I could find in our car. I layered the bed up with the many blankets we were thankful to have, which looks pretty comfortable right?
Well it was comfortable, and would you believe that the mattress held all night?! I did deflate a little, but we were not on the floor, nor did we have a bad sleep, and we even think the mattress stayed more inflated than it had on any other night we had used it! Who would have thought a tiny bit of superglue and toilet paper would plug a hole that supported Alex and I?! We were amazed to say the least! The only downside to this innovative achievement was the fact that Alex’s finger tips were now covered in superglue, his poor phone could not recognise his prints and he had to type his pin in each time #firstworldproblems.
So Alex and I woke, quite impressed with our sleep, only to find that outside the weather was terrible. And to top it off, when packing away the tent we noticed that one of the poles had snapped in the night. There was already a slight rip to the tent that I had accidentally inflicted on it back when Alex’s parents were with us. As you can see the mattress would have been the only thing keeping the tent on the ground in a semi-proper position….
The only solution for the tent and the mattress were to send them off to a new home.
And so we now had only one option for camping in the future, our rooftop tent. This was fine by us, it just meant that any future guests would currently have no where to sleep, but that is a #futureproblem.
After disposing of our self ruined tent and mattress, we left Bonnie Vale and headed to the Royal National Parks most instagrammable point; the Figure 8 Pools.
As I mentioned, the weather was terrible and driving to the pools it did not get better, in fact it looked super scary and dreadful. But we kept going, we were insistent on seeing the pool whilst we were there.
The day before we had been told that the Figure 8 Pools had in fact been closed and could possibly be closed that day also. However just as we had left camp we looked online to see that they were open, but it instructed that we arrive in low tide of course.
So we parked our car and began the trek to get there. Little did I know that we had to hike so damn far! But yes we walked a lot downhill, emerged out of the forrest to the shore only to walk more downhill to the beach.
It was a beautiful walk, we were just cold and knew, of course, that we had to walk it back up again later.
Just up from the beach were all these surf huts that looked like holiday homes for surfers. There were signs detailing this particular beaches history and that it had once been a remote village for those with very little. It now had its own members surf club and cool huts for those extreme surfers it seemed.
But none were there as we walked over the beach, there were just hundreds of blue bottle jelly fish….
Over the sand we had to walk/hike around two more rock peaks to then finally arrive at the pools location. There were a handful of other couples there which made us feel a little safer given the weather, and the power of the water hitting the rocks we climbed next to. Just under two hours we arrived at the location.
It was not completely low tide, but we also could not seem to locate the pool right away. Alex walked out closer to the waters edge and I followed once he thought he had spotted the pool. No one else was walking that close to the water like us, they just sat up on the higher rocks trying to locate the pool. Well they were the smarter ones, because on my way to Alex a MASSIVE wave came up over the rocks and splashed all round me. Alex yelled ‘stand still’ as this occurred. Once the water reseeded I slowly walked back to the higher rocks and Alex followed me. He had not been splashed or gotten wet somehow, but I had been drenched from my knees down, all the way into my Blundstones and socks. Afterwards it was a ‘haha’ moment, but in the moment I was shit scared. The water was definitely not powerful enough at that time to drag us into the ocean, but it was still strong and scary! And in the end Alex had not taken a photo of the pool, nor could we see it from the higher rocks, and I was not going back out there or letting Alex go again! So instead of an awesome Figure 8 Pool picture, you get a crazy water picture which was exactly what splashed over me moments earlier.
As you can imagine we did not hang around very long. I was wet, it was cold and we did not want to stay out on the rocks any longer. We hiked back around to the beach and then slowly up the first hill and then the second hill. It began to warm up along the way, possibly because of our walking, but that meant that our clothing options were a little un-helpful in those moments. We eventually got back to the car, but it took us a lot longer to get back up than it did down!
At the car we saw that we had been given a parking fine. I was sure it was wrong because we had paid for a pass the day before when checking in, so I called to clarify. There office was closed as it was the weekend and so I’d have to call back Monday.
Overall our stay in the Royal National Park was nothing short of eventful! It was cold, stormy and a little disappointing when we could not see the Figure 8 Pool, but we enjoyed the adventure, the bloody long hike and the memory we take from it. And we can always just steal someone’s picture from Instagram if we really want….
By the way, I called on Monday about the fine and it was incorrect. Someone just thought they would try get some money out of us because we were from WA, but they didn’t know that I am a cheap ass and would follow that shit up!