There is something about the ear popping, pressure in your head feeling of driving up a mountain that just makes me feel absolutely at peace with myself. I can’t really explain it, and I’ve only experienced it for the first time since I started to explore the Hinterland both here on the Gold Coast, and while I was on the Sunshine Coast earlier in the week.
There have been a couple of times where I’ve honestly though shit, I need to stop the car right now – I *need* to just stare over the side of this cliff and breathe in that view.
The drive up Springbrook mountain to the National Park on Friday had this effect. Once you get off the motorway, you have around 20km of tiny little winding roads to navigate before you get into the thick of the national park – and those windy roads, well… they’re a little scary to be honest! It was one of those drives where you think… one gust of wind in the wrong direction and this is The End for me! I had similar thoughts whilst walking along the cliff top walk as well… one foot in the wrong place and this rainforest is going to eat me alive, never to be seen again!
So I parked the car up, and headed on a very short stroll to a place called Purling Brook Falls Lookout, which, as the name suggests – looks out over a magnificent natural waterfall. I felt like I was standing on top of the world, looking down. Honestly, that feeling of vulnerability and insignificance is not something I can write down – it is something that needs to be experienced. The forest is vast, and one thing I absolutely adore about it is the noise. The birds singing to one another, the cicadas humming loudly as you walk past, and the rustling of the leaves next to you as a lizard of gecko shits its wee breeks and scuttles off at the sound of your passing. And it’s even better when you’re alone.
I didn’t want to spend too much of the day in the forest this time as I had lots to cram in over the weekend, so I jumped back in the car and drove another 7km up the mountain to a place called ‘Best of All Lookout’ – I’ll let you use your imagination for this one. You’ll see in the photo below that it really is quite an unrivalled viewpoint – looking out over Mount Warning (which you can see on the right of the photo) and over the canopy below. I really wanted to hike Mount Warning, but we just ran out of time – so this is one that I’m keeping for next year.
Following some lunch and a wee hour at the beach when I got back down from the mountain, I headed to the nearest Crossfit gym (Live Elite Crossfit) in Burleigh Heads, just up the coast, so that I could complete the 17.3 Open workout for the week.
I wasn’t really too impressed with the atmosphere at the gym if I’m honest, didn’t feel too welcoming… but I stuck around anyway and did my bit (badly). I was outta there like a shot as soon as I was done, as my landlady at the apartment has suggested I take a look at some night food markets in Tugun where I was staying. By this point I was bloody starving and the smell of food was all consuming, and a succumbed to a delicious (albeit small) wood-fired pizza washed down with a bottle of Coopers Pale Ale.
Friday was another mental busy day, I’m pretty sure I passed out within second of my head hitting the pillow – another day ticked off….