Tom’s Amazing Adventures – Pt One

Victoria had been in stage four lockdown for the last six weeks with no end in sight. Tom wanted his own amazing adventures. He had heard all about his mate Bill’s weekend adventures in NSW and envied Bill his freedom not living in Victoria.

In NSW, with no lockdown in place, everyone continued living life as usual. Rock climbing in the Spud mountains was popular. Those new to the sport practised on Choc Chip Mountain before moving to a more challenging climb on icy Donut Peak.

Spud mountain Tom's Amazing Adventures
Spud Mountain
choc chip mountain Tom's Amazing Adventures
Choc Chip Mountain
The Plan

Fed-up with self-isolation, unemployed, and not seeing family or friends, when the extension to lockdown was announced, Tom decided to leave Victoria and head to Queensland. Though the border to NSW remained closed, he vowed to take his canoe and slip across the border under the cover of darkness. 

Tom's Amazing Adventures
Slipping into Albury via the Murray River

Pushing off into the Murray River from Wodonga, he silently slipped into Albury. Arriving undetected, he concealed his canoe under branches on the river bank and went looking for breakfast. Coming across a waterworks crew repairing a sewer pipe, he asked for directions to a cafe.

repairing the pipe Tom's Amazing Adventures
Albury Pipe Crew

Tom’s mate Bill lived in northern NSW and had plenty to do on the weekend. So on the morning, Tom slipped into Albury, Bill took the local scout troop out hiking. Unlike in Victoria, camping was still allowed, though finding a suitable spot to camp in the Breadline Mountains was proving difficult, and unexpected snow meant the troop lost the track. So while the troop waited back at camp, Bill went for help through Sweet Potato Canyon. 

breadline mountains
Breadline Mountains
Tom's Amazing Adventures sweet potato canyon
Lost in Sweet Potato Canyon

While Bill was seeking help, Bill’s sister Beryl and the family took to the slopes.

banana run Tom's Amazing Adventures
Skiing on Banana Run
Meanwhile back in Victoria……….

Very few pulled a sick day in Victoria unless they were actually ill. Going to work meant you could actually get out of the house and be more than 5kms from home. However, you had to show proof if you came across a random police check.

Consumption of food and alcohol had exploded in iso, and keeping up with the supply of olives for pizzas and martinis was a never-ending task. It was made doubly difficult when Tom didn’t show up for his weekend shift. The supervisor was demanding to know where the hell was he?

Tom's Amazing Adventures
Where’s Tom?

Tom was actually making good time. Passing himself off as a Danish backpacker named Tomas, who was stuck here when the borders closed, he hitched a lift with a truck taking local Melbourne parcels to Sydney via Adelaide for sorting. Not wanting to go near Sydney, he asked the driver to drop him off in Goulburn.   Tom then spent a warm, dry night in Paper Mill Caves before heading off again at sunrise towards Orange.

paper mill caves Tom's Amazing Adventures - Pt One
Paper Mill Caves
Days End

Tom had walked to Wayo and then been lucky to pick up a ride with a passing car. The driver was a strange, tin foil hat-wearing person on their way to camp out in the Blue Mountains until the pandemic was over. They explained that with no 5G towers inside the national park, that Covid-19 would never reach there. Parting ways with the driver in Trunkey Creek, Tom found an abandoned house and set up his swag for the night.

abandoned house Tom's Amazing Adventures - Pt One
Abandoned House

After a well-deserved sleep-in, Tom headed to the Black Stump hotel for a hearty country breakfast. Then, having eaten a double serve of baked beans he decided to walk for the first hour or two before trying to hitch a lift again.   Once beyond the black stump he passed a bushwalker on their way to the Black stump, after that, the only company he had was the crows flying overhead and following him down the road.

On to Part two

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