This morning I woke up to the sound of my early morning alarm reminding me that it was time to jump out of bed and get dressed for the big day ahead, and when I say a big day, I mean a big day. Today I would be ticking multiple activities off of my bucket list by venturing into the claustral canyon which is hidden away in the Blue Mountains, Australia with eighteen of my beautiful adventurous friends. I have never taken part in a canyon before and despite all of my training building up to the day it could have never prepared me for the eight hour adventure that lay ahead. It has challenged me in more ways than I could have ever expected. Physically, emotionally, mentally, you name it, however in amongst all of the challenges I was also given the opportunity to witness some of natures most beautiful gifts.
The day started out with everyone coming together in the hostels dining room for breakfast where I kick started my day with a bowl of muesli and fruit, and from there everyone packed their hiking bags, jumped in the cars, and made their way down to the entry point of the canyon where we then hit the road on foot and commenced the eight hour venture through the trees and bushes, over the rocks and boulders, and through the streams and crevices of the canyon. At about one hour in, we came to a halt and it was time for our first abseil, which for me was my first abseil since I was a little girl so I was super excited to take part in this and I felt even more excited at the fact that I would be abseiling down a beautiful waterfall. Initially I was a little bit shaky however I soon learnt that by simply relaxing and trusting in the ropes, would make for a more joyous experience which would lead me to the base of the waterfall where I was prompted by my friend to look around and take in the beauty of the canyon. It was at that very moment that I was in complete awe and realised how truly blessed I am to be having this experience.
Once everyone made it through the abseil we swam through a stream for amount 10 metres which was pretty freezing to say the least and left me feeling very thankful to be wearing a wetsuit, however that didn’t take away from the amazing experience and soon enough we were on dry land, sitting by a waterfall, stopping for lunch and water which soon turned into a photoshoot. It is pretty safe to say that when a group of acrobats are given some beautiful scenery, a photoshoot is bound to happen. Shortly after lunch the opportunity to go caving to find glow worms came about. I had no idea that this was going to be a part of the day and seeing glow worms has been a dream of mine for a very long time. Seeing glow worms in person was and is one of the most beautiful sights to see and there will never be a photo that would ever do them justice so I highly reccomend adding seeing glow worms to your bucket list as it is truly one of the most magical experiences this world has to offer.
When we finished at the glow worms we were back on the road where we ventured through more streams, crevices, over boulders, and between trees before completing our final abseil for the day which was much larger than the first abseil, however all the more fun and exciting. After the abseil we were then on the home stretch which for me personally was the most challenging part of the day because it was a one and half – two hour walk on a consistent incline. My muscles were so sore at this point in the day and I literally had to tell myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other in order to keep myself moving forward however when we reached the end of the canyon and the day was over, I was then able to look back at the moment and feel so insanely proud of myself for pushing through and finishing one of the most strenuous activities I have ever engaged in and it has also taught me that even in our toughest times there is also a lot of beauty to be seen which if you choose to look will give you many moments of peace.