We kept on going when Ewe cramped up hard. Although he had a slight cramp earlier, this one forced him to stop walking. It wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened, but as we were on a steep incline, the sun was setting and the fatigue was beginning to be felt, it was rather tense.
It was a good thing that we still had a fair bit of water.
I got a bit of water with a hydration tablet thrown in into Ewe and we rested until Ewe was ready to move once more.
So we kept on going. Ewe kept water readily available so as to not cramp up again whilst I took occasional drinks myself. We’d see a bit more sky at parts, but the ascent just seemed to keep on going.
I’m not sure as to whether I could see it in Ewe or whether it was myself that was going to break, but there came a point where I felt that there needed to be a motivator to keep on going as it felt like we were going to give up otherwise.
“I have the joint!”
Ewe asked for clarification so I told him again.
Leading up to this trip there was a plan to have a joint once we were at the top. I flip-flopped on the idea a number of times as, whilst I was for the idea, I was done with pot. I had been done with it for a while and whilst I had had some a few weeks prior to the trek, I really did not want to have more. It was in my past and that’s where I wanted to leave it as whilst I had some fun times with pot, there were plenty of negatives attached to many of those times.
Eventually I decided to bring a joint along but I decided that I’d tell Ewe that I didn’t have it and, when we were around a camp fire (or the camping stove) I’d pull it out, light it on the flame and then have a quick puff like it was the most normal thing in the world before passing it to Ewe.
We were somewhere on a mountain following a path that did not seem like it was going to end. I felt that we needed the motivator.
He told me that I had him convinced that I didn’t have the joint.
It was at that point when the shroud of fatigue was able to be cast off and we suddenly found an energy within ourselves to keep on going.
We made good pace at that point, being deft in our steps as we kept on going. The weight of our packs did not feel as though it was anchoring us down.
Soon we reached the end of the path.
We had reached the base of Splendour Rock.
There was still enough light for us to see everything clearly. We took off our packs and began to work out where the path continued.
There was an arrow that had been etched into a rock pointing upward and to the left. Ewe thought it might mean that we have to climb. I thought it might be the case as well, but at the same time I thought it might mean to go around. I went past the arrow, but the path ended. I checked the opposite end but it was the same. Ewe went up to check the path.
As we had been going up, the winds had been getting stronger. At this point, whilst they weren’t as strong as the winds when I had made my attempt last year, they were still strong enough to not make being there feel safe.
I watched as Ewe followed the path. When he was coming back he said that the path continued and widened out a bit and that it looked like it went to the top. We deliberated on whether we should continue.
We decided to go back down.
Part of the reason was that the path further on was, in Ewe’s words, “sketchy” at parts; mainly right near the beginning with a few other parts a little further on from what he saw.
We also weren’t sure as to how much farther we had to go. We knew that we were pretty close, but we also knew that we did not have much more light to work with and didn’t want to set up our tent in the dark.
That, combined with the path not appearing to be too safe and the winds increasing the danger (which it helped to reinforce as it lifted some loose dirt and helped it become airborne, carrying it away from us whilst Ewe was still on the upper path) helped reinforce our decision as being what we considered the best one to make.
Ewe said that we made it and that it didn’t matter if we went further because we were on Mount Dingo and he was right. We had gone the long way and still managed to make it before dark. It was a few hours later than anticipated, but we were where we set out to reach.
After a few quick shots we began making our way back down the side of Mount Dingo.
There was some pressure as we were working with little time to get to Mobbs Swamp before dark. We managed to move at a quick pace, but we did take the descent carefully as, whilst we did have to get down quickly there was risk of injury due to the steepness of the path.
There were a few parts where I slowly made my way down by sliding on my rear. I felt it was the safest way to get down in some parts. Ewe remained on only his feet for most of the descent.
Sliding down turned out to not be the best thing for me to do.
Whilst I was sliding, my camera bag turned onto one of its sides as it was on the ground due to my having too much length in my strap.
My camera then came out and began to roll down Mount Dingo.
“MY CAMERA!”, I yelled.
I watched it roll down, thought of the cost that would be involved to repair it if I didn’t have to buy a new one outright. I thought of what I would do whilst I would not have a camera as I was unable to afford the cost of a new one. I had that camera since 2011. It had survived going into the bush with me a few times, survived rain in Japan, survived humidity, salt water, fresh water, being dropped, being handled poorly. It had been by my side for a long time and now I was watching it make its way down the side of Mount Dingo.
Ewe was ahead. When he heard me he turned his head and watched the camera roll past him. Later on he told me that he didn’t stick his foot out because he thought it might make the situation worse as my camera was rolling pretty fast.
It stopped about ten to fifteen metres away from me. I got up and quickly went to it to assess the damage.
There was a bit of dirt on it from the rolling and part of the lens was damaged, but it was to outside parts.
My camera came out fairly fine. It was not working and it seemed as though no dirt got into the body.
We continued on our way.
We were still making our way down when I felt the need to begin using one of the torches that I had brought for the trek as whilst there was still a fair bit of light it was getting too dark to see enough of the ground. Thankfully the path was not as steep at this point so the descent became much easier.
Once we were back on flatter ground we began to move much faster. I thought that I had a good idea of how much longer it would take us to get back to Mobbs Swamp and I was somewhat-confident of getting back before it was completely dark. The path was easy to navigate and, despite some steep parts was very straightforward. However, we were not fast enough.