We have been running about doing boring but necessary things today. Not so bloggable. (OK – the visit to Ruby and Margie with coffee and cake wasn’t at all boring but I didn’t have my camera with me!!)
Neither have I had a chance to post process our last days hike on the Overland.
Just thought I would speed blog tonight by telling you a bit about the campsites and their facilities.
The huts varied quite a bit in size from location to location, but they were all really sturdy and comfortable.
Inside there was a large area with tables and cooking areas for people wanting to prepare food and eat inside at normal tables
Even people who stayed in their tents made use of the huts to store their packs away from marauding possums or just out of the weather. Plenty of clothes/tents/shoes were stored in the dry.
Inside was a comfortable place and fun to get to know fellow hikers.
Each hut had a room or several rooms dedicated to the generous sized sleeping platforms. Quite a number of the hikers opted to solely use the huts for sleeping rather than setting up tents each night. Tents were still a required part of your kit though – space in the hut is not guaranteed, and is also a safety factor in case you get caught out in the weather and have to make an emergency camp somewhere.
Any roof surface had a catchment to rainwater tanks. This was drinking water, and the tanks that had a grease trap under them (pictured above) was the place you brushed your teeth and washed your dishes.
Some people filtered their water – others (like Jeff and myself who regularly drink our own unfiltered rainwater) didn’t bother.
Each hut (except the first) had tent platforms for the campers. Chains along with extra ropes helped secure the tents. We were dubious about using them at first but then found them quite convenient – as sitting on the platforms, sorting your pack and gear was a lot less messy than in the damp muddy grounds fending off leeches.
Also, almost all the huts had a helipad. Used for bringing in supplies and removing the toilet waste. Also for emergency airlift in case of accidents and that kind of thing. (and the perfect platforms for star gazing too!)
And that brings me to the long-drop dunnies!
No flush long drop composting toilets (dunny if you want the Australian colloquial term) were what you had available and really – they weren’t at all bad.
Ok… the older one at the first camp had an eye-watering ammonia smell that stayed with you for at least 15 minutes after leaving… however the one pictured above had no smell whatsoever!
Leftover food or any compostable item was to be put down the toilet. No feeding the wildlife and any rubbish you take in – you take right back out again with you. It was amazing – in the whole trek we came across no rubbish at all! People were clearly doing the right thing.
Once full – these containers of waste material get airlifted out and used as landfill elsewhere.
Yes I left the seat down for the photo (You’re welcome – I figured there was only so much information you needed)
But as you can see – pretty simple and clean.
Barrels of rice hulls were set in each toilet, so after doing your thing, you were meant to put one scoop of husks down the long drop. It helped dry the matter out and speed up the composting process.
Each lot of toilets had their own little proverb or poem – all poo or wee related!! I wish I had realised this earlier as I would have gotten photos of them all. Especially the one about the Wombat Poo which was quite amusing.
Something to get next time I suppose.
I also noticed that the water tank information signs also had a water – related proverb on each one too.
The one I remember said “Thousands of people have lived life without love, but not one has lived without water.”
It’s not all roughing it – you can pay the private operators 2-3 grand and not worry about carrying food and sleeping gear. They had their own huts – mattresses on the platforms and dinner cooked for them each night, wine included, and hot showers!
Talk about living it up!! 🙂
Still… if you have the money it makes the adventure physically accessible for older people who wouldn’t be able to carry what we did and rough it as much.
It just meant we met a wider variety of people out on the track and their guides were friendly and very generous with their information (and at one point – chocolate!!) mmmmm
Hope you enjoyed a little insight as to what facilities were available to us during our hike!