At what point in a woman's life does trekking 56 km through bush sound like utter bliss? I believe it's around the point of mothering two or three kids under the age of 10. Perhaps it's escaping a nightmare boss, bad relationship, or simply a thirst for the outdoors? Help is at hand. Brisbane-based company Girl's Trekking Adventures is answering the call of women of all ages who crave a little adventure, fun, and like-minded companionship in their precious down time.
Being a prime candidate for this kind of break, I scanned the Girls Trekking website for a suitable short trip. The 'Blue Mountains Indulgence Getaway' had me at hello. Words like 'hotel', 'champagne' and 'day spa' jumped off the page. This was my kind of itinerary. I admit I glossed over the other details, '15km hike', 'stair climb', 'water', and 'map'. Thank God someone else was in charge.
Buoyed by the idea of plumbing and doonas at the end of a day's hike, I signed up and headed south sans famille. There was a great energy amongst the group, and we looked like serious hikers (except, we'd like to think, somewhat more groomed). We had all faithfully attended 'hike fit', the dedicated GTA stair fitness sessions. This is included in the cost of the trek in the month leading up to departure and is a great way to meet your fellow group members before you go.
Our 4-day adventure comprised of hiking 12-15km in the mornings from a civilized 9am hotel departure, until about 1 or 2pm, when we would then walk into the evening's accommodation. As packing 'light' is not my MO, the transportation of our luggage to our next hotel was a major bonus. GTA realise that although it is possible to carry 25 kg in a backpack, it may not be absolutely necessary. Hike with a day pack only!
We tackled parts of the famous Six Foot Track, Nellies Glen, The Furber Stairs, and the Prince Henry Cliff walk to name a few. The iconic Three Sisters and Wentworth falls were highlights. It was a stunning visual feast of gorgeous sandstone cliffs, deep ravines and cooling waterfalls. The walking itself was challenging in parts but not difficult at the pace we walked. GTA offer hikes for many levels of fitness, so if it's a challenge you're after I'm sure you can be accommodated! GTA are fully guided also — just follow the lady in front.
Groups are kept to a 12-person limit, small enough to get to know your fellow trekkers, but not so small as to get in anyone's face for too long. Hikes are mostly all inclusive of meals, making the days run super smoothly.
To sum up my maiden trek experience, the word therapeutic comes to mind. There is certainly a sweet satisfaction derived from a long hard walk amongst beautiful surrounds. I've realised so much of our day-to-day tiredness is mental exhaustion rather than physical. It was actually refreshing to get that deep-bone tiredness, but give my mind a rest from the usual detail that comes with mobilising my family of five.
My experience has certainly inspired me to tackle another trek. GTA do a host of overseas trips to exotic locales, but I fancy my own backyard. I've booked to trek the gorgeous Larapinta trail in the Northern Territory next year. A slightly harder and less 'luxurious' tour for sure, but it's regarded as one of the top 10 walking locations in the world. Utter Bliss? I think so.