Pics or It Didn't Happen (TrineoCon 2018)

Simone Byrnes December 21, 2018

TrineoCon isn’t just a Christmas party. It’s an end of year reward for the work that Trineos have done. It’s an indulgence, a celebration, a surprise and a kickstarter for the coming year.

2018 saw (most of) the Sydney Trineos pile into a mini bus in the CBD, travelling up through the Blue Mountains to the remote and beautiful Wolgan Valley. We were sad to leave behind Nathan and Kris, who were unable to join us.

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The bus ride itself was something of an adventure (honourable mention to Geoff our driver, whose skills are possibly more suited to a kamikaze rally battle), but we were admitted through the gates and rolled on into the Emirates One & Only resort. Another hairy moment when the team realised we could have come by helicopter–but I quickly pointed out that our budget would have been blown before we even ate anything if we had flown in. Who knew helicopters were so expensive?!

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After being greeted with chilled towels to wipe our travel-weary faces, it was Hello, Luxury. This was our home for the night: private villas nestled in a national park, with 5 star service, locally sourced food, abundant wildlife, and not a single high-rise building in sight. Rather than a day packed with activities, I had chosen somewhere that would allow us all some time and space to relax–to let the tension of the everyday slip away.

Dinner was a 5 course degustation in a private dining room (had they anticipated the dinner conversation?), followed by a starlit walk back to the villas for the night. Saturday morning was all about revelling in the luxurious surroundings–we swam, slept, ran, relaxed, read the paper, photographed, ate breakfast, looked at pictures of cats on the internet and explored on our own before gathering together again. As a group, we took a guided nature walk and learned many things, such as:

  • Flies are pesky little buggers
  • Termites are a super important part of the ecosystem
  • Wombats dig enormous burrows then spend ages keeping them clean
  • Don’t drink the water downstream, you never know if there’s a dead kangaroo around the corner
  • Iguanas and goannas are not the same thing
  • You can creep a fair way towards a kangaroo before it decides to hop off
  • Snakes are very real (#straya)
  • There is such a thing as a Meat Ant and I wasn’t listening 100% but I’m fairly sure they will eat you
  • DRINK WATER it is hot out there
  • Not learned: the name of our guide. I’ve forgotten that.
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By the end of the walk we were all tired, so slouched down to enjoy our last meal at the resort, before meeting our bus driver for the trip back to civilisation/real life/comparative poverty/suburbia/home. All slightly relieved that it wasn’t Geoff, but a much more sedate Bernie, we said goodbye to Wolgan Valley and compared our hauls from the villa’s all-inclusive mini bars.

Next year, well - we’ll see!

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Simone Byrnes

Simone Byrnes