Ahhh. As much as I love hiking and camping I do love my creature comforts as well! Showers and beds are very nice. My body really appreciates them. That being said today I visited the Valley of the Giants. It is such a well thought out way to explore the trees. I've never walked up in a canopy before and was truly impressed!
The Tree Top Walk is a 600-metre walk that has a gentle gradient. It is suitable for children and all ages, including wheelchairs and strollers. Good thing too because I am quite tired and was not up for a really strenuous walk today.
A walk trail links the Tree Top Walk to the Ancient Empire boardwalk where you can get up close and personal to the 400-year-old giants of the forest. It is based on the theme of the lost era of Gondwana. The 600-metre boardwalk has been designed as an interpretive experience, to explore the science, fantasy, intrigue and the grandeur of the old trees.
In paleogeography Gondwana, originally Gondwanaland, is the name given to the more southerly of two supercontinents (the other being Laurasia) which were part of the Pangaea supercontinent that existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago. Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya (Million Years Ago), thus joining East Gondwana to West Gondwana. It separated from Laurasia 200-180 Mya (the mid-Mesozoic era) during the breakup of Pangaea, drifting farther south after the split.
Gondwana included most of the landmasses in today's Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar and the Australian continent, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, which have now moved entirely into the Northern Hemisphere.
The continent of Gondwana was named by Austrian scientist Eduard Suess, after the Gondwana region of central northern India, from which the Gondwana sedimentary sequences (Permian-Triassic) are also described.
The adjective Gondwanan is in common use in biogeography when referring to patterns of distribution of living organisms, typically when the organisms are restricted to two or more of the now-discontinuous regions that were once part of Gondwana, including the Antarctic flora. For example, the Proteaceae family of plants known only from southern South America, South Africa and Australia, is considered to have a "Gondwanan distribution". This pattern is often considered to indicate an archaic, or relict, lineage.
The path on the Ancient Empire Boardwalk leads visitors to one of the most popular of the gnarled veterans, known as Grandma Tingle, or the Gatekeeper. The second section of the Ancient Empire walk is a mixture of boardwalk and stabilised earth paths which winds in and out, up, over and through seven more giants. Ancient Empire Entry is free. Tree Top Walk entry prices:- Adult $12.50.
After doing the Tree Top Walk and the Ancient Empire Boardwalk I was tuckered out. I walked 1,568 steps today and volunteered at the Boardwalk for about three hours. Way more than I planned to do today but it was satisfying. After all of that I just went back to my room and rested the rest of the day so I could do more tomorrow.