Sundown, on the Queensland/New South Wales border, is largely trackless. The northern entrance is four-wheel drive-only; the Broadwater end where we entered has a small camping area on the banks of the Severn. Further exploration is via the banks or the side-creeks snaking through narrow gorges into the hills.
A year ago today I was at the Lake Morena campground, settling in with a few hundred other excited hikers for a weekend of fun. The ADZPCTKO — Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off — was underway at last.
There is something about my appearance that brings out the worst even in a normally well-mannered dog. It may have to do with my hunched-up pack or rapid gait. Or the way I swing my arms. Perhaps dogs know intuitively that I dislike the sound of a bark as much as the cry of babies or Siamese cats. Or it could be that I just look and smell a bit trampish. Whatever the reason I view all dogs on the loose as potential assailants… ~ John Hillaby, ‘Journey Through Europe‘ I have been harassed by dogs while walking on four continents.They are easily my least-favourite local fauna. I have nothing against the creatures in theory — the idea of them. I’ve had a few mutts in my life and we got along nicely. But Mr Hillaby might be right about the pack: It sets the buggers off. Many’s the time I’ve been grateful that I usually walk with trekking poles. But even pack-less, they will often take me on, or at least give me a …
It’s cooling down — at last — and my cold seems to be abating. After a week of illness, and several of turmoil before that, my spirits are creeping upwards again. I resumed pre-work strolling this morning — I could call it ‘exercise’ or ‘training’ but that would be insulting for those doing the real thing. I just love mornings, always have, and a walk along the waterfront just before dawn trickles over the horizon is as good a way to start a working day as I’ve yet found.
These days, much of Iya has been devoured by what [Alex] Kerr calls the Moloch, with the silence broken by the sound of jackhammers as multi-lane highways and ghastly concrete hotels sprang up to serve people flocking to see the view.
I was cursed with skinny chicken-bone legs, which presented no problems in my pre-hiking life as a sport-loathing, book-reading, tight-black-jeans-wearing, rock’n’rolling kinda fellow. Since my discovery of the pleasures to be found in mountains, forests and on long, rambling perambulations, however, I have often wished I had sturdier, more reliable limbs which would follow orders without complaint.