GREAT OCEAN WALK: Day 5 The first rain of my hike began with periodic drilling on my sil-nylon roof some time after midnight. Almost soothing, though the pattern of recurrent waking had resumed. I’d had a good few hours, though, and got up one final time in darkness to lug gear to the shelter table. Lit the stove while I packed; after coffee I topped up the beer-can stove and burned off some of my remaining metho for added light and log-cabin homeyness… ~ Journal entry, 17 June, 2011
GREAT OCEAN WALK: Day 4 Got started at a positively tardy 6:05am. The best sleep yet, all the way through to about midnight, from which point I woke pretty much on the hour every hour. Allowed myself the luxury of a starter coffee in the shelter as I packed, then I was off into that jet-black night.
GREAT OCEAN WALK: Day 3 Walking back from the cemetery last night, the shouts and shrieks of what sounded like a thousand youngsters grew louder and my fears were realised as I entered a radically transformed camp.
GREAT OCEAN WALK: Day 2 For the second time this morning I stop, lean onto my stick, and ask myself what the hell I am doing.
GREAT OCEAN WALK: Day 1 I have seldom seen a more fearful section of coastline ~ explorer Matthew Flinders, on the Shipwreck Coast I settled back in my window seat and felt the tension float free as we shrieked free of the tarmac and began our journey south. Weeks of planning, one final late night frantically trying to get everything in order before a few hours’ dubious sleep…
Hey all. Well, the experiment with blogging “from the field” was a dismal failure due to the absence of phone towers in said field (which is one of the things to love about that region). So apologies to anyone who thought I’d been eaten by a large marsupial or swept from the rocks by a freak wave. Or maybe nobody even noticed? Luckily the hike itself was an unqualified success, one of the best adventures of my young life.
We spent two hours circling above Melbourne airport yesterday, waiting for the fog to clear. Today I discovered I was lucky to get here at all, with the ash cloud from a Chilean volcano disrupting the flights of thousands into and out of the city.
It’s cold. For Brisbane, anyway. In fact, a couple of days ago was the city’s coldest in 11 years, with a maximum of 12 and a half degrees Celsius. It was also, apparently, the coldest June day here since 1916, when an 11.3C maximum was recorded. Probably a good time to head somewhere tropical and sunny. Not this idiot. Tomorrow morning at 6:55am I get on a plane south, to freezing, windy, coastal Victoria, for a hundred kilometres of solo trudging along the coast south-west of Melbourne. Wonder why I can’t get people to come hiking with me.
My excursion to Mt Coolum on the Sunshine Coast, 101km north of Brisbane, on the afternoon of my climb up Tibrogargan. MAY 14, 2011 These are rugged, charismatic peaks, but small ones. I reach relatively level ground much earlier than planned and find myself in a lovely part of the world with several hours of sunshine and a rented car at my disposal.
From my paper journals: MAY 19, 2006, 5:56PM Well, it doesn’t get much further from the rock fields of eastern PA than a bluegrass band doing old-time standards on a stage in south-western Virginia:
Extracts from my pen-and-paper journals on the Appalachian Trail, 2006. I was back to do the second half after stress fractures two years earlier, having sworn to myself that I would take it slowly and not get caught up in “The Herd”. Well, I tried…