Sunday, January 30, 2011

Y'know that hill, Trev?

No, it wasn't Mt Arthur that I climbed today, it was Ben Lomond, at 1572m Tasmania's second-highest peak. But fortunately we started from well up, so in our 2 1/2 hour walk we climbed about 180 metres, Janine from Pepper Bush Adventures naming all the parts for me. At the top, the ascent was wind-assisted: blustery and billowing, exciting stuff.

It was a really good walk with terrific dolerite rocks in pencil-shaped columns above tumbles of boulders, neat marsupial lawns scattered with cubic wombat poo, alpine meadows bright with white and yellow flowers against the vivid green moss, and long blue views over the Northwest's mountains and hidden valleys.

Then it was white-knuckle time: onto the mountain bike with Ian and off with little ado to descend Jacobs Ladder: 7 switchbacks down about 250 vertical metres of gravel road with sheer drop-offs. I came down very tamely, gripping the handlebars and brakes so hard that my fingers had seized up by the bottom. Ian's young sons shamed me, pedalling at great speed, skidding round the corners and coming back up for a second go in the time it took me to teeter down. What a wuss.

Then Craig took over, taking me for a drive through the bush and explaining some of its secrets while we looked for echidna (elusive), ending up at a pretty little lake to spot platypus (private) and have a BBQ. It was a lovely end to the day and I didn't really mind that the platypus were a no-show. Poor Craig and Janine were so sorry to disappoint me, but I felt very special to be the first person in three years to have been taken there and not see one. See, a week in this beautiful place and I turn into Pollyanna.

4 comments:

the queen said...

SQUARE Wombat poo? You are leading me on a wild goose chase, aren't you? Off to Wikipedia...

Pam said...

Actually, not just square, but cubic. Something to do with their back plate, an adaptation of the spine/pelvis that allows them to crush dogs' skulls and unwary researchers' hands against the top of the burrows they've escaped down.

Brett Atkinson said...

I told Craig he should have his own TV show a few years back - Tassie's answer to Jamie Oliver - what do you think?

Pam said...

Yes, he whips up a mean barbecue. In both senses: last time I went out with Craig, a cute little wallaby hopped past just as I was about to sink my teeth into a succulent wallaby kebab hot off the grill.

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