"If you slip wearing a full set of waterproofs you will slide with dangerous and terrifying speed."
Thank you Walks: Isle of Mull, Coll and Tiree, including Iona and Ulva. Wise words indeed, and semi-applicable today, in a different country, and quite a different landscape. Today's ANZAC Day in Australia, a national holiday that celebrates all our war veterans and current serving people. It's pretty big, with dawn services at every cenotaph and memorial around the country, and a large parade. The ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) were the guys who landed at Gallipoli (Turkey) only to be slaughtered, in WW1. There's an enormous ceremony at Anzac Cove in Turkey too, with Turks, Australians and New Zealanders coming together to commemorate the events. Historians say it was a crucial point in the formation of Australia's national identity, as separate from the Brits, but at the heart of it were a lot of people being killed because of poor communication.
And ANZAC day is also a friend's dad's birthday. Every year he organises a bush walk to somewhere, open to anyone who's interested. Today I went along with my friend, her dad, my dad and a couple of their friends. We headed off to Mount Field, a national park about an hour(ish) out of Hobart. Our only native deciduous tree is currently doing amazing colour things, and it can be seen in this area, so it's a pretty popular place right now. Instead of heading off to the busy places, we went the opposite direction, first to Seager's Lookout, then on to Mount Field East. The terrain included bits of everything - scree scrambling, rock hopping, duck boards, mud wading, bush bashing, and it was pretty hard work sometimes, although definitely worth it for the views. The weather was perfect, and the air clear, so we could see to Cradle Mountain (a long way away). We slogged through for 6-7 hours, and saw a moor, a lookout, a mountain, three tarns (lakes), one hut, and a platypus.
I've never seen a platypus in the wild before (not even sure I've ever seen one at all to be honest), but after squidging along a very very very wet track to a hidden tarn, we were rewarded with the sight of a platypus ducking and diving for food. That was very very exciting.
It all ended with some of the best chips I've had for a long time, if you're ever that direction, head into the Westerday servo - wonderfully crispy on the outside, with a gloriously fluffy centre. And any shop that serves them with a big bottle of tomato sauce gets my vote.
Tomorrow I'm off walking again, although this time on a (hopefully) cruisey wander to a waterfall with a group of friends from uni. We chose it knowing there's a range of abilities in the group, but I used to go when I was teensy weensy, so it should be fine. Of course, my challenge may be just moving my poor, tired, stiff legs....
More photos from today's adventure just here.
- Nikon D5000