Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tasmania (Part Three - The Final Reckoning)

After many months of blogging on my own (on-and-on-and-onanism you could call it), it's time for a bit of balance on the Big Trip website.

It's with great pleasure that I welcome a guest contributor to the website. With his own perspective on the great Tasmanian adventure, here's a word from my fellow trekker, Chris...

Being in Australia , so far from home and on the far side of the world, its been really great to have an old friend to stay. It is great to follow Calum carrying out his charity work in Belize and I must admit his recent interest in philanthropy has certainly put me to shame. After a hard weeks charity work in Sydney he can now spend all weekend with a hangover on Bondi beach (dodgy Speedos by the way Calum!), totally guilt free!!

As this section of the Blog is ‘Tasmania Part 3’ i should give you some info on the trip. Despite Calum enthusiastically ticking the questionnaire at the end of the Overland Track – “it was just another bush walk really - I’ve heard there is absolutely amazing scenery in Patagonia” his judgment must have been dulled by the prospect of another meal of dried pasta and spending another sleepless night with huntsman spiders, tiger snakes, possums, and ‘Kevin the ipod wearing teenage backpacker’. I meanwhile was communing with nature and generally ticking – “one of the best things I’ve done in the last 12 months”.
(Before - Possums to the left of us, foodbags to the right, and a two-man (two-midget) tent in the middle.)

(After - with several measures of whisky, drunk straight from the (plastic) bottle, Calum eventually gets some much-needed shut-eye)

On reflection I think he felt he had sold it short. The crystal clear skies, really unusual rock formations, which reminded me of monument valley in the States, the amount of wildlife, pristine rivers,..etc! really amazed us from start to finish. Combined with the manly, physical pursuit of climbing mountains every day (yes – every day – most people climb one every year or so but we got so into climbing mountains towards the end we were springing out of bed at dawn, racing to our destination and quite frequently getting there before anybody else in the track – even young Kev!) I must say we were in our element. The photographs speak for themselves.

The long hours of walking also allowed us time to catch up and discuss some really big topics like..erm…erm..drinking, women and cars - as those of you who did some walking with Calum on the mammoth 500 mile fund raiser can probably testify to. It’s interesting how, despite the fact you have more space than you can shake a mammoth stick at, how small your world becomes when you are walking for days in the middle of nowhere. Literally the size of a tent or a hut and the people you are with or meet along the way become so interesting to you. Needless to say we had psychoanalyzed every single person walking on the track by Day 2 – poor Kevin!! - and it was amazing that even when we bumped into the same people in Hobart as few days later it was a though we had known them for years.

Really though – it was great to catch up with Calum over the miles after about 10 years of separation and it is going to be sad to see him leave Australia for the rest of his amazing trip. I must admit I am doing all I can to talk him into staying (or returning after the rest of his trip) - for at least a few more years.

A big hello to all our mutual friends who are following Calum’s progress.

(End of an adventure - the final Day.)

1 comment:

Graeme said...

When on these wild and wacky trips into the great unknown it's all to easy for those involved to think that they are the ones enduring great hardship, forgetting about those many miles away with their own hardships...
One particular example comes to mind.
About the same time as the intrepid adventurers were risking life and limb, I too was on one of my frequent travels, on this occasion to bonnie Scotland. Due to budgetary constraints (ie the flight was v cheap), I had chosen the classic Ryanair to Prestwick route. Now you may assume that this is the end of my story and those who have used this route would quickly testify to it's grimness, however my fellow passengers and I were horrified to discover the latest cost-cutting measures, (although bizarrely the outward bound community will love this innovation).
When Senga came round with the "refreshments" trolley, one passenger ordered a whiskey and another a brandy. Being Ryanair, quality was obviously not expected, however it was with astonishment that the passengers were presented with sachets of said liquor. Yes SACHETS of whiskey and Brandy.
Now regular air travellers will know that security on planes is quite tight these days and one of the many exclusions is of course sharp objects. It therefore came as no surprise that most of the amber liqour ended up down the front of the two passengers attempting to open the sachets -with their teeth.

Ah - the real world...