November 9th, 2008
Hi everyone and apologies for the looooong delay between blogs. We got back from our bushwalk on Sunday and home to slow internet. We’d breached our cap and got slowed down from nice friendly broadband to, well, slow. Don’t know how we managed to use 24 gb so quickly, but Beloved and I are casting suspicious glances at Radio Boy, who was here for a week, and BF. The power of both of them combined was more than our paltry 24 gig could handle.
We did have a lovely time on our bushwalk, although it was a reminder of just how fragile the bush is and I scare myself when I think too much about global warming. Mt Hotham, where we had our walk, suffered bushfires a couple of years ago. Here you can see the extent of the damage – barren hillsides, so much more bleak when the plants don’t have the epicormic layer under their bark.
The first night we stayed at Edmonsond’s Hut. Huts in the high country aren’t designed for people to actually sleep in them, they are really emergency accommodation for if there’s a real bad storm or blizzard. They’re very cozy and the three we visited were all in cute little gullies with trees around them. These snowgums have recovered a bit from the fires. They’re not fast growing like bluegums, but you can see that their roots survived and they’re putting up new growth from the bottom up.
We camped near the hut – plenty of clear, flat spaces as bushwalkers tend to congregate near huts. I was surprised also that all of the huts we visited had toilet facilities! Last time I bushwalked was long ago, and I’d only ever encountered one hut with a dunny (official Australian word for toilet, especially one that isn’t plumbed in). It was far more salubrious than going behind a tree – but I think that’s probably more information than you needed anyway. That’s the Edmonsond’s Hut dunny you can see in the background behind Beloved.
You don’t encounter a lot of animals in the Aussie bush. They’re mostly shy and nocturnal. We walked past about a zillion millipedes but I didn’t take their photo because it’s too bloody hard to bend down and take a photo when you’ve got a 15kg pack on your back. I took this one of the beetle though because it’s so shiny and ya gotta love shiny stuff. I was really pleased with this one because up close you can see his wings unfolding.
At Roper’s hut I took this one of a big, fat skink. Love those little lizards. Brian saw…a rabbit. How exciting, we walk all that way and encounter vermin. See more native animals at home. I guess because our local wallabies aren’t so shy. In the hut books we read that the rangers had been fox baiting. I hope they are doing something about the rabbits too, because if they wipe out the foxes it means even more rabbits about the place.
This is where we camped at Ropers Hut on the second night. Actually, that’s not true. This is where we put our tent on the second night. We decided that since nobody else was around, we’d break all the rules and sleep in the hut. Oh, yeah, that’s when I saw my only native mammal for the trip: a rat. Funny little thing, running down the wall. I don’t know what it found to nibble on all night, but it was very busy.
The original hut got burnt down in the bushfires, and a new one is about halfway built. It was probably my worst night’s sleep of all time, because that floor was very hard and the hut warmed up real well from the stove, and the rats kept crunching and nibbling on whatever it was they had stashed away there. In the morning we had breakfast on the stove there.
That’s my billy on my little camp stove. There’s nothing as good as the smoky taste of billy tea with a touch of eucalyptus in it.
There was a little bit of snow on the hills, but no spring dump. It just keeps getting dryer and dryer here.
I guess I’m kind of in denial about not having lost much weight these past few weeks. The walk was fairly long over the three days. 2km on the first day, about 8 on the second and about 12 on the third. Not exactly a marathon effort, but hard enough, especially when you’re lugging around the kind of excess baggage I do! But I keep telling myself that things will only get better from here. Especially once I get control of myself and stop eating lollies and stuff, which I have been a bit lately.
I’m going in for my next injection of saline on Thursday so hoping that will really help with a bit more weightloss coming up to Christmas.
The real good thing, though was that Christmas dress. I think I may have mentioned the Christmas dress on this blog before. I bought it to wear on Christmas day last year. Just a plain cotton dress with buttons up the front. Well, fortunately I’d also bought a nice t-shirt and leggings to wear under it (you never know if Christmas is going to be hot or cold in Melbourne) because I could not get that thing buttoned up. I mean, there was a good 2″ gap of ME between the buttons and the button holes.
Well, last week I put that dress on and I buttoned it up. It was a little on the firm side, but the buttons weren’t going to burst. Beloved said it looked nice, but he says all my stuff looks nice. This is because he does not have a deathwish.
Anyway, it feels good to be back. Now I’m going to visit all your blogs and catch up.
Oh, and I just want to whisper “Thank you” to the voting citizens of the United States of America – thank you for the nice birthday present. Yeah, my birthday was the 4th of November. Great present, everyone, and I mean that.