Recently, I went bushwalking with a friend. We had planned a four day expedition but as my time was eaten away by life’s business, all I could manage was a two day expedition.
Bushwalking has been a great love of mine since I did my first school hike at fourteen years old. Over the years, I have donned a heavy pack and walked hundreds of kilometres through the most beautiful parts of our country.
Firstly - Wilson’s Promontory. Only an hour and half from where I live, we are absolutely spoiled with the most amazingly beautiful beaches and mountains in the state. My feet have trodden on every single track on the ‘Prom’ over the years. From the arduous five day trek around the top of the Prom through Five Mile Beach, Johnny Souey Cove, Tin Mine Cove and Chinaman’s Beach among others. Johnny Souey is my favourite beach among a whole host of amazing beaches.
As well as the Prom, we have ventured to Western Australia, Northern Territory (one of my favourites) and Tasmania. My fiftieth birthday came on the Overland Track in Tassie. My longest hike was also in Tassie – eight days along the southern coast, over a mountain range.
Over the years, my gear got better and my pack lighter just so the wear and tear on the body wasn’t too much. This hike, we carried around ten kilos with tent, sleeping bag, food, sleeping mat, clothes and even a pillow lol...We walked nine and a half kilometres down to Sealer’s Cove – the site of my first walk so many years ago.
Being back in the bush was intoxicating. The smells and sounds were amazing and the colours of the bush were a balm to my heart. Why has it been so long between hikes I asked myself? The truth being the demise of most of my old bushwalking friends – various ailments of age and time. They no longer ply the tracks and sit around the campfires drinking Bailey’s and reliving the adventures of the day. I am, however, blessed with one stalwart who just keeps on going, much like myself.
On this trip we met a man hiking, but dragging a little trailer. He was not letting a hip replacement stop him from enjoying his time in the bush and this little trailer carried his pack over creeks, boulders and rough steps, sand and mud. That has been filed away for future ref. When our shoulders are no longer able – maybe we can adapt as he had done.
Recharged, I came home and back to the jewellery studio. I am currently looking everywhere for a stone the colour of the Johnny Souey water to wrap and preserve. The purple stones remind me of the evenings as the sun disappears and the sea reflects the last of the rays as the sky turns slowly violet. The yellow and beige are the sand and the reds and pinks are the tiny wildflowers, a stunning sunset or the red earth of southern Victoria. The greens of course are the grass, the trees and the Australian bush in all its glory. The blue green colours take me back to the brilliant skies and the azure waters of the coast. Each piece I make can evoke memories of immersion in the wonderful Great Southland of the Holy Spirit and the spirit is there to be found – all you have to do is look.
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