In the Derwent Valley, a warm autumn sun is shining, the wind is calm, and all our wet and muddy gear from our three day traverse on ridge lines above Lake Judd is clean and drying. It is almost possible, except for the dark storm clouds massing on the periphery of the sky, to think we are not in Tasmania any more.
Doug on The Acropolis,
hard to believe this is Tasmania
It is almost exactly two months since we arrived in the "holiday" isle. We left Victoria with a long list of trips we wanted to do, that, once we realized there is never more than two consecutive days of good weather in a row, we edited to come up with a short list of "premier" trips. With the exception of the 6 to 8 day traverse of the Western Arthurs (on my premier list but not Doug's) we have now completed all the trips on our premier list, and, a whole host of others. It has, however, been an extraordinarily busy two months. We have been rushing from one multi-day trip to the next, from one corner of the state to another, in a desperate and largely successful attempt to miss none of the good weather.
Sunrise over the Western Arthur Range
I don't have trouble maintaining interest (stoke/psyche, or whatever term the hipsters are using) for doing trips. I don't need to watch videos, follow the latest "athletes" social media feed or surround myself with "fitspo" to want to go out everyday. In fact, I generally have too much enthusiasm, and, the inevitable down days when you are cleaning up from the last trip or preparing for the next, often seem dull and anti-climatic. Those are the days when I wonder if I can ever live in one place any more or if, I'll travel for ever simply becoming an older, skinnier (perhaps hungrier) nomad.
About to take a dip in a mountain tarn
Other times, I wish I go home for just a while, to the home I no longer own. Generally, I have this feeling late in the day when we have just arrived back at the car after a multi-day adventure and our gear is wet, sandy, muddy, dirty, and generally in serious need of repair. At those times, going back to the caravan, washing in a cold mountain stream or lake, or simply by pouring a bucket of water over our heads is a poor substitute for a hot shower, a comfortable chair and soft bed. Late in the day when the fridge is empty it would be nice to abandon either our dirt-bagways (harder than you might imagine) or our ulra-pure diet and just go buy dinner in a restaurant, cafe, even a bar, instead of scratching together some dinner from camping left-overs and maintaining our frugal habits.
How you look at the end of a typical Tasmanian walk
Like all of life, a life adventuring is all about trade-offs. We trade the comforts that first world people take for granted (hot showers, dry accommodation, clean clothes, even highly palatable food) for the days and nights that we spend outdoors travelling through wild places, eating only what is nutritious (not necessarily very palatable), sleeping out, getting filthy, walking, paddling or climbing from days start to days end. We get to watch the sun rise and set, to see mountain peaks floating suspended in an ocean of cloud, to paddle past curious seals, to listen to whale song on a deserted beach, but, we have no community (we are about as different from the standard "grey nomad" travelling around Australia as you can get while still being part of the animal kingdom), no place where we belong, no home.
Southern Ocean sunrise