shapeofthings: (fight)

A butterfly gets a salt fix from my sweaty guide Russel (pronounced roo-sell) on our walk through part of the MABOSINFRON conservation concession just out of town in Puerto Esperanza, Purús Region, Peruvian Amazon.

shapeofthings: (rumblefish)
Rodway Range, Mount Field National Park

Safety: The track to this peak follows high exposed ridges and suitable footwear and water-proof clothing are essential. Some warm clothing should also be carried. The walk is only suitable in fine weather - be prepared to turn back if the weather changes. Do not attempt this walk if it is snowing or when cloud covers the range.

- Day Walks Tasmania, J & M Chapman.

1. What I did Christmas Day 3. What I did Christmas Day
Follow the steep road from Lake Dobson to the Mawson ski field, take the boardwalk trail across the peatlands then climb the boulders up to the start of the Rodway Range.

2. What I did Christmas Day
Stop to enjoy the view over Lake Seal & Tarn Shelf.

4. What I did Christmas Day 5. What I did Christmas Day
Shelter from the wind a while amidst the rocks of Lion's Den, marvel at the twisted vegetation holding onto life in the cracks.

7. What I did Christmas Day
Feel the full fury of the south-westerly wind as you descend to K Col in low-visibility conditions on the epic boulder slope.

9. What I did Christmas Day 6. What I did Christmas Day
Stop a while and wait to see if the weather will clear and wonder if you've got the ability to continue any further.

8. What I did Christmas Day
Watch the magic unfurl as slowly the view is revealed then, feeling tired but happy, begin the journey home.

10. What I did Christmas Day 11. What I did Christmas Day
From high alpine plains back down to the pandani groves of Lake Dobson, the end of the trail. Safe and warm.

I was aiming for the 16 km round trip to Mount Field West, described as a challenging 8 hour walk. I made it to K Col and back - 10 km - in just under 6 hours (with a few stops to shelter from the worst of the weather). Given the tricky terrain, the leery weather (I was nearly blown terminally off-balance on the boulder slopes a few times) and the state of my various injuries I'm happy with that!

Merry Christmas!
shapeofthings: (Diva)
South America 2012 Collage

...and that's ALL the South America 2012 photos culled, edited and uploaded.

Now to start on the 300-odd from the Tarkine trip in October.

(full set)
shapeofthings: (Default)


Salar de Atacama, Chile

I'm counting down the months until I can go travelling again. I didn't intend to go back to South America again any time soon (North Western Australia, Turkey, Jordan and Morocco were up the top of the list), but I seem to have changed my mind.
shapeofthings: (Home)
The fire's lit, the kettle's on.

My belly is full of cauliflower and kale masala made with veggies from my very weedy garden.

I've unpacked, done the laundry and made a small dent in the weeds.

There was a sprinkling of snow on the mountain this morning.

I'm home.
shapeofthings: (Default)
Is this really my life? It´s beautiful, wonderful & amazing.

Why did it take me so long to start living it?

Trekking starts tomorrow!


Jul. 21st, 2012 08:16 am
shapeofthings: (Default)
So, we survived the overnight bus to Cusco to arrive at our hostel to find the booking hadn´t gone through. That´s 2 in a row now! But they´ve found space for us and eventually we´ll be allowed to claim a bed (at 1 pm, having been awake on the bus almost all night and feeling somewhat drunk from the compination of fatigue & altitude.)

We´ve got a couple of days to adjust to the atlitude before we head off on our big trek. I´m hoping my various injuries hold up ok as the big changes in altitude have been causing me a spot of bother. Fingers crossed, eh?

In other news, the airline finally found my reservation - the fact they are code-share flights threw them - and they´re confimred, but there is some concern I won´t have enough tie to transfer from domestic to international when I get to Lima (flying Cusco - Lima, Lima - Santiago). Stilll, if I miss my flight there´s another one that evening. Just need to sort out accomodation in Santiago now for my last 2 nights.

No more epic bus trips, and I´ve reached my final destination. It´s odd to not be heading somewhere else after this, but making my way back home. We´ve got as much time in Cusco-Machu Picchu as we took to do Santigo - Valparaiso - San Pedro de Atacama - Arica and cross the border into Peru to reach Arequipa. Nice to be slowing down a little.

Speaking of, we didn´t get time to do Colca Canyon, so no condors as well as no flamingos. *sad face* We did have a great time exploring the city though (aside from the couple of hours we lost each other yesterday) and we even took a cooking class. When I´m in Melbourne in late September there´s going to be a Ceviche & pisco sour party and you´re all invited.

Right, I´m off in search of a warm couch to crash on before I venture out on a bread-free breakfast mission.

Chao chicos!


Jul. 19th, 2012 06:26 pm
shapeofthings: (Default)
The good: we made it to Peru and are having a great time here in Arequipa. Today we did a cooking class that was a lot of fun. Peru is more chaotic than Chile and getting to Arequipa was quite a mission. It's cleaner and prettier though! We got in too late to take the Colca Canyon tour we wanted but there's still plenty to see and do here.

The not so good: dropping into SKY airlines to confirm my flights (bought through Expedia) to find they have no record of my booking. Hmm... I'll go back in the morning armed with my confirmation email and see if I can find a way to get back to Santiago to get myself home again. At worst I'm $700 out of pocket. Could be worse. Won't be booking anything through Expedia again!

So tomorrow I try to sort out my flights, and we organise the bus up to Cusco & Machu Picchu.
shapeofthings: (Default)
We're in the Atacama Desert. THE ATACAMA DESERT!

Life is amazing.

Posted via

Oh No!

Jul. 7th, 2012 03:21 pm
shapeofthings: (Hug?)
So, this week work took me to Flinders Island. It was the last major deadline leading up to my holiday and the point where I finally started to relax, knowing I'd done everything I really needed to and had plenty of time left to pack.

The trip went really well and Flinders Island is truly beautiful: I'd like to go back for a few days to explore and to climb Mt. Strzelecki. It was, however, a long trip, with the drive to Launceston Tuesday night then up early for a dawn flight to the island and a dusk return to Launnie, followed by the 2 drive back to Hobart. The plane was a little twin-prop 18-seater, which was much fun to fly in.

Unfortunately on the return flight I was sat in front of a cougher. There's a horrid respiratory infection that's been doing the rounds in Tas that I'd thus far avoided. No longer. I am sick. Flinders Island Flu.

Do not pass Go, do no collect $200, SICK. I'm running a fever and want to do nothing more than collapse in bed for a few days. It's not to be, however, as tomorrow I fly to Sydney, then Monday morning I'm off to Santiago. Today, instead of sleeping, I'm dragging myself through the packing process (it's going exceedingly slowly) and doing my best to keep moving. I've jumped on antibiotics and am filling myself with garlic, lemon, ginger, chilli and honey. All I can do now is hope I feel a little better in the morning.

Meanwhile, here's a little Flinders Island magic from my flying visit. I'll catch you all when I'm back in August.


Leaving Launceston

Walker's Lookout, view to Strzeleki National Park

Walker's Lookout, view to the east

Whitemark beach - not the best beach on the Island, but the closest

Boarding the plane back to Launceston

Island dusk
shapeofthings: (Wellington)
It's a beautiful day, but I must rest and catch up on paperwork. But two weeks ago I went walking out Collinsvale Peaks way...





I made it up the steep climb of Myrtle Forest trail, rough and over-grown with scratchy mountain heath. Keep climbing with me? )

Eventually I made it down, 8 hours worn and limping. The guidebook lies, but I lived to tell the tale. :)

shapeofthings: (Sizer-fish)
It's another of those stunningly beautiful Hobart mornings, the sunlight slanting across the Derwent making the waters sparkle like sapphires, the Mountain wearing a cape low, fluffy clouds, pockets of sunlight and shadow dappled across the slopes.

A perfect morning, warm and rich with possibilities, and yet, walking to the office from the bus, one discordant thought echoed: I need to get off the island again. It's time.

Time to reconnect with the rest of the world, to dip my toes back into the rushing tide of humanity for a few days, long enough to refresh my perspective lest I become another parochial Tasmanian, staring at the big city highrises in slack-jawed wonder.

Good thing I'm off to Melbourne next weekend. It's been almost six months: most definitely time.


Flinders St 2
shapeofthings: (Diva)
Catching up with wonderful Melbourne folk, no fixed plans as yet.
Arrive: Friday, February 10th @ 22:20
Depart: Monday, February 13th @ 08:40

Brisbane / Gold Coast
Visiting the family, because I didn't go home for Christmas.
Arrive: Friday, April 6th @ 13:25
Depart: Monday, April 9th @ 07:00

South America!
Chile, Peru & Bolivia with the amazing [ profile] katmeow!
Arrive: Monday, July 9th @ 10:05
Depart: Wednesday, August 1st @ 13:35

A-wandering we will go!

shapeofthings: (bloop!)
Franklin River Dreaming by Toni Fish (smileyfish)) on

Home again, and yearning for the River.

The River Runs by Toni Fish (smileyfish)) on

A resolution? I need to do things like this more often.
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
Yesterday... it was only yesterday but it feels half a world away. Yesterday we went to Freycinet, rocky peninsula half-way up the eastern coast; a world of pink feldspar peaks and turquoise bays. Yesterday I fell into a paradise of rock, sand and sea.

We'd spent the night in Swansea, in a little cabin by the beach (my friend [ profile] playdoe_man and me). The afternoon before was rainy and I delighted in racing through the shallows in the rain, ankle-length skirt billowing out in the sea, the smell of rain, salt and sand so evocative of childhood: the camping trips in Easter with inevitable rain.

But Sunday, she dawned in style, the sunlight slipping past the curtain edge waking me at half-past five, summoning me back to the beach to bask in her beauty. The day was going to be spectacular, I couldn't wait to hit the road.


Heading back, I hammered on the other door til [ profile] playdoe_man emerged, sleepy-eyed and grumpy, and threw the day at him. Time to go, Allan, time to go. By 7 am we were finally on the road. Freycinet: an hour along the road, a different world. Come with me... )


Nov. 19th, 2011 05:12 pm
shapeofthings: (Default)
On a rainy day road trip up the Tassie east coast with [ profile] playdoe_man. Planning a lovely hike through Freycinet National Park in the morning, so hopefully the weather lifts. For now we're holed up in Swansea for an evening of relaxing, watching the rain sweep across the bay.

Posted via


Oct. 4th, 2011 10:14 pm
shapeofthings: (Diva)

[ profile] katmeow and I are going to South America next year. Flights are booked, baby.

I've never made such a big decision so quickly before!
shapeofthings: (Diva)
Blah, the change to Summer Time always throws my routine out. The clocks go forward but my body clock does not budge and I find myself unable to sleep before midnight.

I have been doing some pen & paper writing, so my poor journal is getting a little neglected. My apologies. I haven't been doing anything particularly exciting though. A very quiet weekend at home was had, catching up on much-needed sleep. Saturday was wintery, with snow up on the mountain. I stayed inside in my thermals all day. Sunday brought the promise of summer and I sat outside in the bright sunshine for three hours, reading a book.

I haven't been for a proper walk in the forest in far too long. Five weeks since I've been on the mountain. I'll make an effort to get out this weekend; hopefully the weather will cooperate (I was going to be poisoning gorse on an island in the Franklin River, but that's been cancelled now, so I'm a free agent yet again).


I really should write a post or three about my Victorian adventures. I've been back for 5 weeks now and am still yet to write anything. Let's see...

* Saturday August 20th - flew to Melbourne, recovering from the 'flu. Lovely dinner out with K, [ profile] wonderloey, [ profile] trissemeister, [ profile] wilso & AJ

* Sunday 21st - Hello larangytis. Day 1 of 6 with no/limited voice. Slept, lazed around and generally did very little until I lost it and cleaned K & WL's kitchen

* Monday 22nd - K and I drove down the Mornington Peninsular, exploring Portsea, Sorrento & the old quarantine station & army base right out at the end of the peninsular. In the rain. Lost voice entirely on the way home, enjoying the experience of a proper Melbourne traffic jam (not moving anywhere for a good hour)

Mornington6 Mornington2

* Tuesday 23rd - off to Daylesford with K and [ profile] nurseysarah for a totally mute day of pottering about in 2nd hand-bookshops, crafty shops and foody places with a lovely stroll around the lake. Lots of driving and a very late night, capped off by a personal relevation, clearing an emotional blockage. Benfits of laringytis: nobody can hear you cry.

DaylesfordSwing1 DaylesfordFriends

* Wednesday 24th - sleeping in and running errands in Melbourne city. Caught up with L and talked/mimed through a recent misunderstanding that looked like costing us our friendship. Investigated interesting-looking places and bought a hiking backpack to take my camera gear as well as some decent-sized memory cards. Failed to buy a set of Cokin filters due to no customer service and insufficient knowledge of what I was looking at.

* Thursday 25th - K and I set off to explore Gippsland. Meandering drive down to Inverloch, exploring the coast road, a walk along the inlet and sunset at Cape Liptrap lighthouse. An evening of wine, port & local cheeses, cozy in our hired cabin.


* Friday 26th - up and on the road by day-break, headed to Winsons Promontory National Park. Arrived to find most of the park still inaccessible following summer floods, but made the most of the parts we could get to. Lovely walk up Vereker Outlook. Very long drive home via Dumbalk & Mirboo North, thinking I could make a life somewhere like that. Exhausting day, voice returning.

PromWalk PromWallaby
PromTrail PromDewDrops

* Saturday 27th - up before the sun again to take K & WL out for their surprise: a sunrise hot-air balloon flight over the Yarra Valley. At least that was the plan. Due to morning fog it was past 10 am when we finally got into the air after several hours of waiting around. The operation was run by cowboys but fun was had (although it turns out balooning is a little too sedate for me). Home for an afternoon of doing laundry and packing.


Balloon9 Balloon6 Balloon3

* Sunday 28th - home again, home again and realising how glad I was to be so. There's nothing like leaving to make you realise what you've got. Utterly exhausted, back aching and off to work again in the morning.


Boo to not being able to access the mosaic maker I've been using from werk. You'll have to deal with odd-sized photos instead (if I wait until I get home this post will never happen).

Right, on with the day then. There is much work to do and many new adventures to plot. Well, just as soon an I finally catch up on sleep...
shapeofthings: (Diva)
Road-side eggs - Piper's River; Snowdrop Cemetery - Windermere; Toad Hall - Windermere;
Echidna crossing - Windermere; Black Forest Smallgoods - Launceston; Rimfire Sports - Launceston
Gasworks - Launceston; Black Forest Smallgoods - Launceston; Leaning Church Vinyard - Lalla;
Leaning Church tasting - Lalla; Friendly goat - Lalla; Lunch @ Bay of Fires - Piper's River

Between soccer games I took the opportunity to explore a little bit of Launceston and the East Tamar region. It was utterly lovely and somehow I came home with an interesting collection of fresh eggs, venison, hand-made smallgoods and a few bottles of wine. I am utterly hopeless at resisting such things. It was a very good weekend.

City Park, Launceston
shapeofthings: (Default)
Ok, I am most definitely insane. I have just booked myself in to spend 7 days over New Years in the middle of the Tasmanian wilderness. I'm going on a rafting trip down the Frankin River, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

If the river itself doesn't kill me[1], the portages and day-hike up Frenchman's Cap will come close!

The Franklin's a part of this island I've been keen to see for a while. It's apparently stunningly beautiful and is also an interesting part of Tasmania's history. The modern green movement was born here when the Hydro Electric Commission moved to dam the Franklin in the 1980s. Protestors successfully prevented the dam from being built, bringing down a government in the process. This makes the trip particularly interesting to me, being an ecologist, environmentalist and supporter of the green movement, and also a current employee of the descendant of the old HEC. Poignant, no?

Meanwhile I'm off to Launceston this evening, spending the weekend "up north" for a soccer tournament in my role of team manager for the southern girls under-16 squad. I've got plenty of time between games so I'm hoping to get out exploring and photographing, providing the weather cooperates and I can drag myself out of bed for the early morning light. A visit to the Ninth Island winery would go down nicely as well. I'm yet to even pack and am not looking forward to driving up in the dark, dodging the wildlife (both human and marsupial).

May your weekend be what you need it to be, I'll catch you when I get back.



[1] Refer to Richard Flannagan's debut novel set on the Franklin River: "Death of a River Guide"...

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