I camped up in this country a couple of years ago with my son and his partner. We drove up from Canberra and through the rolling landscape in the middle of summer. The grass was long and glistened in the wind as we drove by. In the distance, the hills took on a blueish tinge and the tarmac shimmered in the heat of the day. We stopped off at one of two slab timber huts that was built around the beginning of the twentieth century; a lonesome looking place where it’s the owner, a man named David Bradshaw, had lived alone for some twenty-eight years before succumbing to the elements at the ripe old age of seventy-nine
We pitched our tents high on a ridge above one of the many lakes that have been formed to provide water to the Snowy River Hydro Scheme. These are deep and cold and are stocked with trout from the trout hatcheries in the area. Clearly a draw for the many fly and spin fishermen keen to get away for a few days of fishing
Plants at this altitude suffer from the harsh conditions that they face all year round; in winter it is snow and ice while the summer brings high temperatures and little rain. As a result, the shrubs are scrubby low growing woody things and the trees that do grow here often have that tortured shape crafted by the wind and cold. Here in the national park the grasses had dried out and gone to seed. It seemed shorter than that which can be seen blowing in the wind as one drove up the Monaro Hiway. Lichens grow well in this climate, clinging as they do to a range of hosts from rocks to tree branches.
I woke early after a sleep interrupted by a squalling storm that threatened to flatten my tent, despite being tucked among large boulders. The sun had come up watery but soon had burned off any effects of the night before and the warmth was pleasant on my back as I took a walk around the hills behind the camp. It seems that the animal life that can be seen up here was made up of those that had been introduced as the only other species I saw was rabbits. Again these little guys have made the most of the wild country and have established large warrens all about the banks and mounds.
A flock of Yellow Crested Cockatoos, with their raucous calls, were checking out the ground for some early morning sustenance. As I came close they flew off with even louder calls as if in the indignation of my presence.
I came across several brumbies as I made my way across the hills. I also discovered a crisscrossing of trails all over the hills where the brumbies had created single file bare-earth tracks as they made their way to and from their favoured feeding grounds
Wildlife has always been a favourite subject for me to photograph and there is an occasional animal who just likes to pose. Kangaroos are one of those animal species who, having little fear of man and an active curiosity, will often provide the photographer with some great opportunities.
This guy was grazing the side of the road in the early evening when he saw me approach. Showing no fear, he stood just watching as I walked towards him. After providing me a few good shots, he turned and hopped quietly down a side track to meet up with a few mates and continue his evening meal.
After spending the last four years as a Trainer/Assessor, my voice has finally gone from a sexy growl to a downright rasp. Time then to take stock at what is important in the work/life balance and so have decided to tip the scales more in favour of the life scale. To that end, I have taken a few months off to rejuvenate and headed south to a little village on the NSW South Coast. I am house sitting for a relative who is away for a bit so it has worked out nicely.
Now I would tell you the name of the village but no one here is keen to see the crowds that exposure would bring. Suffice to say, it is a sleepy little village that somehow managed to survive the fires that ravaged this part of the coast earlier this summer. Surrounded by burned out National Parks, this village is nestled in a small oasis of bush where the native fauna and flora can recuperate peacefully as they rebuild their numbers. The fire ground is starting to show signs of life although there are many places where there seems to be little green showing through.
Waking early when there is little that needs urgent attention seems so much easier and, to make the most of the day, the lake calls for a spot of fishing. The choice here is to fish the shore, paddle the kayak about or perhaps take a surf caster to the ocean to try for a tailor or two.
The easy option is always fishing the lake shore where this morning it yielded two nice flathead; not big, but big enough for the pan.
Now it doesn’t come much fresher than hooked at 0730, on the barbecue at 0830, and eaten before 0900.
And so it would seem that the work balance is fading fast as an appealing option for this traveller. Maybe it is time to get serious about seeing what there is in this world. Please leave me a “Like” as that is what it takes to get a blog like this off the ground. Would love to hear comments you may have about your travel experiences.