Just a little hiking story

ImageRecently my Mum and her partner bought a cabin down the beach, intended to be used as a family holiday house and I think it’s fair to say we were pretty stoked by this (‘Going to Bonnie Doon’ anyone?).  It’s not luxury but it’s comfy and well equipped and set in gorgeous surrounds. FF and I headed down there Friday night for a bit of much needed R & R after an exhausting couple of weeks. Work has been a little nuts, trying to get my head across a new project, and FF had finished his last exam. So this weekend we knew we had to get out of the city.

Nikki Gemmell, of The Bride Stripped Bare infamy is one of my favourite authors, although I don’t love all her books equally. There’s a line from her book Shiver, about a Sydney journalist who takes a job travelling on a mission to Antarctica, (I’ve just spent 20 minutes trying to find the exact line and couldn’t, grrrrr), where she’s standing on the rail of the ship feeling the city being sandblasted off her skin by the Antartic wind and that line and the feeling it evokes has always stayed with me. That’s what we wanted this weekend – sandblasting.

So yesterday we drove to Erskine Falls in the Greater Otway National Park and hiked from there to Blanket Creek picnic ground and back again – 8km return. It was wonderful. We frollicked, took photos of random mushrooms and new ferns, drank the raindrops that were hanging off the edges of fern fronds and leaves, looked inside fallen trees and just generally pretended to be intrepid explorers. We didn’t pass a single other person on the track the whole time, which of course gave us plenty to feel self-righteous about. A conversation about what those ‘non-hiking, non-nature-loving douchebags’ were probably doing instead of being great-outdoorsy like us, may have been had.

Funny how something as simple as going for a bushwalk can feel like a holiday, isn’t it? Stripping the day right back to its simplest pleasures can be amazing. We stopped at Blanket Creek for lunch of ham sandwiches and water eaten under a shelter watching the rain, followed by a wee in the long-drop dunny, and then hiked back to the car. After hours of tramping around and smelling damp earth (and resisting the temptation to rub my face in it) it was home for a shower, a bbq and a boardgame. The cabin has no TV or internet – bliss.

I don’t know about you lot, but when I get home from a holiday or even a weekendaway like this one I’m determined to bottle that feeling, bring some of it back with me but I’m never really sure how. What could I do this week to make that feeling last? Walk to work every day, even in the rain? Make sure I take a proper lunch break each day and go for a walk, if I can? Something I can reaffirm my commitment to doing is not having the TV on unless there’s something I specifically want to watch, and most nights there’s actually nothing.

So to all my hundreds of blog followers (haha), what are your ideas for bottling that holiday feeling?


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