Thursday, March 20, 2008
Mt. Arapiles was a good dose of reality…living in conditions that were not ideal. We first arrived in mid February to cool temps, great climbing and good people. After the first couple of weeks the weather turned ugly, heating up to 110 degrees temps with a wind that one of friends said, felt like someone was putting a hair dyer in your face. And HUMID. Nobody talks about how humid the Australian desert is!!!!! Bread rotted in a couple of days, veggies in one. The fire bans for multiple days at a time so we couldn’t cook food, not like anybody felt like eating much anyway.
We’re not complaining though, well maybe a little, but the reality is that we are so lucky to be traveling, doing what we love, with all the love and support of our family and friends.
It was a reality check in that traveling is never like you imagine, and some things just suck, but there are the treasures hidden in those times that are the most memorable. Hanging out with Luke (a crazy Oregonian electrician) and Alex (an even crazier Brit) on one of the first 100+ days drinking beer and playing scrabble at the pub. (We overheard the pub owners say, “there over there with a COMPUTER, playing SCRABBLE!!!!! To each is own, I guess”) Going to Aldi’s for the first time and discovering some of the first really cheap food we’ve seen the whole trip, listening to Volker, king of the Pines, philsosophize about life (he’d been living at the campground for 6 months when we arrived). The hitchhiking, route finding, RP (tiny brass wires to protect tiny cracks) epic’ing and climbing on rock that absolutely radiated heat. Hanging out learning not so nice Swedish phrases from Oscar and and Kalla…. All memorable times that will stay with us forever. D-
Yes, Arapiles is another vortex, kind of like the center of the universe in YO-semite…The Grampians, sadly only a day there, is also a magical spot. Tassie too and all the burly adventure there… Not a bad place to be stuck for a while. Nice to be tasting the chill of fall over the last couple of days after so many hot ones. Surreal to think that tonight we will be falling out of the fall and springing into the spring in the northern latitudes of the Mediterranean. Thanks to all the crazy souls for the good times in Oz, the genuine kindness of folks like Volker, Luke, Andy, Alex et all. All the best to them. B-