You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2011.

How do you carry your water with you? I was made aware of this question in the past when a non-Dutch classmate asked me whether he understood the message on my water bottle right. “Neem mij mee in je leven” did that mean “take me with you in your life”? Upon confirming, my classmate gave a concerning smile. And he explained me the irony. However healthy it is to drink water, most consumers do not know that with the water they consume tiny amounts of dissolved chemicals from the plastic bottle it is stored in. The medium is the message.

The result of my fear for plastic bottles.

The shock of learning this came back to me today at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne. The event’s booklet provided a list of what to bring as a visitor: A hat and sunscreen (because we are in Australia, of course) and a reusable water bottle. Now, my water bottle was reusable, because I always refill the bottles of mineral water I buy in the supermarket, but I suspected this was not what they meant. And numerous other visitors confirmed by proudly walking around with their stainless steel water bottles. So I gave in and bought one for myself. After all, I prefer the taste of (Dutch) tap water over mineral water anyway.

Driving from Arthur River to Corinna was a day of surprises: the slippery sand roads, my sighting of a wild Tasmanian devil, and finding a hand written sign as evening dawned.

It was written by Irene, a German lady I had met on the way, who was convincing me creatively to turn right to Corinna instead of taking a left to Savage River. And I would not have wanted to miss this historical village at the ferry crossing.

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The element of surprise was even bigger because it was not the first time during my travels someone was contacting me this style.

Another in the series on outstanding places to sleep. My bed in my car at Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia:

Picture taken by myself.

Camping matress and warm duna in my friend's car.

After our bags were packed, more than twenty kilos, me and my travelling companions could make a start at our hiking adventure: the Overland Track. Seven days walking from hut to hut.

Day one
The first day was my hardest. At the highest point of that hike it started raining and blowing and because we had started relatively late we arrived only at eight, me totally frozen, at Waterfall hut. Luckily the ranger had opened the old hut, so we could also find a place to sleep inside. Putting up the tent with frozen fingers would have been a challenge.

Picture taken by Benoit Courtejaire

Climbing Cradle Mountain, the highest point of the track, with our 20 kilo backpacks.

Day two
The wallibies on the path to the toilet made me forget all the pain of day one. Although their claws look quite frightening from a meters distance. That day the sun was shining and we had a beautiful route to Windermere hut. With a super spot to swim and warm up again in the evening sun just before the hut.

Picture taken by me.

Wallabies just two meters from the path.

Day three and four
Through Pelion Hut I arrived on the way past Mt. Ossa, the highest mountain of Tasmania. I let Ozzies Brad, Danny and fifteen year old Angus coach me up this peak. And they did well because I almost climbed all the 1617 meters to the real top of the park.

Picture taken by Benoit Courtejaire.

Up to Mount Ossa for the astonashing view.

Day five
On day five I saw my third snake in Australia, a tiger snake this time, and in the evening it was time to play cards with our travel mates who we started to know very well. In the last hut at lake St. Clair there was more play and I had the honour to play the game “pesten” with Dutch Jan and Wouter who did the track in only five days because of lack of time. With them, a French couple and two old New Caledonian men we arranged a van at the end to bring us the 200+ km back to the car.

Group photo on reaching the end.

Group photo on reaching the end.

Tweets (Dutch and English)