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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.

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One of the things that is engraved in my memory is the majestic panorama during the first 4 days of walking the Overland Track. Mountain tops stood as clear landmarks telling where I was going and where I had been. Walking over the plateaus it felt like being on top of the world.

Barn Bluff came into sight after climbing past Cradle Mountain on the first day and was visible until day 5 at Mount Ossa. Mount Oakleigh was visible from the second day until leaving the Pelion Plains Hut at day 5.

Picture taken by me.

Day 4: Barn Bluff on the left and Mt Oakleigh in the foreground on the right.

Literature:

    • Yi-Fu Tuan writes about reference points in the environment which help regain orientation when someone is lost (in “Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience” 1977, p. 69-72).
      Georgia Leigh McGregor has written about landmarks in ‘backdrops’ in games that help players navigate through the game space (in “Situations of Play: Patterns of Spatial Use in Videogames” 2007, p. 534).
  • I was invited to a film screening of FOOD, Inc. tonight organised by a sustainable future interest group.

    Picture taken from amazon.com

    KEENER is a group in the Kentish community that is concerned with climate change and sustainable energy.

    The discussion that followed had an interesting international twist. My party added some nationalities: Swiss, French and Dutch myself, but the rest was from the Kentish area. Some of the locals remarked that the movie showed a very specific problem of the American food industry. I found that very remarkable, as the movie presents a very global problem to me. Also, I had caught myself comparing Australia to the US from time to time while enjoying the view on the road. How could this people feel so disconnected from American consumerism?

    Two other things that stood out:
    – We were set apart from the group as somewhat fanatic advocates of the movies ideas, being vegetarians or “Pflanzenfresser” as our host called us. Funny how this immediately influences your position.
    – Steve from The Lost Seed explained us about his non-hybrid seeds. They produce plants that can be harvested for their seeds to plant again, something that is quite unusual nowadays.

    Tweets (Dutch and English)