Thursday, January 29, 2009

Climbing Mt. Kosciuszko

Monday. Australia Day.

Everyone was packing up to leave early. My flight back to Brisbane wasn't until 5 PM. We had originally thought we'd do some touristy things in Canberra, but then Kevin recognized that we were within spitting distance of Mt. Kosciuszko - the highest point in Australia. We'd been there once before in 2002 when we were driving around the continent. But, it had been late afternoon by the time we arrived and we knew we couldn't make it to the top and back before they turned off the ski lifts that would bring us the rest of the way off the mountain. Somehow, that day I had convinced Kevin to let the dream go.

Obviously, we had to do it this time. We just had to do the 7 km return hike in 4 hours.

I suppose every relationship includes one person who is more cautious than the other. That would be me. I wasn't sure that we could walk 14 km (about 8 1/2 miles) up and down a mountain in 4 hours. I didn't want to miss my flight.

Kevin suggested a deal. I walk fast. I take no photos on the way up.

And, I added, we turn around in 2 hours.

He wouldn't take the add on condition. And, he said I could take photos.

As it turned out, we reached the summit, where a group was flying kites and flags to honor the holiday, BEFORE the 2 hour turn around deadline. And, that included stopping so I could use the highest toilet in Australia!

And, now for the slideshow.

Riding up on the ski lift was really fun- even without swinging or bouncing. Kevin pointed out that if they REALLY want people to ride up quietly, they should make the No Swinging or Bouncing sign look like Swinging and Bouncing are not so much fun. Like, maybe, the swinging/bouncing stick man might fall out of the lift chair? Just an idea.

As we reached the top on our lift ride there was a big gust of wind and my hat blew off. Fortunately, the people behind us witnessed the flying hat and its landing and were able to let us know it was recoverable. THANK YOU.

The walkway was pretty fabulous. Wide enough for us to walk side by side. That doesn't happen on your average Australian footpath (sidewalk).

Flies. I thank god they were happy on my hat and left my face alone.

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