Photo’s: Baz – The Landy, Glasshouse Mountains, Australia
Hey, just a week or so ago I hung-up my business suit following a “graduation from work”.
And one of the reasons for doing so was that work was just getting in the way of having fun and adventure – something had to give, right?
Anyway, I caught up with a fellow adventurer at the weekend, as it happens, my brother-in-law the Kiwi, and after some kayaking around the beautiful Newcastle coastline and over a couple of beers he tossed out the line…
“So what are you doing now that you have retired graduated from work…?”
“Well, it’s only been less than a week, but I am working on some ideas”…I said, twisting the top off another brown bottle.
“I’ve got a great idea for an adventure just suited to you retired blokes on a shoestring budget…” he said, barely containing a wry smile..
It’s a familiar line I’ve heard many times before and usually pitched after the third beer. And like accepting the “King’s Shilling” taking the fourth beer signifies you’ve signed up for some kind of adventure.
“Okay, Baz I’ve got a bush hike in mind, the Great North Walk, we’ll start the walk early next week so get your pack ready”…
“Can’t I just think about it” I suggested trying to conceal we were on our fourth beer.
It could have been worse, I guess.
Not that it is an ordeal, after all this is a walk that is quite familiar to me and I have walked it in the opposite direction, coincidently, with the Kiwi, and have spent a lot of time on sections of it over the years…
It is worth knowing, just in case you ever have an inclination to walk from Newcastle to Sydney, it is 240-kilometres in distance over rugged mountain terrain; the road trip is no more than 140-kilometres on the freeway; and the price of a one-way rail ticket is $18 for a journey that takes approximately two hours…
…Yes, I’m hearing you Janet-Planet, you’re right, that fourth beer is always forged in blood, sweat, and usually some tears – I should have heeded your advice and stopped at the third!
Mind you, The Great North Walk is a spectacular way to get between these two harbour cities and worth highlighting it was constructed as a celebration of Australia’s Bicentenary in 1988…
There’ll be no luxury, just a simple bivvy bag under a tarp as we progress south towards our destination, Sydney’s Circular Quay where there is an Obelisk that marks the finish.
Coincidently, the Obelisk is right next to a well known Sydney watering hole, the Customs House. We might even have a beer there in amongst “The Suits” to celebrate the end of this adventure…
Yes, Janet-Planet, I’ll limit myself to three beers, maybe…
Photos: Baz – The Landy
Selfishness is a word that we are likely to be confronted with every day…
But what does it really mean and how should it be applied to our daily lives, if at all?
Most dictionaries define selfishness as…
“Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”
I pondered on this definition and eventually came to a conclusion that this is possibly one of the most misused words in the English vocabulary.
I asked myself the question..
Is it selfish to pursue our dreams, to live the life we desire, to see what we can achieve; to explore new horizons and to develop as individuals; to stand at the edge and look at the world through a different lens…?
As individuals our life and the way we lead it creates a mosaic of who we are.
The pieces of a jigsaw puzzle randomly sitting in a box are meaningless unless they are joined.
In much the same way the pieces of our lives, scattered, cannot portray or project anything about who we are or what we seek to be until pieced together.
Interlocked they provide a mosaic of whom we really are…
The picture unfolds…
Whom or what would we be if we were not able to join the random pieces together and pursue our dreams?
Would we ever achieve our real potential, or would a fear of selfishness limit us and how we develop as individuals?
Baz – The Landy
With a spectacularly rugged coastline, an enormous diversity of wildlife and plants, and not to forget wonderful local produce, including some very nice boutique wineries, Kangaroo Island should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit…
And rest assured, Janet-Planet and myself have indulged every aspect of this adventure to KI, an island nestled just off the southern coast of Australia, with quite some vigour whilst TomO is in Africa!
TomO, the Crown Prince, along with a number of his fellow schoolmates, who are mostly aged 16 or 17 years old, have been helping to paint classrooms at the School of St Jude before attempting to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.
The School of St Jude was established in Tanzania by an Australian, Gemma Sisia, in 2002 to educate the poorest of the poor. Gemma’s belief remains that a free, high-quality education should be the right of all children in the world and that education is the strongest weapon in the fight against poverty.
Janet and I enjoy adventure and jump at any chance to XPLORE and as parents we have been blessed with a son who has embraced the opportunity; the challenges that exploring remote parts of Australia and the world brings.
We believe the experiences we have exposed TomO to through our pursuits has enabled him to develop skills of judgment and risk assessment well beyond what a lifetime in a classroom could ever teach.
Importantly, we have always taught him not to use the “F” word (failure, and yes, the other one as well!).
A little over 24-hours ago TomO and his mates began their final push to the summit of “Kili” from Kibo Hut after spending a few days of acclimitisation on the mountain.
Following is a message we received in the pre-dawn hours this morning.
Needless to say, we are extremely proud of TomO’s achievement, of all in his group, and despite the hardships endured, the fatigue created by this journey, he had the presence to be able to write to us in detail, via SMS, an account of his experience just after arriving back from the Rooftop of Africa…
And it’s alright if your eye moistens a little as you read, ours did.
Bravo TomO, you are an inspiration to all…!
Hey there, randomly got phone reception, but anyway just wanted to let you know that we just walked back from Kibo Hut about 3-hours ago. Yesterday we walked into Kibo around 3pm in the afternoon and slept through till dinner at 5. Had dinner packed then went to bed waiting for the 11pm wake up.
Got up then lined up outside in sub-zero temps and then began to walk up the mountain.
Was really cold which made it harder than it already was, slowly made our way up a gravel like track (hard to explain what it looked like) and the higher we got the more snow we began to see next to us. We then got higher and higher above the hut and people began to drop out, was really, really cold couldn’t feel my toes.
Thought about sitting down at some points but I kept going on because I knew I sat down I wouldn’t make it. Kept going and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done my feet were just so so heavy and I started swaying at one point but I kept going.
We were just before Gillmans Point when we began to see the sun on the horizon. Got there and was really excited, had a break there for like 5 and then kept on going to the full summit, was so so so hard like I was so exhausted and everything, but eventually I got there and was so happy. Didn’t get much video or pictures because it was too cold (so cold my phone died).
Others got a fair few shots, so yeah there will be a fair few photos going around.
I’ll call when I get to Springlands and tell you the rest, can’t be bothered to write anymore I’m really tired, missing you both though, talk later…
Baz – The Landy (On Kangaroo Island, but more on that later)
Ps: Tanzania works on Eastern African Time (EAT) which is 8 hours behind Sydney Australia. Mount Kilimanjaro stands at 19,340 feet above the African Plains. TomO and his mates will be resting up in a Safari Park before returning home on Christmas Eve…