After rafting, cycling and hiking for three weeks and summiting Mount Kosciuszko, the boy returned yesterday with his group of fellow hikers. They looked a motley bunch getting off the bus with all their belongings in large garbage bags. Clearly glad to be home but richer for the experience it was hard to tell who was happier, the parent or the child.
Despite the layers of dirt carefully collected over 3 weeks, it was clear there was a sense of pride on their faces.
After a good long shower and a hot meal, he retrieved a worn looking diary from his zip lock bag. Together with photos he had taken, he took us on his journey. And what a journey it was!
From overcoming blisters, cramps and hypothermia (he was so cold once, he blacked out and couldn’t remember much that afternoon) to rollicking tales of mishap, adversity and your plain variety toilet jokes. We listened wide eyed to his tales. Tales of the kind that we know will live with him for a lifetime. Most experiences like these do. It was unmistakable that this was one of them.
At the end of it, there were hugs all round. We are proud of him and so glad he was home.
(Here are some of the photos he took)
Going gradually higher as the hike continues
And higher with the treeline falling away.
Setting up camp just along the treeline.
No more trees left. Just a rocky outcrop.
On top of Australia.