Adventure Time

H. Saul University of Sydney, Australia


October 11, 2016

This post is going to be a little different, because I’m grabbing you, friend, and we’re going to very distant lands. So close your eyes (metaphorically... please keep reading) and picture this:

You are alone in a rainforest. It is perhaps 15°C (45°F) and you can see your breath puffing into the air as you walk forward, and yet you're sweating through the undershirt beneath your flannel. You're walking on a narrow path atop dark grey boulders that look ancient, covered in fungus and moss and set deep into the mountainside. You've been following this trail on an incline for a long time now, and your legs are nearly shaking as they keep your balance. Your ridiculously expensive hiking boots grip to the muddy rock as you carry the weight of your daypack, holding a Nalgene water bottle, granola bars, and a first aid kit that you thankfully haven't had to use yet.

You come through the winding path into a clearing and stop for a moment to catch your breath. You look up for the first time in a while, your neck sore from keeping concentration on your feet. You glance around as you pull your pack towards you with the intention of getting water and freeze, because not 50 feet (15ish meters) in front of you a bright green parrot sits perched upon a branch. You reach slowly for the phone in your pocket but the shaking of the ibuprofen in your bag is enough to startle the bird. It flies off in a flash of green and red and you're left dumbfounded, staring after it. You sigh to yourself and bring the pack back up towards your chest and begin to search for your water bottle buried at the bottom of your bag. You take a quick swig as you glance around again and realize this clearing is nothing ordinary.

You're in a field of boulders, from some sort of massive landslide, you guess. These giant bleached rocks span out for maybe 200 feet below you before dissipating into the tree line. You're in a veritable rock garden, and that thought makes you laugh sharply at the idea. But it's true. It’s like giants carefully planted a giant mountain of perfectly smoothed rock for you to clamber over. You take a seat just up from the path and look out at the view the clearing affords. You can see straight out onto the small city and Bay below, the noise and chaos of everyday life so small and far away that it's only perceptible by one sense- sight. What really permeates your senses is the forest around you, the sounds of wind ruffling through trees, of water dripping through leaves, of animals moving stealthily through the bush. You marvel at how just a few hours ago you were right there, grabbing a sandwich from a shop in the CBD (central business district) before hopping a bus up the mountain. You take a deep breath, dragging chilly air through your chest and shiver slightly, and you realize that this rest has allowed your body temperature to drop and the sheen of sweat collecting beneath your clothing to cool. You take another sip from your water, replace it at the bottom of your bag so that it doesn’t jab into your back, and pick your way back down to the path concentrating on the uneven surfaces your boots cling to.

Anyway, I hope you caught a glimpse of my experience, if only for the time it took to read this short post. This was one moment of my time in Tasmania, now months ago but still so fresh in my mind that I thought you might like it too.


Australia Semester