June 07, 2006

Fresh Air and Exercise

Well we've moved from autumn into winter, and I have sadly neglected this journal.
Surely it can't be because I have mellowed to the point of having nothing to rant or be opinionated about? That would indeed be a matter for concern, what with my having so recently embraced this wonderful way of sharing my frequently discontented thoughts.
No, that can't be it, so I'm going to play it safe and blame the weather.
It's been superb.
Far too sunny to stay indoors wittering on about something inconsequential. So I've been going for lots of walks in the bush with one or other of my dogs. (Two is too many to handle when there may be disapproving hikers, or enticingly chaseable wildlife.)

I am fortunate to live five minutes from the northern end of a famous 1000km walk trail called the Bibbulmun Track, and in fact the first kilometer of it passes through a local park, so it starts off very sedately. As it starts to wind down from the top of the escarpment, it becomes a well-maintained broad gravel path with rock steps at easy intervals. This gives completely the wrong impression to novice walkers, who can be heard exclaiming at the high standard of the track and wondering why more people don't follow it.
The reason is that within another kilometer, the track looks more like this:

Which is great, actually. There is little enough virgin bushland left, and even the modest numbers of people who use this path have caused erosion, left litter, introduced weeds, removed plants, started fires, and all the other sorts of havoc we humans usually cause to innocent ecosystems. So I think it's just as well that the terrain is not more "user-friendly". Plus of course, I love the fact that I can walk for an hour without hearing another human voice (except on weekends, when one has to be wary of rounding a corner and running smack into a frighteningly well-equipped long-range hiker).


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