My deal to myself was that I would practice my writing at least once a week. So while you haven’t necessarily seen that… I promise I have! I’ve got a few things in the works, and it’s a little bit fun.  I’m sure you’ll hear about it when it’s ready, if only because I won’t stop talking about it in my excitement!

Today’s blog post is about my recent weekend at Ben Lomond National Park. For those who don’t know, I’m a member of the older version of Scouts, called Rovers. When I moved, I made sure to join the local group so that I wouldn’t be so completely lonely down here. When they invited me and my partner (who is also a member) up to Ben Lomond to watch the game, we of course accepted the invitation. A long-drop toilet and watching a game we don’t particularly care for is a small price to pay for gorgeous scenery and making friends!

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The Northern Area Rover Crew actually own a hut up there, Carr Villa. I think it was purchased by the rovers before the area was a national park, or something along those lines, because it’s out in the middle of bush, at least an hour from a decent shop. Out the kitchen window, the cliffs tower overhead against a blue sky, causing a jagged outline (apparently the correct terms are ‘imposing’ and ‘precipitous’, thanks Tasmania Parks and Wildlife website!)

We ended up going up Jacob’s Ladder, which is a pretty cool experience. I was particularly excited about this because the road reminded me of an old Top Gear episode where they raced down Cetinje-Kotor road or maybe it was Col du Chaussy… it was somewhere in Europe, I think? But anyway. Several hairpin turns make it possible for the road to climb up the cliff, which is also surrounded by the rocky cliffs. A bit nerve-wracking if you are uncomfortable with heights I would imagine, but I can assure you that if you have problems with motion sickness, you should be fine! Hurray for small victories! I don’t have any pictures of this (except for the shaky passenger-seat iphone shots) but I’ll go back again, I’m sure.

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Once we reached the top of the Ladder, we proceeded up to the snow fields. We climbed to the very top of the snow fields, continued on up the mountain, and observed our surroundings from a tall cairn. Walking on snow just reminds me of very cold, slippery sand. Unlike sand, it doesn’t just slip away. It was all fun and games throwing snowballs around until we got back down to the top of the snow field. And then I realised how we were supposed to come down.

Well.

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I was not prepared. I’m sorry, Baden Powell! I’m a bloody Queenslander, aren’t I?! So I wore the thickest pants I owned over some tights… jeans. I’m sure a lot of you are already shaking your heads at my ignorance. Denim is not good when it gets wet, and I had to awkwardly step my way down the mountain after a very cold, numbing experience sliding down. I ended up with a couple lacerations on the back of my thighs. But I survived.

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Once we reached the hut, we busily set up the battery to watch the game, Collingwood vs West Eagles. It was a close game, which actually made it interesting. We had a roast for dinner, the leftover veggies I actually ended up making a pretty decent dip out of (yassss!!). But it was right after the game that I glanced outside and did a bit of a double take, because gumtrees don’t normally look that orange. I grabbed my camera and ducked out to take a few photos, which you are probably enjoying here.

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So here we are! The end of an incredibly fun weekend that challenged me a little bit with its unfamiliarity, which I don’t normally do well with. A couple of cuts. A renewed appreciation for flushing toilets. And a reminder of how beautiful Tasmania really is, and how much I can’t wait to keep exploring.

*~ I would definitely suggest hiring out Carr Villa for a group interested in a bit of peace and quiet after a looooong day of bushwalking!~*