Cradle Plateau caper 2017 Dec

Cradle Plateau caper 2017 Dec

I feared that the grieving-type depression (innocuous; natural), which I was definitely experiencing, might morph into clinical depression (serious; dangerous) if I didn’t try to jolt myself out of this state of apathy and fainéant behaviour. Everything has seemed so much effort, and socialising has not been what I have wanted – unless it is with a very select few people, mostly ones who helped search for Bruce or who came to his service, ones who understand my grief. I keep telling myself I am going to join in this or that, … but then I back out of it and take the dog walking, or just stay at home. I haven’t been to Pilates once since Bruce disappeared; haven’t been to any club meetings; haven’t even been to film society. I also haven’t done anything but the most basic of dashes into the supermarket.

So. I decided that this week I had to stop being so apathetic and listless, and change, and thought I should partly achieve this by joining a club walk, and I would even try to return to film society. The latter was not such  a good idea, but the club walk (LWC) was wonderful. There were eight of us, my biggest ‘social experience’ so far, but I was kind of cheating, as several in the group had helped search for Bruce, and several had also been to his service, so it was a nice tame “coming out”. All of them welcomed me back into the club circle.

The weather was not nearly as friendly as the people, but that’s fine by me. My own trip to Nereus (a five-day expedition) I had had to cancel (well, postpone)  due to five days of forecasted horror, but I was sure a mere two days of howling wind and rain and no thick bush would be just fine. It was. Perhaps it nearly wasn’t when the wind picked me up in the air and tossed me into a bush. At least it was a bush and not over a cliff. I don’t mind wild nature. There’s something exhilarating about its fury, so long as it doesn’t kill you. Quite often on the Saturday, I had to just stand there, bracing myself against the wind, waiting for “permission” to take the next step – which would occur when this blast took a breath.

We got to our camping spot early in the afternoon, pitched our tents so we’d have a nice home to return to (I snuck some more food in in the interlude), and then we were off again, to climb one named (Artillery) and many nameless Knobs (Knobs one, two and three – how imaginative of us). We had grand vistas with menacing clouds and floating mist. I loved it.

Despite the fairly constant drizzle, we had a lovely protected spot (as in, from the wind), so sat in a circle to cook and eat our dinner under the shelter of an old spreading pencil pine that took some of the droplets for us. Port and chockies helped warm us. Nonetheless, an early departure to bed seemed like a good way to warm up after a while.

Next morning I set my alarm for 5 to photograph the dawn; looked out the tent flap and changed that to 5.30; looked out the tent flap again and just turned the alarm off. I woke again at 6.30. There was still a thick mist, but by now I was feeling guilty about so much time in bed, so got up to inspect my surroundings. I spent a happy hour photographing stormy scenes before I returned for breakfast.

This day we climbed the more imaginatively named (by Steve) Cows Rump, with Loin Tarn (thanks Vanessa) underneath. There were also more unnamed lumps and bumps that we summited and photographed and enjoyed before it was time to wend our way home, ultimately via a coffee shop. Every good bushwalk finishes with coffee and cake. I’m glad I urged myself to get back on my horse before it became too momentous a thing to do.

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