I checked the temperature from the comfort of my sleeping bag: 1º C.

That’s inside the hut.

About as cold as I’ve been since camping at Katapata Pass in Central Australia but somehow being in a hut makes a huge difference, not much in the way of dampness. The need to keep the window open to avoid filling the joint up with smoke no doubt contributing to the ambience.

That’s not too bad, still not a cloud in the sky, a perfect day.

I’ve already decided to stick around to enjoy the day off, it’s Day 7, surely it’s time for a day off and a chance to eat some of the food I’ve been packing.

This is the point where I cease my southerly motion and start to head north back towards St Arnaud, but via a more strenuous route, over the bigger passes. Three the minimum, David, Moss and Travers and then the question of Angelus.

But I’m not thinking of that, rather, what the hell am I doing out here what’s the point?

I’m no great mountain climber, don’t need to romp up Faerie Queen or Gloriana, I’m not a fast tramper attempting to set records between huts. I am acquiring pack fitness, the ability to keep climbing those hills but at least I’m starting from a reasonable, biking, base fitness. I’m not a particularly dedicated photographer, realising that about every photo I can take is already a cliche and been taken plenty of times before. I don’t know the botany that well although I can recognise 20 or 30 plants and the scientific names of about half of them for what that’s worth. Not an ornithologist.

Not seeking to find myself, I’m after all pretty knowing of my condition and my place in the world. If it’s a midlife crisis it’s been going on way too long.

Self obsessed? Nah, not really.

It’s none of the above.

I will admit to being a restless spirit and this reacquaintance with the backcountry of my youth isn’t a search for that youth either, it’s just part of the transition into the person I always knew I was going to become, when the time was right, but achieved by not getting new knowledge but by stripping away some parts of me that life in the modern world had made me assume, materialism, status seeking, etc, and get back to what I think of as the essential me.


It’s been five nights since I spoke with anyone and likely to be another five more. These days alone with not so much to do, a monastic existence actually, cutting the firewood, getting water from Mt Maling Stream, sitting in the sun, can get into a whole wodge of contemplating and philosophising.

Bobs Hut is a pretty good spot for that.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Bobs Hut

Bobs Hut under Mt Maling, 2127m, in Nelson Lakes National Park
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