Road to St Helens (and a question to YOU)

Just over a year has past since I started writing these entries.I still remember my first camp by the Murray River (and my first break down!) –

I want for these experiences to be in a book and have been speaking with a publisher on where to go from here.

My question to you is

What enthralled you most when reading these entries?

Was it the description of my surroundings?

Was it my personal development? The hurts and the loves?

Was it my search for existential meaning?

Was it the people I met?

It is easy to say “all of it”, but I’m looking for a target to write to, to re-tool these 40000 odd sprawling words into a book with a goal.

The following entry and all others waaaaay back to the start of April 2015 can be found athttp://journeyal.net

In this episode Justyna and I travel to St Helens after leaving Deloraine.

Much love!

Ananda

I was on the road again, with my beautiful companion Justyna, we passed through Launceston and decided to camp overnight not far down the road, a beautiful but rubbish strewn spot by a bubbling brook, after a bit of an emu bob (picking up the trash) I ventured downstream with my camera. There was a rough path by the water’s edge that I could traverse, my feet trod and fought for purchase against the steep slippery bank as I clambered over giant moss covered trees no longer standing high above the canopy. My path came closer to the water and I rock hopped to the centre, exposed to a beautiful view of the valley each way, the current was quite strong at this point and much natural and some not so natural debris was being endlessly pushed against the boulders protruding from the water surface.

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I sat on the middle rock and took in the fairy tale glen, paper bark trees akin to a sculptured bonsai creation grew their roots over mossy rock while their tiny round leaves covered the rich ground below. Movement caught my eye and I turned to see a swarm of tiny moths gravitating around each other in a beach ball sized sphere, I stared on in wonder, the scene alike to Japanese gardens.

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Back at the van we were preparing our first night campin since Hellyer Gorge, dinner was made and we set up the laptop to watch a movie in blankets, pillows and cuddles.

Getting out the next morning we braved another muddy 4WD track in the van ultimately suited for highways and came through the other side, we then pointed east.

We arrived at a small gravel carpark at the top of a long winding hill, a wooden sign read Ralph’s Falls and stood next to the narrow dirt path leading into a dark peaceful forest. The way led down a mild slope, moss covered the ground while the sun poked through the dense foliage above, we took a left and found ourselves looking out over a large gorge. Water fell as water does and we saw a white aerated ribbon span the vast height of a straight precipice.

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We doubled back and took the other path, it led us to the beginning of the fall, the purest of pure waters ran past our feet in haste to tumble over the sharp cliff, I got close enough to the edge as terror would allow to take a photo and then we continued the walk away from the falls into the forest.

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Oh what beauty this state has to offer, I marvel almost every day I am here, we strolled onward through twisted tea tree and past fields of moss that would serve the most decadent kings to rest their royal bodies on.  Baby fern shoots sprung forth from the green carpet to show their cute unfurling heads to the sky, such soft green buds made me regularly stop and get on my belly for a close up view.

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To a point we came where the dream like trail turned into waist high clumps of tough razor grass, we were fortunate that someone had come before us and constructed a kilometre of boardwalk to give us a first class passage back to the car park, I gave way to imagination wondering what it would have been like to get through here without.

Justyna and I took some empty barrels back to the waterfall to fill for drinking, another joy of this land was that I had no concern as to where my next supply would come from, there was always a clean water source nearby. Ignition key turned and the van roared into life as we deliberated our next camping area.

You never know when a beautiful spot is going to show itself, by chance and intuition we turned into a grassed over fire trail off gravel road, five hundred metres later and a beautiful soft space revealed the perfect spot to pull up. Not five metres from the van was a small grassy bluff overlooking the river edge, the water deep enough to submerge in for a bath and cold enough to get out quickly. The sky was a clear blue which amplified the green green grass all around, my most favourite feature was that there was no-one around, we had run for miles around.

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I went for a walk along the river the next day, such scenery like most of Tasmania that I might never get tired of, I rock hopped a k or so downstream until I reached some waterfalls, the biggest of which pouring into a natural pool as wide as my arms would stretch. I stripped off my clothes and edged my way in, instant shock as once the waterfall gained purchase on my legs I was drawn under the pool deeper than anticipated, underwater I frantically clambered up the side of the pool to surface, eyes wide with fright and exhilaration, I got out to calm down and dry myself in the sun.

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A few blissful days like this then we decided to continue East toward St Helens but by the time we got there our efforts to find work bore fruit, we stayed a day on the beach then turned around and returned to Launceston.

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