Even in inclement weather, nature has a way of showing us its exquisite beauty… if we take the time to look for it…
The Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tasmania is a place I’ve always wanted to go hiking – an alpine wilderness with dense forests, craggy mountains, tarns, lakes, and beautiful valleys just begging to be explored. I’ve twice made plans to do just that, but on both occasions had to cancel at the last moment due to late-season snowfall. The consolation on those occasions was getting to spend time in Mt Field and Freycinet national parks, hiking at lower altitude.
This weekend the forecast was for isolated showers, which I thought meant a bit of everything – sunshine, cloud and rain – but it actually turned out to be showers isolated to that part of Tasmania. It rained non-stop for 18 hours, varying in intensity between drizzle and complete downpour. The wind was also intense and bitterly cold.
“On sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed.” David Livingstone
Victoria Falls, Zambia
The local name for Victoria Falls is ‘Mosi-Oa-Tunya’, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’. It’s a fitting description. The mist generated, from the impact of the Zambezi River plunging more than 100 metres into a chasm, can be seen for kilometres. When David Livingstone discovered the falls in 1855 he uttered, ‘On sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed.’
Victoria Falls is one of my favourite places in the world and I have to agree with David Livingstone; it is beautiful. It’s actually the most spectacular waterfall I’ve ever seen.
“Should you ever feel too lonely… listen for the roar of the sea – for in it are all those who’ve been and all those who are to come.” Simon Van Booy
The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian towns of Torquay and Warrnambool. It has an Australian National Heritage listing and is one of the world’s most scenic drives.
Standing atop the watchtower of the Aggstein Ruins in Austria I gaze down to the Danube River, as it snakes through the Wachau Valley. It’s an incredible vista of forested slopes dotted with tiny villages, castles, monasteries and terraced vineyards.
During the 15th century most of these vineyards were owned by the Church and trade in the region flourished. Paths built alongside the river allowed horses to tow barges loaded with cargo. Today, these same towpaths link the Danube Cycleway – one of Europe’s most popular bike rides.
Aggstein Ruins overlooking the Danube River
The Danube River is Europe’s second-longest river, flowing 2780 kilometres from its source in the Black Forest of Germany through 10 countries to the Black Sea. It is possible to ride the entire length of the river but, with limited time and resources, my friend Stuart and I choose to ride the 330km section from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria.
Danube River in Passau, Germany