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.
I have to admit I was pretty miserable by the end of the first day, particularly as I’d decided to do the hike with a cold and ended up feeling particularly vulnerable to the elements. We also ended up with very few dry clothes, which ultimately forced us to head back out the next day instead of exploring the rest of the park.
But, the walk out was truly wonderful. Sunlight streamed through the mist and there was an occasional glimpse of blue sky. Tiny birds chirped and flitted from tree to tree. I noticed the sound of water trickling over the rocks and sunshine falling on distant mountains. Tiny lakes dotted the horizon and I was impressed by the autumnal colours of the alpine grasses. At one stage, there was even a rainbow adding a splash of colour to the scene.
While yesterday I’d been concentrating on placing one foot in front of the other and wanted nothing more than to escape the weather, today I finally began to observe my surroundings and just appreciate the little gems in nature’s exquisite beauty.
The big consolation for us on this trip was that we also got to visit Cradle Mountain National Park on our spare day. Finally, the weather gods were smiling on us!