TITS
Yep attention grabbing!!
But also thoroughly professional and factual.  It is the acronym for “Ten in Tasmania.” TITS
Of course all ten of us had them…in fact there were 20 TITS in total that travelled to Tassie.
And here’s the bum steer.
The glossy brochures featured fit and beautiful outdoorsy people smiling, enjoying a relaxing walk through the beauty of Tasmania’s sunny and plateau-like walkways.
Of course it’s all in the sell.
If we had been told (or if there were pictures showing) that we would have to pee in the bushes with no toilet paper, listen to endless wilderness waffle, (who can remember what a taxus-laxa-folia leaf is) walk in torrential rain (with no hair dryer in tow), traipse through knee-deep mud, slide in snow, brave blood-sucking insects the size of toads (ok just big insect-sized) and find pure unfettered joy in a pack of cards then the 10 of us would not have formed the TITS and tackled Cradle Mountain.
Cradle Mt
Thank goodness advertising can a bit of a con, otherwise we would have missed one of the most exhilarating, exhausting, enjoyable and rewarding adventures of our lives.
The ten of us, mostly full-time mothers and part-time workers from Brisbane, were herded by the leader of our running group and signed up to the glossy walking holiday. Six days on the Overland Track, hiking 95 kms -Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair.
The appeal was that we would have a warm lodge to slodge into at the end of the day, a meal that we didn’t have to plan or prepare and a half a bottle of wine each to consume as we played do or die 500. (cards)
We joined the other 8000 people who hike the World heritage listed park every year, drawn to the wild and the beauty and the solitude and diversity of one of Australia’s most wondrous areas.
Weather conditions in the Tasmanian mountains alter endlessly- not just day to day but hour to hour. We rugged up against the bone -rattling chilly winds, stripped off in the blazing sun, donned raincoats in the rain, pulled off gloves, put on sunscreen, needed sunglasses, leak proof plastic bags, shorts, thermals and an overcoat of humour.
Walk, wind, walk , rain, walk, sun, smile…
Unlike the TITS, many people hike the overland track trudging in their backpacks, all the food they require, all the cooking utensils to cook that food as well as tents and all the equipment to erect them.  Admire them, yes, envy… no.
We fortunately had guides who carried the food, we just lugged our clothes and an extra bottle of wine each, (purely at our discretion- not recommended by tour company, but not forbidden) in case a half bottle wouldn’t see out the card game.
But for all of us, hard-core hikers and TITS alike, the journey was the same. Stay on the track, stay in the middle of the track and take in the splendour.
The beautiful, craggy peaks of Cradle Mountain,  the ice-glacier formed and gorgeous Dove Lake, the enchanted forest, (that really did resemble something out of an Enid Blyton fairytale) the wide expanses of mountain country and the breath-taking views from the tops of ridges and natural lookouts that were more than worth the climb.
At the end of each day, a quick but hot shower with no soap or shampoo (not a problem people) was welcomed as we reflected on an incredible day and looked forward to the unpredictability of another.
Perhaps the only regret- that we didn’t carry an extra bottle of wine each. A planning consideration now taken very seriously as the TITS start padding up for their 3rd rugged, outdoor challenge. (this time in New Zealand) ..Stay tuned!!

About thestepmum

I'm a mum and a step mum to 5 girls. I'm a wife. I'm a journalist. I travel. I write. I run. I read. I make rules. I'm the boss.

I'd love to know what you think :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s