Thanks so much to the bolstering bloggers who wrote in support of sending my son and his mate into the wilds on Saturday.
If, like me, anyone was then slightly anxious lest something hideous happen and that our careless words might be reproduced in headlines and debated in chat shows – fear not – the two lads reappeared back down the track which they had struck out from late this afternoon.
The weather was very kind. It was cold – but not quite below zero – and they only had a few light showers on the first day.
They baked potatoes on the fire, made hot chocolate and the tent was not hit by rain, wind nor falling branches for two nights. There were no bears to be seen, koala or otherwise, but a few deer came by at some point in their travels.
There was a fanfare of orange and pink in the late afternoon and even our old derelict chook shed looked pretty painted with the low dipped sun.
Sunday was cold and started a little grey.
By midmorning the water was hot enough for a shower but by lunchtime the old lad had to go and repair the door of the stove leaving us without a fire. So I took the dog out around the boundary as a break from scraping paint off the floors and replacing the silicon around the bath. The sun was putting on a show by then. In the early evening there was a puff of smoke between the crest of the hills and low mist threw mauves and blues across the valley and up on to the hills.
The day finished by a fine sunset of purple and gold which we enjoyed from our outpost and the boys – we were more reassured by now – were enjoying from high above us.
This morning the wild ones woke above the clouds somewhere up in the Howqua Hills while we, in our little nest, were surrounded by a thick fog which dispersed with the sun into blue sky and wisps of mist around the hills.
We fetched the lads back earlier than expected as their descent had been quick and their tent had been dry enough to pack straight away. A rare thing as any camper will know.
So the Monday holiday came to a close – the now green hills softened by rain and a kindly sun like the two lumbering teenagers who found their way home suitably dirty, tired and hungry, but very proud of themselves.