Returning from his latest Middle-East stretch which ran through the festive season, Eric arrived home the day before Sarah’s birthday. These events required a serious family huddle, so we headed for the hills.
Summer is bountiful in Hogsback. The trees and hedges are rich with fruit and berries,
and the streams flow merrily with summer rainfall.
We stumbled across a gentle waterfall to splash about in and Sarah screeched at the top of her lungs all the way to the fall and back.
It must have been a place of strong magic because even ‘The Mom’ stripped down to her nothings and jumped in – Eric grabbed my camera and took pics but now surprisingly, I can’t seem to find any of them;)
The fairy theme flows abondantly through the hamlet of Hogsback, made famous by Tolkien’s supposed retreat to this area. This seems in itself to be fantasy, as it is apparently unlikely that he ever spent time in these mystical forests.
More magic is to be found at a local backpacker venue, aptly named ‘Away With The Fairies’. In addition to their famous pizza, beautiful garden setting, annual trail run and bath at the edge of the earth,
they also have a canopy top tree house that I had heard about but avoided until now, concerned that my little fairies would come to harm. But feeling strong and ready for adventure this time we trooped down the woody path and found the sign below the climb.
Really? Straight up 15 M, no safety gear or guide in sight, no harnesses, carabines, helmets…..With a big tick from Eric onto his list of ‘Things you can’t do in Australia’ we headed to the top of the forest like characters from Enid Blyton’s ‘Far Away Tree’.
Now I’ve rock climbed a little in my time and have experienced sewing machine knee on occasion, the kind you get from fear rather than exhaustion, but this climb is straight up to the top of a very tall conifer with no-one on belay.
A few cross planks are haphazardly nailed together near the top in what looks like a token attempt to provide a fall-break – no doubt I would have simply broken the break while falling through…
Gathering strength from one of wonderful Judith’s (Touch to Touch) posts about her particular technique for dealing with similar circumstances, I pulled in a few of the stronger women I know and made it up and down in one piece,
small fairies in tow.
One can only imagine the antics that might occur around this tree after particularly festive ‘fairy mushroom parties’ at the backpacker’s as colourfully dressed varsity students on bungy getaway weekends decide to engage in a bit of night observation of the endemic and elusive Cape Parrot, from the top of the canopy??!!
Luckily we have a few years in hand before our fairies hit that scene – and when it happens I’ll be using all my black magic to ensure that Eric is lurking in nearby trees with safety helmets on hand!
Celebrating Family Magic in the Forest and Sarah’s 11th Birthday : January 2013