Five years ago, I hiked often and hiked hard. Now, for a variety of reasons, all I let myself undertake is regular day walks and occasional, none-too-tough pack carry hikes. In 2020, the hiking lynchpin was the five-day Jatbula Trail from Katharine, apparently gorgeous and not too onerous. Well, Covid-19 put paid to that, and now a 2021 reprise attempt has also been scuppered by Melbourne’s latest lockdown. Our road trip has been restructured to focus on birding, so that a phone call today offering two slots in a July cohort of Jatbula had to be turned down as well.
Will I ever tackle Jatbula? We’ve put our names down for 2022 but there must be many like us and we might miss out. More important is the need to reassess just how much remote hiking I do. I refuse to give it up altogether, but in practice that’s what I’m gradually doing. Planning over the next year needs to allow for pack carrying hiking, even if I need to lead a walk or two myself!