Week 40/2023: We’re half-way there

Week of 2 October 2023

Point to Pinnacle: We’re half-way there

Go on, you know you want to sing it . . .

Walk preparation, week 6

It’s now been six weeks since I started preparing for the Point to Pinnacle walk on 19 November.

There are six weeks to go, and the main leftovers from my back injury earlier in the year are pain when I do a particular movement (that isn’t a movement I ever do other than when I’m doing the exercise my physiotherapist has given me to stretch the relevant nerves), and some weird stuff going on in my foot.

I wrote about that last week, and apparently that’s also connected to the nerve thing.

I’ve been continuing with my plan of weekday morning walks between two and five km, and longer walks on the weekend.

On Saturday I ended up in South Hobart and thought it would be good to explore the area a bit and see if there were any interesting things to photograph.

There were. (Feel free to have a look!)

A white building with a large, blank facade bearing the word SAMCO
A little side street exploration

I got in a nasty hill as well, which is essential if I’m going to be spending four hours walking up a large hill next month.


On Sunday I took my camera with me. It used to be something I did often, go out for a long walk on Sunday morning to explore and make photos but illness, cold dark mornings and injuries became excuses that turned weeks without doing this into months, and well over a year.

I remembered last time I prepared for this event I hated walking for the sake of training. Tracking my times and trying to make every two km walk under 20 minutes. It stripped a lot of the joy of walking away and I didn’t want to go out with that mindset.

So a Sunday photowalk it was.

I had an idea of where I might go, and I knew I needed to include some more hills but I wasn’t entirely certain I’d end up at Mt Nelson Signal Station until I found myself on the bush track between Porter Hill and Mt Nelson.

Porter Hill is where the wonderful Dorney House (Mark III) stands. The uphill walk to the house is strenuous. I was struggling with the steepest part near the bottom of the hill, which made me fast forward to kunanyi in six weeks time and wonder how I was going to do this. But it eases off after that and I remember from last time, the kunanyi walk is similar. Most of it is a (fairly) gentle uphill climb.

A view from a hill of a city surrounding a harbour with a large hill in the background
The view from the top of the Porter Hill Road

Having reached the top (and seeing someone already there), I decided to carry on walking rather than stop for photos. Just before you reach the house is a section of bush with a couple of track choices, including the Truganini track back to Cartwright Reserve in Taroona and the track that goes to the signal station, where there’s a coffee shop.

Coffee shop.

Bush tracking isn’t something I do a lot of. There’s no buildings to look at and not a straight line to be seen. But there’s trees and birds and stuff and it’s very quiet with no cars zooming around making me tense, so it’s rather nice.

Well, apart from the hill.

I emerged from the track very relieved to see the signal station and grateful that the coffee shop was open.

A view of water, land masses and blue sky
View over South Arm & Opossum Bay from Mt Nelson Signal Station

After a brief stop and some photos, my next decision was whether to continue through Mt Nelson and take the steps from hell back to Churchill Avenue or to take the bush track and end up in almost the same place. I chose the latter.

I’d done this track once before but had forgotten how steep it is in sections and wondered if this was the best type of activity for my injury. But going down the steps might have been even worse, and once I was committed I wasn’t turning around and going back.

So down I went. Someone from a group walking up, noticing my camera, asked me if I was taking photos of birds. I said I wasn’t but I’d just seen a really cool lizard.

A small spotted brown lizard on a rock and tree litter
Lizard I saw on the track

I don’t think they were impressed. (I was.)

There were some nice glimpses of a cloud-topped kunanyi on the way down.

Clouds on top of a rocky formation above the tree line
The organ pipes from a long way away

Once I got to where the back yards of suburban houses started to line one side of the track, it began to remind me of the bush track that backed onto my childhood street and how much fun I’d had exploring when I was a kid. Only this is a lot bigger.

The track emerges on Churchill Avenue alongside Lambert Rivulet, in Bicentennial Park. I think it continues further along the rivulet over the other side of the road, but I had a mission in the suburbs, so back to the road I went . . .

To be continued.

Probably elsewhere.

Week 6: tracking against the plan

  • Monday (2 km): 2.39 km
  • Tuesday (3 km): 3.37 km
  • Wednesday (5 km): 5.51 km
  • Thursday (2 km): 2.52 km
  • Friday (2 km): 2.30 km
  • Saturday (3 km): 5.14 km
  • Sunday (10.5 km): 13.55 km with a 20-minute break

Week 40 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Sunday’s walk was great.

So was sitting down with Kramstable during the week and watching The Wizard of Oz.

An old style toned photo of clouds with the text The Wizard of Oz in large capital letters
The Wizard of Oz

What did I notice this week?

The lizard on the walking track.

What did I learn this week?

Kramstable googled some facts about The Wizard of Oz and we learned that the green make-up of the Wicked Witch of the West was so toxic, the actor who portrayed her, Margaret Hamilton, wasn’t able to eat on set and had to have a liquid diet through a straw every day.

And the coloured horse in the Emerald City was actually four horses, and they achieved the colour by covering the horses in Jell-O crystals. The has to be better than the asbestos they used as snow to sprinkle on the cast in the poppy field.

What I’m reading this week

  • Bullshit Jobs: The Rise of Pointless Work and What We Can Do About It by David Graeber
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