DAY 180: Making an outdoor cinema on top of a mountain

27 Feb

Yon mountain mist.

A WOMBAT waddles ahead of the ute on our way up Mount Barrow in north-east Tassie. It’s past midnight and we’ve been mostly dodging pademelons – pronounced ‘paddy melons’ – for the past hour. Pademelons are small round wombats, and they’re so prolific around here that they’ve shat all over every inch of Old Dog’s property.

(Country folk come up with curious names for each other like ‘Old Dog’; names with backstories that are as ancient as the hills.)

This is a pademelon.

Mount Barrow is 1413m high and awash with rockfalls that cascade down it like rivers. Right at the top there’s a weather station that looks like an evil lair. Where we park, there’s an abandoned stone cabin that some jokers have built Blair Witch-style stone sculptures around, and as the mists rolls in it’s proper spooky.

The evil lair.

It’s my birthday. Old Dog sets up a laptop on the ute tray, throws down a doona, sticks in Wild at Heart and opens some Doritos. Voila – mountaintop cinema. I fall asleep three minutes in.

Moon, venus, sun.

Next morning the clouds have settled beneath us, so we’re piping hot and afforded the sort of sunrise you usually only see from an aeroplane – unbroken stripes of colour. There must be a lack of oxygen, because when Old Dog suggests I climb up to the peak (unaccompanied), I agree automatically and set off in my party hat. The hat’s still up there, if you ever happen to be passing by.

I'm that speck at the top.

Keeper? Yes.

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