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AUSTRALIANA




 

Mt Kosciuszko here we come

 

The Snowy Mountains’ scheme in 1951/52

 

 

One Sunday we prepared ourselves for a great expedition: horse riding for the unable, with a continental sausage sizzle and the conquest of the Peak (that’s Mt. Kosciuszko to you) It all started with four of us (Pole, Czechs and a German) hiring horses from the Kosciuszko Chalet.

 

 One rider made a spectacular start in his brand new jodhpurs (don’t know where he got them). He was a smaller fellow and the horse is much higher than you would think at first, so he took a mighty jump into the saddle, but the jump was too mighty and he finished up on the ground on the other side.

 

 


We all mounted eventually and proceeded to ride to a small lake Albina at the bottom of Mt Townsend where we planned to have a sausage sizzle. Now the continental way is to build a fire, sharpen one end of a stick, pierce the sausage and hold it over the fire. A good theory in Europe, but we had only Ozzie snags which are very thin and soft.  When we pierced the ingredients just poured out. That was the end of that. What we needed was something like a knackwurst which is firmer and larger.

 

We did “conquer” the summit at about lunchtime and proceeded to 

pull out some tins of meat.  Problem: we did not have a tin opener. 

After some searching around we did find a horseshoe and proceeded
   to lever the top open, pouring the contents into the palms of our hands–

as we forgot to bring some cutlery. We celebrated the fact that we          actually got to the top of Australia’s highest mountain 

(at 2 228 m the smallest of any other continent).

 

 

On the way downhill my horse spotted a tuft of some green grass and despite all my efforts to stop him, he could not resist the chance of a free lunch on it. Now the side of this peak is not really made of marshmallow (it is in fact granite) and as the horse stopped I shifted in my seat (unlike the Australian poet’s horseman) and described a rather inelegant curve over his head but luckily managed to miss any sharp rocks.                           

 

 I only had one other horse ride – at Binna Burra – with the same results. I was told you cannot be a good horse rider if you don’t have three falls. Tough luck neddies – I am not giving you another chance.