tales from urban dilettantia


A sound, an echo

I spent five days hiking through the forest, over the dunes, and along the beach this week. 72.4km along the coast of the Southern Ocean between Denmark and Albany; no internet, no phone. Just me, 12kg on my back, a camera, my barefoot running shoes and a hammock.

For some of the journey, hilarity, stories, silliness, life, the universe and everything flowed between me and the two dear friends who accompanied me on the trail. But much of the time was spent re-reading Marcus Aurelius in the long, light evenings, and contemplating, untangling, thinking, step after step.

There were birds and beetles, tiger snakes – so very many tiger snakes, venomous and shy – and many hours walking under and through the wind farms, the gentle sound of them rocking me to sleep at night.

One night at sunset, I climbed the hill and lay in the grass, photographing the wildflowers in the fading light. There, alone up the hill with nothing but the wind, for a moment holding the logos of the Stoics in my mind and knowing that this is all there is. Remember.

Category: philosophy

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2 Responses

  1. The Decoy says:

    Sounds lovely.
    I’m organising to do the top end of the Bibulman soon and then the rest in stages over the next few years.
    The goal is to finish it end to end in stages in the next 2.5 years.

    How was hammock camping?
    I’ve just recently got a Hennessy hammock and I’m looking forward to field testing 🙂

  2. Helen says:

    My friend’s been doing the same for the last couple of years, so I’ve done quite a lot with him, as the Official Dehydrating & Cooking Food Bitch. 🙂

    The hammock was luxurious – I put my air-mattress in it and it was so much nicer than sleeping on the hard benches. It was also great for afternoons of ‘hey we made it in earlier than expected; I’ll just lie here and read for a bi- zzzzzzz’. (It also has a mosquito net, which made me happier than I can articulate.)

    Theoretically there could be a space problem if you weren’t a solo hiker, it was raining so you couldn’t put it up outside, and the hut was already nearly full of solo hikers, but we had plenty of room. And anyway, if you had the air mattress, you could just not put up the hammock if there was no way to fit it in.

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@dilettantiquity is interested in an unreasonable number of things, including the wide and wonderful universe, happiness, well-being, wine, optimal human experience, non-violent communication, complex systems, existential nihilism, rationality, technology, grassroots organising, cacophony, music, creativity, learning and love.