The Climber's Wife

Posts by Melissa Mieow

The Six Foot Track

Posted on May 23, 2016

This Easter I set off with a fiddle playing friend (sadly, sans fiddle) on the Six Foot Track from Katoomba to Jenolan caves. The Blue Mountains, like Australia more generally, lack well-marked challenging walks.  It seems you can either have markings or you can have challenge, but you can’t have both. Every physically challenging walk also seems to require at least some navigating, errors dooming you to die of exposure.  The Six Foot Track is not an exception to this rule. It is incredibly well marked but lacks any real physical challenge other than those inherent in walking 45 km or so over a few days.  There are no scrambly bits or other difficulties.  Note that the map is completely unnecessary, as well as being…

Royal National Park Coastal Walk from Bundeena to Otford

Posted on April 26, 2016

I’ve done the Bundeena to Otford Royal National Park Coastal Walk twice now and loved it both times.  It is ridiculously easy to get to from Sydney and is the most delightfully scenic path you can imagine. Living in Coogee I’m fairly spoilt for intensely beautiful views of the pacific coast but I’m still overwhelmed – to the point of laughter and dancing – by how gorgeous the Royal National Park views are.  Obviously the view out to sea is more or less the same as in the Eastern Suburbs (stunning) but it’s the wild open scrub and cliffs free of the trappings of human habitation that really set off those same endless blue seas, tall reckless cliffs with surging white foam at their…

Koh Yao Noi, a quiet climbing holiday in Southern Thailand

Posted on December 26, 2015

Koh Yao Noi floats in the sultry blue of Thailand’s southern Andaman Sea, a quiet little island with some great rock climbing. We caught the regular ferry over from the mainland, which is an oversized wooden long-tail laden with locals and their goods (notably, an enormous bag of raw chicken wings). It takes about an hour and is a really beautiful ride. Hundreds of island rise steeply out of the water in this area – limestone monoliths topped with abundant shaggy jungle. Many of the cliff faces are cut in at their base by the sea – from a distance (particularly at low tide) they look like so many marbles rolled carelessly into a clear, still, puddle. Compared to neighbouring islands like Phi Phi,…

In Sickness and in Health (Part II)

Posted on August 31, 2015

The Climber waved me goodbye from the glass and chrome Berlin Hauptbahnhof and off I zoomed on a comfortable German train.  Unfortunately the comfort only lasted about 20 minutes until someone came to sit in my seat.  It turns out that there is a step in the booking process where you are supposed to secure an actual seat number and we’d somehow missed that.  So, true to form, I rode the rest of the way sickly curled up in a ball in front of the toilet compartment.  I did so calling showers of blessings on my genius self for having booked a night at the Sheraton at Frankfurt Airport.  I struggled off the train and into the waiting arms of a proper hotel complete…

In sickness and in Health (Part I)

Posted on August 31, 2015

On a quiet morning in the dappled light of the pine forest, the Climber and I made our way through the raspberries (nibbling quite a few on the way) to a little crag in the Frankenjura.  It’s a very pretty spot, tall trees above and a springy carpet of pine needles below.  The rock was a bit damp from the light overnight rain but not wet. The Climber did a few laps on some of the harder stuff (easy for him) and I tested out my lead head with a few 5a+’s.  I felt awesome!  Sure it’s easy climbing (the jugs were big enough for wildflowers to grown in) but it felt so good to not be vomitusly terrified.  I ended the day tired…