Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mountain Hunger

In the bus I realise I have been suffering from mountain hunger for a long time. Our tour around Turkey reveals a constant, changing panoply of wild harsh craggy mountains, gently sloping hills and steep falling cliffs. Even on the flat, we know we are high up.

In 1970 at the age of eighteen, I migrated with my parents and two brothers from the north-eastern part of North America to Perth Western Australia. My father had been based in Australia during WWII, heading out in submarines as a torpedo gunner to battles in the Coral Sea. My parents married three weeks before Pearl Harbour. From the moment my father returned home in 1946, he tried to persuade my mother to move to Australia.

Connecticut has its mountains. They are not high, but they are all around. Coming to Perth was like landing on the moon, a flat, flat plain. Drive in any direction, a pancake. But I grew accustomed to this and may other differences which were buried under the benevolent weight of friendship, study, and work.

Sublimated were the mountains until two days ago when our group went for a balloon flight over the incredible terrain of Cappadocia. Mountains dropped away beneath us, real, tough, unforgiving, dark, high, brooding, Biblical mountains; weird formations shaped by tuff (pronounced too-fah), volcanic ash which has settled in deep furrows over the ground, and mixed with rain to form a soft stone. We float, rarely flaring the gas fire once we are up. A dazzle of balloons fill the sky and seem to touch the mountain tops.

From high above I see how everything relates. I am in the semi with the wide view, not a squat VW. The re-cognition of mountains jars something in my psyche, provides a sudden abundance of meat and drink for my hungry soul. I am completely seduced, once again in a place were I can climb a mountain. Perhaps it is time for a change.


  1. Ah, the VW originally known as the KDF car (Kraft-Durch-Freude or Strength Through Joy).

  2. If you think Perth is flat, try Adelaide.

  3. Coral, you may be interested in