1- Feeding kangaroos near Adelaide

Hot sun tortured me. What should I expect when my twisted brain imagined megalithic Buddha lying in the form of Uluru (Ayers) Rocks in the middle of the great Australian desert? Even in his transcendent vision, Buddha could not have seen that such a land existed. How dare I attribute and give credit to this mortal human being for creating nature’s another magnificent work of art? ( I should have left Buddha alone happy with his Golden Rock covered with glittering gold in Myanmar ( ).

2 Koala bear

Naturally intense activity broke down my normal routine and made me lazy in many other ways. My five attempts to lose weight by jogging failed miserably. In Whakatane, the most easterly point of New Zealand, an early morning jog before heat and humidity descended, revived my spirit a little. I boarded the boat to the famous sulphur emitting White Island volcano discovered by James Cook.

Nevertheless, for this folly, I deserved to be punished. Over 40°C for four long days almost dried me up into a skeleton. What deliverance when I jumped into the Qantas three hour flight to Sydney.

3 White Island volcano NZ

For eight weeks I crisscrossed south-eastern Australia and New Zealand North mostly by bus, staying in youth hostels and backpackers, visiting cities and surrounding countryside on foot, looking for koala bears and elusive kiwi birds in the wild, feeding kangaroos, chasing away the fearless emus and doing haka with Maoris.

 In the excitement of returning to Switzerland , I foolishly ventured on the morning before, to jog in the national reserve near our residence in the outskirts of Sydney (West Pymble) without realizing that wilderness in Australia can start just on the other side of the house fence and it is so easy to lose oneself. And that is exactly what happened to me.

4 La Clusaz-Beauregard, France

Just seeing snow on the Alps felt like deliverance. Once recovered from travel fatigue I ventured to the the Alps in March. The bright blue sky contrasted with glittering white snow on the mountains above La Clusaz near Mont Blanc in France with temperature touching 14°C.  In the lively company of six women from different cultural backgrounds, I followed a snowy track to an altitude of 1670 meters where we enjoyed a well-deserved lunch surrounded by snow and with a view of Mont Blanc.  What an exquisite sight!

5 Mont Blanc

This outing dissipated all the stored up Australian heat in my body! However, my usual jogging stamina is still out of order. To test it, I jogged and connected a number of Geneva public parks on the right bank of River Rhône. Look at the shameful time of 65 minutes I took to cover less than 7km! Is it a punishment for being disrespectful to Buddha or have I aged faster in the southern hemisphere?


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