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I have tried to make the most of the ban on international travel by travelling a little more within Australia, so a couple of months ago a friend and I drove to the snowfields in New South Wales. February is not snow season here is Australia but we wanted to climb the highest point of our continent; Mount Kosciuszko which is located in Kosciuszko National Park.

We left Canberra on a Wednesday morning and drove for about an hour and a half until we reached a town called Cooma where my friend Mandy had stopped previously at a lovely cafe (The Lott Cafe) which is known for its coffee. Not being a coffee drinker, I ordered a peppermint tea and a toasted vegetable and falafal wrap which arrived with cashew cream on the side; very tasty!

About an hour later we arrived into the Jindabyne region which is located in the Snowy Mountains and on the edge of Lake Jindabyne. Our Airbnb overlooked the lake so we dropped off our bags and took a walk.

Our apartment was in an ideal location; lake views and a short drive to the shops where we could stock up on food for dinners and breakfasts…and a beautiful sunset every night.

The following morning was the day we had decided to trek up Mount Kosciuszko – which is about 2228 metres above sea level and a 13 kilometre return trip. Mandy had done the walk a few times before so I knew it was going to take between four and five hours round trip.

I had wanted to do this for a very long time but really didn’t think I was fit enough but with Mandy along, I knew she would encourage me and she did. We drove to Perisher Valley to the ski resort and took the cable car then started our walk. Oh my goodness, friends had told me it was not that hard – so wrong – I found it quite difficult at first as it was a long steep incline, but Mandy kept chatting away to keep me concentrating on her conversation rather than how difficult this part of the walk was. There were parts that were very pleasant and flat and some that were rather taxing but what made it worth my while, were the views along the way, which were spectacular.

When we were nearing the summit, walkers on their way back down were very encouraging, letting us know we had nearly made it; that inspired me to walk a little faster. And then we made it. It was such a good feeling – I had reached the highest point in Australia on our tallest mountain. Don’t think when the travel ban lifts I will be going to Nepal to try Everest though!

Time for a sandwich, check out the fabulous views and relax!

Then it was time to return, the walk back was easier of course but still had two steep inclines. It’s funny though they don’t seem that difficult, I guess because I knew most of the return trip was downhill. When we arrived at the cable car, Mandy took us into the cafe and to my surprise bought two glasses of schnapps. I had never tasted schnapps before but it was delicious and so welcome after nearly five hours of walking. So nice in fact that we stopped off at the distillery (Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery) on our way home for a tasting after which I bought two bottles!