You may wonder what on earth this photo is all about. It is a walk I wanted to do on the day we arrived and when I asked for directions I was told that it was too dangerous for me to do that walk.
Well, on the old Susten Pass I saw a sign to the Glacial Mills and decided on that walk early in the morning on the day we were to leave Wassen.
I had no idea what Glacial Mills are until we arrived. It is actually the effects of a glacial action on the rocks over however many thousands of years. The glacier is long gone but the rocks look like a glacier, in fact just like the Aletsch Glacier we crossed with a friend who is a mountain guide, many years ago.
If you look closely you can see the the water rushing over the rocks and into the ponds created by the glacial action.
By the way, the walk was perfectly safe. I suspect that these people looked at me, this tiny woman, and decided that I should not be walking in the wilds of the mountains on my own. I guess they thought that Jochen would be of no use to me. Little did they know that we ended up walking on a track that was much more difficult than this one.
This morning I took Jochen straight up the mountain behind what is our temporary home in Rhaezuens, and I mean, straight up. It is the same walk we did on the first day after our arrival.
As we were trudging up, I contemplated this journey Jochen and I are on and thought about all the people and organisations who have contributed to get us to this stage. I remembered when I was asked by the EMA (Emergency Management Australia) to be an observer at New Zealand's first Advanced Operational Test of three searches in October 2004. At the final debriefing we were all asked to say a few words. I commented that what particularly struck me was how supportive their version of our SES was in helping to make the weekend such a success.
In respect to our, (ASSDA's) success, and Jochen's and mine in particular, we could not have achieved wht we have without the consistent and generous support of SA-USAR - South Australian Urban Search & Rescue Task Force. SA-USAR has always made their site at Angle Park available to us (as has the SES at Noarlunga) and in addition has provided us with tents and all relevant camping equipment or supporting our accommodation needs in other ways.
The SA-USAR site at Angle Park provides the most realistic site in Australia for the training and testing of USAR dogs that we know of. whilst is cannot compare to the disaster village in Les Epeisses near Geneva (it was never meant to), it is a great start and one for which we are very grateful and could not do without.
So these were my ponderings today as Jochen and I trudged up the steep mountain side - thinking of how much support is needed to get a canine USAR team to the pointy end.
When we arrived in the alpine meadow I felt a bit sad as this may be the last time Jochen and I do this walk before we head back to the land of Oz. Today in two weeks we will have had one day's testing behind us and are about to face three night searches. Time is now galloping at an alarming rate. This weekend we will spend training at Maiersboden again but this time with the Zurich Group.