We swatted at hoards of feisty flies as we strode briskly up the road,
and now better understood the origin of this dry continent’s hand-wave greeting.
The flies, attracted by our black packs, landed and immediately crawled toward any source of moisture—all the places
we least wanted a fly to be. Our eyes, noses, mouths, and ears were their primary targets.
Thus, the constant windshield-wiper hand-swipe evolved.
We hoped to climb above the flies, but they became worse. Water stood below the gentle snowslopes
and this was prime fly breeding season. With all this water around, I wondered why the flies needed mine.
The flies knew something about moisture that I did not.
Maintaining a fast pace, Kosciuszko’s rounded slopes slowly came into view, and at the base of the upper mountain,
we left the road. Happy to get a native slope under our feet, we hiked up a snowfield on the peak’s south side
for a few precious fly-free minutes. A slight westerly breeze puffed as we approached the summit; then we were there.
Other than a 10-foot steel tripod, we had Australia’s highest point to ourselves.
– Gerry Roach - from Ride the Breath - Journey