Weekends as a 20 something living in one of the world’s most beautiful cities are often hectic and intense. The words relax and time out are often spoken of in hushed tones, as something to be revered and thought of as a Holy Grail – you know you have made it in life when you have the leisure to relax.
This is one of my thoughts, as each weekend approaches I hope that I will squeeze in some down time for doing nothing at all. Then of course I read the weather report and find out that the sun will be shining – no time for relaxing in bed with a good book, time for beach and walks and brunches and Sunday sessions. Or it could be that there is another great food/culture/music/art/theatre/comedy festival on and suddenly my whole day is booked tramping round the city hunting down these great moments. Really, life is hard! There is so much happening that even if you do decide to stay home slouch on the couch you are wrecked with waves of guilt due to you wasting a great opportunity to be doing “something”.
On Saturday I had one of those days where the weather was too glorious for me to contemplate staying home. Instead I bundled my friends and a picnic into my car and took us down to the Royal National Park in the south of Sydney. The day before I had googled the best bush walks to do and come up with a medium 11k walk across the Curra Moors. (website idea for someone – make a website with easy to find bushwalks, with maps and descriptions for each walk and most importantly directions on how to get there. Wildwalks is an OK site for information but it’s so hard to navigate that it’s not really worth it unless you know the specific walk you would like to do. If someone wants to take on this idea and also create an App – I would be truly grateful!)
With our backpacks jam-packed with yummy delicious food we headed off into the bush. As most of my walking buddies were from the UK I had a fun time pointing out various flowers and trees such as the Squiggle Bark Gum and the Gymea Lily which was towering over the scrub.
We were walking through coastal bushland which has fewer trees and more shrubs – giving it the impression of a rocky English moor covered in bracken… only with snakes and spiders. We didn’t see another soul and the only sounds that we heard were the warning cries of the finches and lyre birds as they warned their comrades of our presence and the constant scuttle of leaves as lizards scooted off the path and out-of-the-way of our big feet.
About halfway we hit the cliff tops and jumped across a little stream that disappeared over the edge. As we stood there gaping out at the great cliffs a head popped up under the ledge by our feet.
“Oh hello!” I said somewhat startled that there was a human head where my feet were.
“Hello there” Said the head back as it began climbing up onto the rock shelf we were standing on – proving that it wasn’t a lonely head but part of a full body.
“Nice day for a walk” I said to the man who had now fully materialised.
“yes it is – you girls, out bushwalking? Want to see a snake, there is a big one just sunning himself”
“Yes, yes I do!”
I clambered down the rock shelf to where the man had appeared so suddenly and slipped over the waterfall creek to the other side. I heard my friends quickly clamber on down behind me – give them their due – not one of them said, ewwwww no!
There on the other side of the creek lying out in the sun was a giant diamond python. At least 2 meters long for what I could see, he gazed at us lazily, blinking in the sunlight before the numerous eyes staring at him made him shy. It took some time for his body to uncurl and move away down to another rock as he was sprawled over some dead branches. He silently took his leave of us. Unlike the bushwalker who had found him. He, walked with us for the next half an hour nattering away about how hard it’s been to break in is new walking boots – riveting stuff! He did show us the crazy path that would take us down to the beach… which I have no doubt we would have missed without him.
The route down to the beach was perilous, involving climbing of rocks, dead trees and random holes. Made worse by the thought that once we were done at the beach we would have to climb back up again… yay! But once down on the beach all of that was forgotten. It was a glorious day for all that it was the first weekend of spring. Within seconds we had all changed and were running head first into the surf – not going to lie it was bloody freezing – but we became numb in a matter of seconds and so proceeded to frolic about in the crystal clear water.
After we had exhausted our remaining energy retired to the grassy hill to eat our picnic and loll about. If the sun hadn’t suddenly disappeared and reminded us that it wasn’t quite summer yet I have no doubt we would have stayed there till dark, Instead we slogged back up the hill and found the car.
Once home a hot shower and a nap was needed before the evenings entertainments could commence.