Monday, June 18, 2007

Made In Australia From Local And Imported Ingredients

With all my blathering on about old Blighty, one might be forgiven for thinking I had forgotten my first true love and mother-country, this Great Southern Land. But never fear, I still turn into a dancing laughing bubble of squishy-squirmy joy the second I spy the lyrebird on the National Park sign and smell the eucalypts and the honey flowers. I love this landscape, the spiky plants and spikier animals, the thorns and venom and dust and floodwaters.

Got up nice and early today, ate my porridge and stewed apples and drank my coffee, did some washing, performed my morning ablutions and walked the puppies halfway up the hill and back. Put on my camos, boots, t-shirt, Ben Sherman shirt, Bavarian hat with the feather in the band, anorak etc. Loaded up my backpack with goodies and headed off to Bundanoon in the cool morning drizzle. Quick stopover in Moss Vale, where I finally found a proper smoke shop and scored some pistachio pipe tobacco. Then on to to Morton NP, just a km walk from B station.

Old man banksias, mountain devils, grass-trees, scribbly gums, tea-trees, mountain ashes, a few rosellas (? have to check the bird book) and a waterfall were mine to savour before noon as I traipsed along the Erith Coal Mine Walk. Found the 'Mossy Tree Twat', a rather fortunately shaped gash in an big gum (NO pun/s intended) and another huge dead tree that looked just like a swamp-monster from a b-grade horror film emerging from the dirt. Examined big lumps of sandstone and scouted for tracks and scats (nothing! most odd) and fell in love with some spectacular pale green curly lichen... And the whole time I saw only 3 cars, and nobody walking at all, so could just sit and eat and meditate and sing to myself undisturbed. Did have a couple of those spooky moments that always happen in the bush, when you can hear the slightest rustling or catch the tiniest glimpse of a shadow crossing your path and know that you are not only the observer but the observed. Apparently there have been sightings of playtpus and koalas and kangaroos and possums and wombats and diamond pythons and bluetongues and something called a weasel shadeskink and an amazing array of other fauna so who knows what was checking me out... Got about half way along the track before having to stop as the water was so deep and fast at the crossing near the fall that I feared I'd be washed away- or at least my boots would get even wetter- so I didn't get to see the old mine. Blah! But never mind missing some man-made structure, I was captivated by the valley breathing mist into the grey sky, and the trees perspiring tiny beads of moisture across their clammy branches. (Lots of great pix, but don't have my card reader here so will have to wait until I get back to The Hill before I can post them).

Was getting pretty cold and damp and couldn't find the other short track so headed back to the village to catch the next bus. Which was two hours away. There is very little to do on a wet winter's Monday in Bundanoon, except to find a cosy cafe, order a soy latte and a toastie, and read a copy of Grass Roots (unfortunately by the time I toddled outside again and realised there was a big sprawling pub on the other side of the railway tracks it was too late to grab a beer). Came home via Mittagong and put myself to soak in the nice hot spa. Alone. Sweet, really really sweet. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........

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Blogger mayhem said...

Woow - SCRUB! BUSH! YAYYY!!! I miss it, you make me wanna see and sniff the sodden scrathiness and hear it squelch underfoot!
yay for bundanon!

11:23 pm  
Blogger Zoo said...

Then you will be delighted to know that I have scrubby bush in my most immediate proximity! Much to sniff and roll about in if you so desire, and plenty of muddy puddles and swampy fields to stomp through. There are three trees up the road that are oozing the most amazing display of sap at the moment, and apparently the Mt Gibraltor lookout is nearby...

Of course, its raining hard again, but what's a little precipitation between friends? Will be good to have you here to play with- have been enjoying the solitude but looking forward to being able to SHOW someone else all the fun stuff... and to use as an excuse to make a big batch of buckwheat pancakes and stop for devonshires teas in town and a beer at the Royal. I simply have to keep my guests entertained with local amusements. Oh, and the tulip park! Must get to that, is very pretty even if they don't bloom until September or so.

This country retreat business is really quite lovely. I am blessed :)

12:22 am  

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