On Sunday I went for a walk. Walking is pretty cool, sometimes it even seems like it is what we are supposed to do. Sitting at a desk looking at a screen sometimes feels like the opposite.
Anyway, after a morning riding out to La Perouse where it appears there are some very cool markets everyone should check out I rushed madly to make it to Central Station in time for the train. Mt Kuring-gai is a long way away (sorry school friends) so when I got to the station and my train wasn’t on the intercity schedule I started to panic. Turns out it is actually on the suburban network and much closer than I thought.
The walk itself is great. I’d never walked down to the area of Appletree Bay this walk takes in, and it was spectacular with the rain and drizzle falling almost constantly.
We saw stingrays, crabs, some birds and fungii and plenty of boats adding to the serenity.
Okay, so to be precise there is a wetland at the end of my street but that doesn’t change the fact that despite living in an unfortunately urban environment there is a place with frogs, dragonflies and apparently turtles at the end of the street.
The artificial wetlands were created by the local council as a way to clean stormwater from the surrounding streets and are maintained from what I can work out. While I was down there this morning talking to a random stranger about turtles and mysterious creatures rippling the weeds the wetland looked nice enough you could almost pretend you weren’t in the city!
See how you can aim the camera to ignore the fact there are houses twn metres away!
I was lucky enough to have an hour or two spare yesterday afternoon while in bungendore so I hit up the trails for this years Mont 24hr race on my ecr. The trails are great with an awesome mix of smooth flowy trails (good on a rigid semi-fat) and a few slightly rocky sections through the native forests which were a little jarring when taken at speed.
Eitherway the tracks are awesome and well chosen. As unfit as I am there was never too much up to tire me out beyond being able to ride, there is plenty of room to pass which will be great for those riding.
For anyone who hasn’t heard the news yet – it has been raining a lot and there is every chance what looked like dry mud is now deep mud ready to mess up and chainbit finds. Single speed drive chains and fat tyres would be great.
Anyway I won’t be riding the trails during the race but good luck and safe riding to everyone who is.
So I am four weeks into my relocation back to Sydney and today I completed one of the most important re-introduction activities there is on returning to this fair city. I got in the car and drove the hour or so from the city up to Barrenjoey where the sun shines, the waves roll (you) and there are lots of people willing to sell you fish and chips.
Joining me in my adventure was Scott, a colleague from my new job, who provided interesting conversation during the trip. Of particular interest were his observations in the differences between Australian and American speech patterns. As he has been here for the past two months he has had a chance to come to terms with many of the slightly unusual terms we use, as well as the tendency to omit vowels from our speech. What surprised me is that the one word which stumped him was “arvo”. Anyway in between swimming in the surf and eating fish and chips I took some photos.
So as some of you know, and many of you may have guessed, I am back in the big smoke. The big, busy, hectic city where people seem to spend their days walking fast and not smiling*.
I’ve been in the Sydney for 14 days now (I started work 12 days ago) so it has been hectic trying to stop things moving. This brings me to the most important aspect of Sydney though. Slow Places. Sydney and the surrounding sprawl is full of big places where you can escape to a more sensible pace even if it is only for an hour.
This morning a friend and I headed up to Mt Kuring-gai for a stroll and walked a small section of the Great North Walk. This area is my old stomping ground from school, but I had forgotten just how great it is down those steep valleys!
*I think it may be because navigating the city at peak hour takes phenomenal concentration. Add is a coffee, important text messages or emails and other aspects of inner city life and smiling is just one to many cognitive functions.
Tomorrow is my last day in Alice Springs. As it turns out the world around me wanted to say goodbye on Wednesday by offering an amazing day of rain followed by on of the best sunsets I have ever seen, and living out here that is a big call.
Sitting at the first saddle of the Mt Gillen walk I was treated to rainbows, glowing mountains in the distance, golden valleys and red red rocks at the sunset around me.
Thanks Alice Springs. You’ve been amazing!
Yesterday I had a mid-week adventure to rival all others. Central Australia has received vast amounts of rain recently (20-60mm) and as a result all of the gorges have been filling up, and as anyone who has been following the blog would know I have been making the most of it!
Yesterday’s mid week adventure was to Palm Valley, an isolated valley full of cycads and palm trees an hour and a half from Alice Springs. Normally dry, our experience of the valley required wading through water holes and rock hoping around others. The creeks are full of tadpoles, frogs and fish. The air was full of cicadas and dragonflies, and generally it was a pretty amazing day.
Posted in Alice Springs, Australia, Life and Daily Interest, Northern Territory
Tagged Adventure, alice springs, central australia, Life and Daily Interest, National Parks, nature, outdoors, Palm Valley, photography, photos
Rainbow Valley is about an hours drive from Alice Springs. The large, multicolour sandstone monuments rise out of the low lying sand dunes and claypans that surround this isolated relic of a bygone landscape.
Everyone I’ve spoken to about the valley has told me the best time to visit is early in the morning or for sunset (campsites look good), but I’m really glad we went out during the middle of a summers day to witness the true colours without and centralian sunset adding or subtracting anything.
The walk out to mushroom rock is well worth it. Sitting in the shade with a cool breeze blowing made it a lovely place to chill for a while before braving thebsun again.
Last night while driving out to Simpsons Gap we could see the thunder heads of a summer storm in the desert. The rain it may have produced certainly never reached us so we remain stuck in the sticky heat of humidity in the desert. It is nice that the desert is so green at the moment, but honestly a little respite would be great!