Last weekend i went bush, and loved it!!
I always love going bush; turning the phone off, leaving the city, the computer and walking into the bush to cleanse the soul. There is nothing quite like it. So off we went to Australia’s second oldest National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP.
The first thing i noticed as we arrived was the effect of last Januarys bush fire. It is very easy to see the devastating effects of fire, which is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike. The bush is black with loads of new green leaves, trees and plants. There were trees that looked like they almost had their entire trunk burnt out, yet now the tree was simply growing around the hollowed burnt section. The trees were thriving, continuing to grow with trunks half their normal thickness! I wish i had taken a picture of this as i is quite remarkable how resilient these trees and our bush really is. As i walked down the track i was amazed more and more at how TOUGH the bush is and i think thats one of the reasons i like being here so much.
The Topham track is only about 2.1km one way but we were going further. We came to the end of the track and pushed into the bush. Now it was simply a matter of finding the cleanest and less obstructive way down off the high point and to the waters edge between America Bay and Refuge Bay.
We descended and not long came to a beautiful section untouched by the fire. There were huge grass tress (Xanthorrhoea) with massive stalks sticking out the middle of them. The local Aboriginal people, Kuringgai, would use this tree to make spears, glue, sweet drinks, and start fires. A Grass tree which is 5m tall may be aged between 200-500 years old!! They survive extremely well in their natural habitat but have low survival rates when taken out of their domain and planted in a home or nursery. They may take 3-4 years to die, i think they just miss being in the bush and die of a broken heart.
We got to the waters edge and set up some fishing lines. After a few fruitless hours we both caught 2 small fish, nothing big enough to take home. Unfortunately my fish died as it had taken the whole hook and i could not get it out. I felt bad as it was small and not worth taking home. So rather than waste it i ATE it right there and then, sashimi style. It was fresh and was still twitching a little as i chewed, beautiful!!
As we climbed up the hill back to the track we came across a large red/yellow sandstone cliff. We climbed to the top after a few exposed and precarious sections and pushed through the scrub. I love and hate being scraped up by the bush. Its tough work sometimes as trees, grass, thorns all fight to get a piece of your skin.
We emerged from the scrub and onto the track for the walk back to the car. I felt refreshed after spending the day in the bus. It is so beautiful, yet so tough, and i think it rubs of on you as you spend time in it. It makes you tougher being out there in the elements, losing skin, getting outside your comfort zone…living!