Friday, July 25, 2008

We're going on a Bear Hunt.

"You know, it wouldn't have run off if you didn't stand in plain sight with a boulder".

Living in Bushland is renowned amongst teenagers as being a pain in the arse. A royal one at that. No real cinema, definately no clubs (and the only pubs are outfitted wih resident flannelette wearing bogans) and general lack of similar aged people means once you hit your late teens you are usually moving out of home much earlier than financially viable or making the longgg drive to Bondi three times a week.

I have always forgotten what lies about a half hour drive to my West, down Victoria Pass and along the Bells Line of Road. Clarence Dam has always been the lazy go-to, or the point of call for a local thrill-seeking adventure. As a Uni destress we collected a picnic together, 'borrowed' the Paj. and set off for a day of rock jumping and bush bashing. Having not made the trek for years I thought my Echo would also make the journey and was offended to say the least when someone refused to let me drive it. The anger quickly subsided when I realised that the road has decreased to such a state that four-wheel drives would probably be a pre-requisite.

If only they didn't bolt and chain the gates to the Dam entrance.

Gates have never stopped the masses moving to Clarence on a hot Summer day. And luckily, we weren't the ones using the bolt cutters. Literally, a 100 people greeted us in the winding Valley, everyone geared up with Eskys, pool chairs, climbing ropes, LiLo's and hats. Real 'West' boys used their over-sized wheel utes to bump their way down the hillside, narrowly avoiding flipping cars on fellow Clarence'rs.

We spent hours at Clarence, soaking up the sun and drinking cool Pina Colada's thanks to our ingenious idea to float most of our non-perishables in the freezing water. We avoided food-disaster, saving our Esky from sinking as we floated it across to the Island rock yet missed our oppurtunity to rescue our dry clothing which was soaked three dog paddle steps in (imagine someone dog-paddling, with a fist full of clothes reaching above their heads). We watched the abseilers compete with the rock jumpers for prime position before laying in the last of our Clarence rays and making the trek home.

You'd think that a day like this would serve as the perfect reminder as to why I still live in the wonderful place I do. I have the amazing oppurtunity to live in a World Heritage listed zone, a quiet community based around the diverse value systems of its members. It's a place where you can celebrate Winter with a mixture of hippies, pirates and young children wrapped up in gauzy fabrics.

It only got better once we arrived back at Funny Farm, farm because obviously it is a farm and funny because we were once left in charge (and if you know me, I do not do farm - nor rampant ducks). We had a few hours of sun left so we retired to laze by the pool, soaking up rays and learning how to pogo jump on a stick quite obviously not made for pogo jumping. This however quickly went down the toilet - we had a kangaroo in the backyard.

Tom, and Tom, thinking they were Steve Irwin's replacements quickly scaled the fence. One Tom not-so quickly, he got stuck on the top before promptly falling into the horse trough, but he lives in Paddington now so his scaling days are somewhat over.
Hiding behind a large pile of twigs and leaf matter, the boys plotted their next move. Whilst Buchanaman Tom thought a slow, steady approach was best, Horse Trough Tom had better ideas. That was to grab the closet object, a large boulder and stand right in the middle of the paddock. So while the Real Bushman was slithering through the grass, the other had undone about 10 minutes of careful preparation by trying to catch the wallaby by surprise, upright and in the middle of nowhere with a rock above his head.

After a charge from Pony towards the Toms (and yet another failed fence jumping attempt), we retired.

The Mountains have never been so good.

Me: Swimmers, Bonds. Hat, Goorin. Sunnies, RayBan.

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