Goanna

I was walking through Mount Kuring-Gai a few weeks ago with a work colleague when we saw the goanna in these photos.

I took the opportunity to get a few shots.

These are pretty strong lizards. They have some beautiful colouring on them and can be quite dangerous.

The last shot is of a different goanna that we saw later on in the walk. I think that it gives a good idea of their size.

This is my submission into Leanne Cole‘s Monochrome Madness for this week.

I strongly recommend checking it out to see what other people have submitted, as well as checking out Leanne’s work outside of M.M.

I also recommend submitting and being part of M.M. It’s a fun, community-driven event.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

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To Mount Dingo: Heading Up

We continued on our way but it wasn’t long before we stopped once more.
This time it was due to coming across a transmission tower that we had to walk under.

I took pictures of the underside, partly because I wanted to and partly because Ewe suggested that it would make for a good photo.

Soon after resuming walking we reached Mount Derbert. We couldn’t quite make out the path at the time, possibly due to the rocks we would have to get around and also possibly due to being lazy, so we went on a path that inevitably lead us to doing a small amount of bush bashing up the side of the mountain as it wasn’t really a path.

It was quite windy but we managed to get past the mountain and to a crossroad with the aid of a few quick breaks.

We stopped for a few minutes to work out the route as well as to have a little bit more of a rest, then made our way toward Mount Dingo.

At this point we were following a fire trail once more for a few minutes.
I was feeling a bit tired at this point, so I’m not sure if it was how I was perceiving things or if it was how it was actually happening, but in the distance I saw a person with two walking sticks turning to walk in our direction. Their movement was slow and incredibly fluid in a way that seemed unearthly.

A few seconds after seeing them, Ewe and I saw a few other people emerge from a path.
They all walked passed us, leaving us with a kind greeting as they moved.

We reached the path that they had walked from and headed down after a brief discussion about where we should go.

We slowly made our way onward. From where we were, we had to walk until we came to an area with three paths outside of the one we came from and take one of them which would lead us up a few mountains, with the last being Mount Dingo.

It was slow going. Ewe seemed to have trouble keeping up at this point, but he pushed on, as did I.

We reached an area that looked like it had the branching paths that we were looking for. However, only one of the paths was obvious. The other two did not look like they would lead anywhere, or possibly cause us to get lost. We decided to go with the obvious one as it seemed to align with our map and, had it turned out that it was incorrect then we could turn back pretty easily as the one we were choosing could have lead to Mobbs Swamp which wasn’t far from the branching paths, or so we thought.

We ended up at Mobbs Swamp. It had been a while since we saw the branching paths so we quickly rested and worked out how to get up to Mount Dingo from where we were. From our maps we could see a path that went directly up to somewhere between the two mountains before Mount Dingo. From the campground we could see what we thought was the path.

We walked for a while thinking that we were on the correct path due to the gradual rise of the path as well as being able to see sky when we’d look to the side of the mountain that we were on for brief moments, occasionally verbally reassuring ourselves to avoid doubt.

We ended up near the southern end of Mount Dingo.

There was another path to follow that we were at this point certain would lead us to the top of Mount Dingo.

It was a fairly steep ascent that thankfully was only walking, but by this point we’d been walking for most of the day. We still had energy, but fatigue was really creeping in.

We were also trying to push against time at this stage. Whilst at Mobbs Swamp we could see that sunset was not far away. Part of the plan was to get a shot of the landscape from atop Splendour Rock (one of the parts of Mount Dingo), hopefully at sunset. Whilst we were trying to get there to get that shot, it was also so we wouldn’t have to walk at night.

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Taking Off

Continuing in my quest to get more photos of birds, I have managed to capture this one as it is taking off.

Perhaps it could be falling.

Well, it could be seen that way if I did not know that it was taking off.

Anyway, I think that here we see great form from the silver gull with its wings stretching out as it puts itself into a position to fly away.

I do think that this photo expresses motion and form better than many other photos I’ve taken.

I hope you enjoy.

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To Mount Dingo: Tarros Ladder

The time spent in the house on that morning was fairly brief.

It was a quick breakfast and one last check before Ewe’s mum was driving us to the start of Narrow Neck.

When we got there Ewe’s mum took a photo of us, then told us to call her once we were back so she could pick us up to save time before she headed back to her place.

Then the walk began.

We started at the first car park of Narrow Neck so we had a steep hill climb before we were walking on a fire trail.

It was a cold day with little wind and nice sun.
The air felt fresh and helped make the walk a little easier.

However, far we did not walk along Narrow Neck.

We did get a bit of the way ourselves but we probably weren’t used to the weight of our backpacks which was slowing us down in the early stages.

We did have a stop along the way to appreciate the area around us, but we did not walk the entirety of Narrow Neck.

As we were walking along a guy in a ute came along to check some of the animal traps set up to reduce fox, feral pig and feral cat spread. He asked Ewe where we were heading and, seeing as he was going most of the way, asked if we wanted a lift. We readily accepted.

It was an interesting and somewhat scary drive.

The guy was fine. We found out that he doesn’t normally work in the Blue Mountains and he works as a park assistant (or administrator, or something else; I can’t quite remember), which to me sounded like being some sort of intense gardener, which I thought was cool.
We talked a bit about the ups and downs of the job, as well as Katoomba and growing up in the Blue Mountains among other things.

What made it intense was how quickly he was moving along Narrow Neck, as well as how much time he spent facing us whilst talking and driving.

I have to respect the guy as he clearly knew the fire trail well, but due to how steep it is in parts, as well as some sudden turns, I thought we were going to go over the edge at some parts. I also thought that maybe he was going to drive off a side at one point and take us with him intentionally.

Overall it was a pretty good experience.

He reached his stop so we walked the last stretch. It was only about twenty minutes before we were at the end of Narrow Neck, so, in order to reward ourselves for our difficult walk so far, we had a break.

There was a bench and chairs where I had camped the previous year. It was a nice change.

The view was beautiful, giving a nice view of the expanse around us.

After our rest we began our descent to Tarros Ladder. We saw a sign on the way that advised not to do certain things, one of which was riding a horse.

It made sense as it would be difficult for a horse to make the descent.

It was slow going, but we reached Tarros Ladder with little difficulty.

Once there, the trek slowed significantly.

I’m afraid of heights. Sometimes I’m terrified. It turns out that Ewe is also afraid of heights, although he can handle them much better than I.
Tarros Ladder is not the worst thing to climb, but having to go down with only metal bars, rungs and some gaps in the cliff and no rope does not make things easy.

I was meant to buy rope. I forgot.

The plan was for Ewe to go part of the way first, then when he was part of the way down I would pass him the bags to which he would throw onto a ledge, then I would go down, then we’d repeat from the ledge.

It took me a while as I began to freak out.

I made it to the ledge after Ewe had started going down from it and got ready to pass the bags down again, which unfortunately at this point meant throwing them down.

Although I forgot to get rope, I did have twine.

I tied it to Ewes bag, and began lowering it down. The twine worked for about a minute before it snapped. Ewe’s bag broke at one of the straps.

Thankfully the twine was able to fix the issue as a makeshift strap.

My bag went down and it was okay.

Some of our water was lost.

I then began to descend from the ledge which I found a little bit easier as I was closer to the ground at that point.

Once I was down, we hugged, I flipped off Tarros Ladder and we had another quick break to gather everything and calm down.

I had heard that there was a way around Tarros Ladder that started near it which I had discussed with Ewe. I thought I saw its start whilst we were heading to Tarros Ladder, but we didn’t pursue it as we weren’t sure.

I had a quick look whilst we were resting and saw a path that seemed to connect to where we had earlier seen so we decided that it might be best to go along that instead of climbing up Tarros Ladder when we were making our return trip.

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Sandstone Stairs

Here is a photo of stairs made of sandstone.

I guess this serves as a reminder of Sydney sitting on sandstone.

I think that, with the dirt on the stairs interesting patterns are emphasized.

I also like how the stairs contrast with the stone on either side.

I hope you enjoy.

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To Mount Dingo: Heading to and the Evening in Katoomba

I got home with the intent of leaving at a very specific time in order to meet Ewe at work so we could head up into Katoomba together, as it didn’t feel right going ahead of him.

Unfortunately that plan went out the window. I resolved to hop onto the train that I was planning to catch with Ewe, get off at Central Station and then catch the train that would take us to Katoomba.

Traffic from my place to Town Hall was fairly dense at that time of the afternoon. Peak hour was kicking into full gear.

Luckily, despite plenty of time waiting I was able to get off the bus and make it to Town Hall Station with a minute or so to spare.

I kept Ewe in the loop about the sudden change of meeting plans.

I went down to the platform at which the train he was on would stop and decided to head to a different platform to get a train to Central Station instead due the large amount of people that were waiting on that platform not leaving me feeling confident about my chances of catching the required train had I remained.

Moving to another platform proved to be a good idea as I was able to get to Central Station on time.

Once at Central Station I walked as quickly as I could to get to a train that went to the Blue Mountains. I needed to recharge my transport card and, due to some information from one of the station, had a sense of relief as I had six minutes to spare which was more than enough time to take care of recharging.

I made my way to the train and thankfully there were a few minutes to spare.
Another bonus was that the train was an express to Bathurst, with only a small amount of stops before Katoomba.

I waited in the doorway so Ewe could see where on the train I was.
About a minute passed and I became nervous. I tried calling Ewe, but there was no answer.

I had a feeling that he was not on the train, but I did not get off. It wasn’t long before the doors shut and the train began its journey.

I had a quick look for a seat. There wasn’t much space so I went to the door at the other end of the carriage.

Soon Ewe and I were on the phone to each other.
I told him where I was and he told me that the train was still at Central.
I hadn’t told him which train we needed to catch.

I said I would hop onto the train that he was going to be catching when the one that I was on arrived at Parramatta Station and despite that stop being a stop for picking up passengers only, I got off the train I was on and waited for the train Ewe was on so we could go to Katoomba together.

The wait was short and soon we were sitting down and talking about stuff that I cannot quite remember.

Once we were in Katoomba and had experienced the shift in temperature, we made our way quickly to Ewe’s mums place.
We had a quick breather before she gave us a lift to the police station so we could collect an epirb.

It was a little intense in the police station. We filled out information we needed to and waited whilst two other people were there reporting an incident. I don’t think either of us thought it would be a good idea to interrupt.

The police officer did at one point tell the two people reporting an incident that he’d quickly speak to us. It was a brief conversation. He found out that Ewe grew up there and that we both did a lot of bush walking, then told us to trigger the epirb only in an emergency if no other option is available, but that we’d be fine as, in his words, “you guys know what you’re doing”.

There was a brief stop at the supermarket so we could stock up on food and water supplies before we were driven back to Ewe’s mum’s place. Dinner was quick and reorganising everything we needed to take was slow.

Soon we went to sleep which was later than expected, but still enough to make sure we could have an early start.

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Five-Hundred Word Challenge 375: Smiths Lake Once More

It is a Sunday today. Today is Sunday and this is the day that I head off onto one more field trip to add to my list of field trips that I have been a part of during my time spent being a student.

Once more I will be heading off to Smiths Lake and once more I will be doing the things that involve the learning in order to boost my levels of education in order to get myself slightly closer to that deliciously tasty completion of my undergraduate and therefore one more step closer to being the better person when it comes to the knowledge of my particular field that I have chosen for myself.

Am I excited?

Nope.

I think that at this point I just want to get it over and done with. I think I’ve hit a point of over-saturation when it comes to university things.

Still, I am going to soldier forward as it is something that I should get out of the way. I do know that when I am done, I will look back on the experience and think to myself “well, that was an experience”.

I do know that I’m looking forward to a lot of hard work, assuming that the work will be hard. It may be quite easy. I do not know at this point in time.

I also know that carrying around far more stuff than I probably should will be about as fun as carrying around a lot more stuff than I should.

It will be that fun.

I can think of a lot of other things that I’d rather do, such as go on lengthy rants, but at this point this is something that I’ve chosen to do so I don’t have much room to complain about what I am going to experience.

Will there be adventures? Will there be misadventures? Will there be walking? Will there be swimming? Will there be things?

There better be things.

I probably will enjoy myself, but I’m at the stage where I have my doubts about the satisfaction of the experience that I am casting myself into. I imagine that that is due to a desire to keep on resting at this point. I think I need a bit longer a break than I’ve had, as I’ve spent my break between summer semester and the first semester of this year doing a fair bit of stuff and not enough being lazy, in my opinion which just so happens to not be humble.

Well, at least I’ll be able to be in the bush once more. There hasn’t been enough time spent in the bush during this holiday period. Not enough for my liking at all.

Well, now I’m running out of things to say. Surprising I know.

I guess I will close this off by saying something about the true nature of reality. Possibly.

Maybe I’ll instead close this off by talking about how I will close this off.

The time it took to write five-hundred words: 07:18:30

So I’m happy with the time but not satisfied with the writing.

This is something that seemed to run out of steam pretty early on and I stretched it out a little too far.

Written at home.

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