It had been a long, long walk, but Ewe and I had finally reached our destination; a location where we would safely be carried across the vast expanse of water to a location where a train could be caught.
That location was (and still is) known as Cronulla.
We walked out of the Royal National Park and into Bundeena (Bundeena is part of the R.N.P., but it’s sometimes easier to think of as being next to it), tired but with a feeling of triumph.
Along our way to the wharf, we saw a winnebago that could have classified as a small house in front of a house that could have been classified as a small mansion.
We moved as quickly as we could as we did not have much time until the next ferry, as whilst we could wait for another one, we wanted to get back to the city sooner rather than later as it meant we’d be able to get something to eat.
We got down to the wharf and saw that there was one coming in about thirty minutes.
We weren’t feeling too enthused about the wait as it was getting cold, but we were still fine with it as we would be on our way soon enough.
However, after a few minutes, we noticed that we were looking at the wrong timetable.
When we looked at the winter timetable, we saw that we had missed the last ferry of the evening by six minutes.
We decided to walk to an I.G.A. nearby and call a cab service to try and get a cab to take us from Bundeena to Sutherland Station.
When checking online, there were a lot of cab places that were listed as being closed for the day. This was leaving me feeling rather concerned as I wanted to get out and start heading home. Ewe had work the following day, so there was a bit of pressure in obtaining success.
Eventually I was able to get through to a taxi service that did not cover the Sutherland area (and, by extension, the Royal National Park). They told me about one service that did, to which I told them that they were closed and I couldn’t get through. I had tried them before and no-one picked up.
The person who was speaking to me said that they would try to get someone out but they couldn’t guarantee anything.
I tried the taxi service that covered the area I was in once more and, after a lengthy period of being on hold, I was able to get through and book a taxi.
Then the wait began.
After twenty minutes, I called the second taxi service to see if there had been progress with getting a taxi out to Bundeena. I received an auto-message saying that there hadn’t been anyone booked as of yet. I bypassed the message and then spoke to someone who advised me that they were still trying to get someone to come out to Bundeena.
I then became a little bit creative with the truth.
I won’t get into what I said, but there were parts that had some basis in truth.
After some talking, the person I was speaking to said that they would do their best.
Whilst Ewe and I waited, we received a message saying that a taxi had been booked and to reply if it was still needed. Thinking it was from the first taxi company, it was ignored.
At one point Ewe suggested that we try Uber. It did not work as the internet was not being nice.
Twenty minutes after I called the second time, I was on the phone with the taxi company that serviced the area. I can’t remember if they called, or if I called back, but I do know that I was talking to them again.
The person said that there was a cab on it’s way and that it was going to be about forty minutes before it arrived. They then asked if it was still needed.
What followed was quick banter that lead to yelling, swearing, jovial dialogue, swearing, yelling, and swearing.
There was also swearing.
Whilst this dialogue was in process, Ewe decided that he needed to get away from it all, so, having had enough of society, he walked into the I.G.A.
Standing there, he realised that there was no escape.
The staff realised the same.
After the person at the taxi company cancelled the cab and hung up, I found myself a bit more agitated. I’m fairly certain I was aware of my part in the decision.
With that being said, I remain firm of the opinion that, if a taxi company has trouble with servicing an area that it is meant to service (verbally expressing the idea of such a thing being difficult is probably not a good thing to do), then perhaps they should make way for one that won’t.
At this point, Ewe had returned from his sabbatical. I asked someone who was walking into the I.G.A. if they could provide us with a lift. They said no. We offered to pay. They remained firm on their decision.
They pointed us in the direction of the fire station as it was situated on a road out of Bundeena as it would be easier to try and get a ride out of Bundeena from there.
And off we went. The walk was short and brief. It was easy. It did not stretch beyond imagination.
During the walk, Ewe suggested we try calling the police to try and get us out. I rejected the idea.
Once we reached the fire station, Ewe knocked on the door. Somebody answered.
Ewe asked if we could get a lift to Sutherland Station.
Unfortunately the person was not able to help as they (and the other person staffing the station that night) were the only ones there.
They told us that the station is usually not staffed and the firefighters in the area usually work from home (the two there were there to watch the station that evening).
They told us that, if it came to it, there were motels in the area which we could use for accommodation for the night.
Whilst Ewe was talking to the staff, I saw a cab coming along, leaving Bundeena. I hailed it down. We thanked the staff for their time and then asked the taxi driver to take us to Sutherland station. He was happy to oblige.
During the drive, he told us that whilst he was lucky because he was going to get a decent fare from the trip, we were really lucky as taxis aren’t often in Bundeena.
It was a beautiful, fairly cloudless night. Many stars could be seen in the sky. It was really nice to see.
Now, I can understand that, being a taxi driver, he wanted to get back to a more densely populated area quickly as it would increase his chances of getting more customers.
However, considering the speed at which he got us back to Sutherland Station, I had a feeling that the taxi driver was a hoon in his youth.
He was moving quite fast, not slowing down very much on any corner (including sharp ones) whilst remaining very calm and seemingly relaxed about how fast he was going.
It paid off.
Once we arrived at Sutherland Station, we paid and thanked the taxi driver profusely.
About twenty metres after we got out (and after passing two people arguing loudly), Ewe loudly and excitedly said “Yes”.
I began laughing uncontrollably.
It was not long until we were on a train. We canceled having dinner as we didn’t get back to the city until around 9 P.M. and we were both feeling rather tired.
Ewe hopped off the train at Central Station. I got off a stop later, then made my way to a bus stop to wait for and eventually catch a bus that would take me near home.
It had been a long evening.