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Monday, July 7, 2008

Sassafras hike and a bonfire

The other weekend I had a friend from Sydney come down and stay.
It was good to catch up with what's been going on there with friends and the Permaculture group I was involved with.

On the Friday evening we went to a Taize worship service I had heard of. It was lovely to meet with others from all different denominations and backgrounds. It's amazing how small the world is, meeting people from very different generations to me, with many mutual friends. It was a lovely reflective service, with a shared simple meal for the hour beforehand.

On Saturday Kristjan and I went out to Morton National Park for a day walk. We took the Braidwood Road from Nowra and entered the park via Sassafras. There is no sign there, just a gate, and you drive through some private property before reaching the entrance to the park. About 500m in to the walk there was a lovely campground with amenities and a covered picnic table. Most of the walk was just along firetrail shaded in some parts, like this shot at the beginning of the walk (photo was taken at the end of the day as the sun was setting) and lots out in the open, but relatively flat. Found lots of nectal filled grevillias that beat any boiled sweets or honey for flavour. Sticky sweet, and straight out of the flower.

This is the view we reached after about 1 hours walking. The landscape is much harsher than the ones I often see in photos of european blogs. Maybe not harsher, but different. It is quite dry but within it there are many microclimates, for example, we explored a little over the edge of the cliff line, in a gully where we could scramble down. Immediately you are in a temperate rainforest. This is something I love about my country and getting out into the bush. We walked to a point where a small trail went off the main one, and walked to a nice lookout to eat lunch and then return. It definately got my curiosity and I am planning to return there and do the entire walk, probably will be at least two days, but thats part of the fun.

That evening one of my colleagues was having a barbeque at her property and had invited staff and families to attend. There were two large bonfires, sparklers and lots of food. A great evening. One of my colleagues is the mother of a girl I went to school with and she was down visiting for the weekend while her husband was working down the coast so it was great to catch up with her as well.

The photo at the bottom is of Hayley's master marshmallow toasting skills. The hood is to protect her face and the marshmallow isn't toasted until the marshmallow and the stick are alight. My method is somewhat different, but it was entertaining.

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