I have to say that I’m really struggling. I’ve been working from home for the past three weeks and now, with changes at work, I’m simply just at home. I’m getting cabin fever. I’ve walked up and down the street many times to stretch the legs but have avoided the nearby trails as I had heard they were crowded. It just wasn’t the same. At present exercise walks in National Parks in NSW are permitted if they are local and are for exercise only.
I broke. I needed a proper walk for my mental health so I chose the nearest two trails we’re walking distance from home. One I would do by myself, the other would be a Good Friday stroll with my family. I could have kept going and going of course but we all have to reign it in a bit.
The solo walk was a return to Blue Ridge Track, a little know side trail in Berowra that eventually links up to the great north walk. It features some amazing rock platforms so I decided to go off track and explore them all. I wasn’t irresponsibly off track- the most I strayed was around fifty meters. I’d basically bush bash for two meters and emerge into a wide rock platform, then seek out small footpads connecting to the other platforms. I was on the hunt for aboriginal rock carvings as I simply can’t accept that those platforms would be left bare, but there were none to be found. I wish I knew what was different about the site. After half an hour I headed back home giving we a very refreshing one hour exercise walk.
The second walk was with the family on Good Friday. Again we are forced to use trails within walking distance from home but I didn’t mind as the Turner Rd firetrails are lovely. There were a lot of other families out but the track was wide so easy to pass. We ducked off track a fair number of times so really only passed three sets of people. It felt wrong being out though! Still, there were more people in closer quarters at the local shopping centre (it’s a small centre with a supermarket and a few cafes and food outlets. In Australia the food outlets can remain open for takeaway and delivery only).
After about ten meters into the walk we dived off track and climbed to the top of a rocky outcrop. We then walked further along and left the track to visit the cliffs for some pictures and to avoid an approaching family.
My son, only 6, always takes a minute to take in the view. I love that about walking with him. He seems to get it! My daughter, 8, always investigates mosses and lichens and other little things. Today she gained a charcoal collection and proceeded to draw on herself and us!
When the trail narrowed we took a short cut trail in order to loop back around the way we came. All too soon it was over but it was a beautiful way to spend an hour with the family.
Those who follow my Instagram account will know I have found a couple of other vantage points on my daily walk. My favorite is this one that shows Berowra Waters. I think I have a daily record of this spot! I’ve also seen a fair number of new birds on my walk including a Glossy Black Cockatoo, which folks have told me is in the area but I’d not seen it until now.
I hope everyone is coping with the lockdowns. I certainly needed to do a couple of proper bush walks for my sanity and again I find myself truly thankful for living where I live. I know many readers don’t have the bush nearby or are unable to leave their homes due to tight local restrictions and I post this not to boast about my situation but simply to record what I’m doing in this difficult time. Stay safe everyone. Please follow your country/states advice on social distancing. It’s hard but must be done.