It was too beautiful a day to not do something in the glorious sunshine.
It had been hidden all week and my body screamed for some vitamin D.
With the whirlwind trip of the world nearing soon I wanted to go and test my camera that had been given to me as a birthday present last year, but which I really hadn't used much since Albany.
So armed with my camera, a backpack, a towel, and plenty of water I decided I'd go and frolic around at John Forest National Park... it had been ages since I had been last, and with the rain that we had had over the past few weeks maybe some of the falls were flowing too!
Excitedly I contacted Dan to see if he'd be interested in coming along (as he too had just recently purchased a camera for our world tour), but a bad bout of the gastro bug from his "loving" wife saw him sidelined for the day (or a week).
Anyhoo, finding an entrance to the park from the eastern side (Roland Rd) wasn't as easy as I what I thought. Several pathways looked like they led to the park, but people insisted they were their driveways and told me that it was private property.
"Didn't you read the sign?"
"The private property sign at the front?"
"Oh... I thought that the sign was just someone's private property," I said sheepishly as I quickly darted off down the road.
Eventually though I found a public parking place, and set out on my photographic hiking adventure. I couldn't wait to take some photos of the place.
It didn't take long before I found my first photo opportunity - the river had water flowing through it! Woohoo!
I quickly grabbed my camera out of its case, turned it on, aimed and...
a little red light in the image of a battery flashed on the screen.
Oh, you've got to be kidding me.
I didn't want to waste any more time so I quickly took a shot. I didn't know how much power was left, but I knew when things start flashing I've probably only got a few shots. It was when I found my next spot, which had an even better view of the river that my camera didn't want to flash no more.
Although I had my mobile phone's camera to aide me I knew it wasn't going to be much help considering its focus never worked.
BUT, I wasn't going to let a pair of batteries get me down. It was a glorious day, and I wanted to do some exploring... so I departed from the beaten track, and went wilderness wandering.
And it was great.
I found a small brook and took a few sips of its cool clear water (which actually tasted very nice until I noticed rabbit poo lying everywhere further upstream) and I also found a few rocky outcrops that I just HAD to climb.
Upon reaching what I thought was the highest point in John Forest I looked around for other rocky outcrops to climb, but found none... so, I wandered back down the hill.
It was as I was walking down the large hill back to the beaten track that I noticed a young couple sitting on one of the first rocky outcrops I climbed on my journey up. They had set out a rug on the flat face and were having a nice secret romantic day in the sun.
As I continued my descent I was a little perplexed on how I was going to handle this. I mean, I didn't want to startle them, yet the only painless way back down was by going down past them, otherwise I'd have to find other means through thorny bushes and the like.
The guy may be about to propose or something! And knowing my perfect timing I'd probably come in from the thicket and scare them half to death...
"Aiiieeee... a bunyip!"
Then I began thinking that maybe I should sing a song and hope that they hear it while I'm a ways off? Or maybe I should cough a lot?
I decided that maybe the best thing was for them to see me. So I stood on a smaller rock and kind-of looked around like a tourist hoping they'd observed me. Occasionally I'd look down in their direction to see if they had noticed me, but each glance didn't show any signs that they had seen me, in fact, with what I was wearing (brown t-shirt, beige shorts - they could be pink for all I know?!) I knew I was pretty well camouflaged. And they were too busy observing if anyone was coming up the hill rather than anyone coming down the hill.
What to do? What to do?
As I stood on the rock for a couple of minutes pondering my best plan of attack I noticed the bloke pull out his camera and arrange the rug they had laid out.
Was he going to propose??
As I continued to watch to see what was about to ensue, he quickly whisked his top off!!
Just as quick as he whisked his top off had I similarly crouched down in shock... unfortunately though this left me a little unbalanced and I fell backwards off the rock and landed on a small thorny bush which broke my fall.
From this position I really didn't want to know what was going on, but my mind raced away regardless: maybe he's just getting a tan? Maybe he's proposing and the engagement ring is attached to his nipple? Maybe they're playing "Simon Says"...?
Ahhh--ya... so as I laid there on the thorny bush it didn't take long before a point was made (well, several points were made, but only one inside my head)... I had to devise another way down the hill as going past the love birds was now no longer an option.
As I traversed back down the hill albeit via many thorns and prickles I just hoped that those love birds knew the sacrifices I had to make to get back on the beaten track.
Thankfully the remainder of the trip wasn't that bad. The river was flowing which produced a small waterfall like feature. I tried taking a few shots with my mobile camera, but felt somewhat inferior to those who were taking photos of the scenery with REAL cameras.
On the return trip back to the car I noticed two bikes in the bush where I originally went off the beaten track. And as I looked up the hill I noticed the two love birds leering at me from atop the rocky outcrop.
Hmm, I wonder if they ever did notice me? Or maybe they're just checking me out hoping I don't steal their bikes?
Either way I quickly moved on.
When I returned to my Betsy I vowed that I'd return again on another sunny weekend day... but this time I'd make doubly sure my batteries aren't flat.
Hopefully next time I can actually take photos with my camera... aaah, not of the love birds by the way... not that kind of photography... just of everything else. And maybe next time I wont go off the beaten track!
The Process. Your Mileage May Vary.
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