I went to a familiar place on the weekend - one of our national parks in the hills, John Forest - and thought I'd be super adventurous by going off the beaten track... again.
It's where the *best* photos are taken, right? I tried convincing myself as I took my first step into the deep green scrub, and I'll only walk to the top of this hill and then I'll come back down.
I didn't need much convincing.
And so up I walked - my camera and eye, sorry, I. And we walked. And... walked.
Gee, big hill, huh? I pondered taking a short breather peering back down the hill... not really recognising anything familiar down there.
A couple of kangaroos bounded their way through the bush off to my left as well as a couple of large butterflies dancing in the wind... all proved excellent photo opps, but they also proved a little too difficult to catch after a few minutes of chasing.
Drats! Oh well, this is pretty boring, maybe I should just head back to the track and make my way to the waterfalls before it gets too dark.
And so I did... kinda. Well, maybe not back BACK as in the exact, original way I *actually* came, as things weren't... kinda... like... sorta... what they were like when I went *up* the hill, and... everything looked really really different.
In fact, after popping through some thicket I stumbled across a small stream.
Ooookay, I don't recall ever passing this on the way up the hill??
But being a bloke I wasn't going to admit that I was a little lost... or a lot lost. In fact, lost isn't even in my vocab. Noooo. See, blokes have an innate GPS system. We know *precisely* where we are at any given point and at any given time.
Maybe you should just follow the stream, my conscience suggested.
Why would I want to do that??
Because that will likely lead to the river which will lead to the waterfall which will lead you to the path that you need to get on... you know? Back to civilisation... before rigor mortis sets in??
Pfffft... as if!
The place we needed to go was right over *there*. I eyed it with my eyeball. I could see it. I could sense it. I knew exactly where we were going.
So I leapt over the steam and continued on.
About an hour later, I was beginning to think that maybe the trees were blocking my internal GPS system! BUT I was really only taking this super long way around because I was looking for the best photo opportunities... I mean, if my body were to be discovered after several years of search and rescue there'd at least be some awesome photos on that camera, right?
(I could see the news headlines: Man Dies in Bush Taking Extraordinary Photos. Subhead: Photo analysts reveal that the man seemed to have been walking in circles!?)
It wasn't until I heard the sound of voices that I was finally able to find my way back to the beaten track. I heard some father talking to his little kids about the dangers of wandering off into the bush only to see me pop out and stumble in front of them with twigs, leaves and branches hanging off my body.
"G'day," I said as I confidently brushed myself off and walked past the stunned family trying my best to quickly find out just where the heck I was exactly!? I quickly wandered off in one particular direction, only to find that the waterfalls just so happened to be in the complete opposite direction. Typical. I walked back past the still stunned family, said my g'days again and ended up enjoying the rest of the late afternoon taking photos of Hovea falls.
[Photos were uploaded to my Flickr a/c... as you can see on the flicking little flash window thingie on the left. Enjoy.]
I think I'm searching for something, or maybe that something is searching for me!? Either way we haven't found each other yet, but if you happen to find it please bubble-wrap it, put it in a box and send it to me.