Sunday, March 24, 2013

Introducing the Berry Island and Balls Head Walk

I don't have a lot of luck with digital cameras. My first, a birthday present, was damaged beyond repair in a fall.  It was one of those silly things. I was trying to take a shot from an angle and wasn't watching properly. I stumbled on uneven pavement and in trying to save myself jammed the camera against a wall. Sigh!

I can't be without a camera, it's a key tool of trade, so I bought a new one. Then the day before my birthday, eldest took me shopping to buy some new cloP1000022(1)thes. I took the camera with me as I so often do, getting a very good shot of Federal MP Peter Garrett on electoral duties. At Bondi Junction, the camera somehow slipped out of my pocket while I was trying on clothes. We searched, but failed to find it. Sigh! 

Friday afternoon, I finally bought a replacement because I was going on a group walk Sunday morning and wanted to take some shots for a story.

We gathered at Wollstonecraft Railway Station at 10 am. Max aka Adrian (red shirt) organises these walks for both Facetime and Meetup. In recent years the number of singles without current partners seems to have exploded in Australian cities.

It's not easy to meet new people in our now very fragmented cities. One result has been a rapid growth in dating sites. However, that leaves a growing gap for people who do not or may not want a partner, but in any case are put off by the dating game and just want to do things they like doing with other people. Facetime and Meetup, among others, emerged to fill that gap.     

Our group wasn't a big group, nP1000023one of us had met before, but as it turned out we had interests in common. We were also different, so there was the element of the new.

The walk we were going on was described as the Berry Island and Balls Head Walk. I knew nothing about it, I just wanted to do something different.

From the railway station we walked down the hill towards Berry Island named after Alexander Berry. Berry Island is no longer an island, really a small headland, but is still called that. The area is covered by a reserve.

The path we followed, the gaydan track, runs around the perimeter with varying views of Sydney as well as the remains of Aboriginal art works. Its actually a very pleasant spot and obviously popular with locals as well as visitors. Now it was here that I struck a problem.

I mentioned that I had a new camera. In the haste to get away, I just unpacked the camera, put it on the charger while I gathered stuff, and then just left camera inP1000026(1) hand. In doing so, I totally forgot to put in the memory card!  This was one of the few shots on Berry Island before the memory ran out.

From Berry Island we walked towards Balls Head. While very hot, it was a glorious day with the water sparkling on Sydney Harbour. Now this is where I really started to miss my camera.

While I could fit the history into context as I walked along, I had no idea of the variety crammed into such a short walk. I use my camera not just for the photos, but as an aide memoir to help me remember things that look interesting and that I might be able to use to tell a story. Without the camera, I struggled. It's one thing to remember and to be able to look up later, my memory is not that bad!, but without the photo to show what I'm talking about it becomes just words.

By the time we reached Sawmillers, or should that be Sawmiller?, reserve at McMahon's Point, the Berry Island Balls Head Walk heat was telling on every one. We stood in the shade and talked for a while. Then it was time to move on, climbing the hill on the other side then up Blues Pont Road till we found the pub. Then we collapsed down and had lunch.

It had been a fun walk, one of the prettiest in Sydney, but I am going to have to do it again with camera in hand to give you the full story. I promise you, it is an interesting storyI 

We broke up a bit after two. I had been going to play tennis in the afternoon, but after such a long walk I fear that I decided not to.

My thanks to Adrian (Max) for his efforts in organising the walk.           

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