Two somewhat fundamental things about me shaped my afternoon yesterday:
1) In order for me to live in a city, I must escape it a a regular basis. The longer I go between escapes, the more it will effect my mood. However I am also less likely to attempt these escapes if it means I have to subject myself to more of the city than usual (specifically traffic).
2) I have a deep-seated aversion to planning anything more involved than dinner. This leads me to do a lot of things on my own, since most people are rarely available to decide their day on a whim, plus I’m more comfortable making snap decisions by myself since I don’t have to worry about group consensus.
I had originally planned to go somewhere undetermined in the Blue Mountains on Sunday, but after being called into the office for a minor breakdown at 8AM and thus burning up my morning, I decided the Royal National Park to the south of the city, about an hour’s drive away, was more appropriate. It was also an area I had never visited, which always puts something at the top of my list by default.
So after a leisurely BLT at my usual weekend cafe, I braved the freeways and highways of Sydney that seem as though they were designed by an engineer who either hated people or had never traveled more than 100 meters at a time, and plunged into the park in search of a hiking trail. What I found was a perfect undaunting stretch of the Coast Trail, which apparently runs for quite a ways along the edge of the park. The portion I followed was a short 4km stretch out to one of the rarest sights in the Sydney area: a deserted beach. This however was not the most remarkable part of the hike. No, the remarkable part is that people do not die on a regular basis on this trail. When you come to the first viewpoint from the top of the sandstone cliffs, you are easily tempted to walk out over the very flat and sturdy-looking rock to peer over the edge. What you don’t know until you walk further along the cliff is that this spot has been so weathered from below that the last couple meters of rock is no thicker than an abridged collection of Shakespeare and is in fact sagging. The sight is wonderously horrifying.
Fate and perhaps some unconscious distrust of rock made from sand however kept me off of that particular deathtrap and I survived to return home through more insane city traffic, comfortably tired from my walk. I promptly celebrated my victory over this escape from the jaws of death by planting myself on the couch to watch Christian Bale play a very convincing crackhead in The Fighter.