Tyler has been working more hours at RaRa, which is great for our bank account but makes scheduling a bit more difficult – especially when and if I need my unpaid assistant. Without Tyler having a single full day, or even just an evening, off this week, we figured to make my “senior moment” shot finally happen we’d have to go early. That’s how we found ourselves waking up to the ringing of my alarm at 5 –side note, does anyone else have an automatic terror response when they hear the generic apple alarm noise? I DO. I’ve since changed it to quiet piano music, but because it was a new alarm it reverted to basic settings and scared me half to death – and rushing out the door to make the 6:20 ferry to Manly.
Our ride was chillier than expected, it’s finally turning to autumn here in New South Wales. There was only about 3 other people on the ferry with us, and for the first time ever we sat right up front on the outside of the boat. There were only a handful of other boats even in the water, mainly other transportation, but also a few dinghies with fishermen whose work was well underway.
30 minutes later we landed at Manly wharf, and given we were in a hurry to get in and out before Tyler had to be to work at noon, we took an uber to Tania Park. After our mishap last week, I spent a few more minutes comparing my photos and location to the map and knew this was actually the area I had been thinking of.
Despite seeing trees similar to the area I was looking for down below us on the trail, we started backtracking on the coast walk. I didn’t think the trees had been AFTER the park, and let’s remember I have a stellar memory. After about 15 minutes it became clear we were headed in the wrong direction, and turned around.
We were essentially alone on the trail, and on a gray and windy morning it felt much more remote than I remembered it to be. The birds were chirping incessantly, my fear of all things winged becoming stronger as swooping season gets nearer. Tyler even caught a glimpse of a wallaroo scurrying across the trail.
After about fifteen minutes more of walking, we turned the corner and came face to face with the small gathering of scorched trees I had become so enamored with. We got to work quickly, having once again wasted so much time looking for the spot. I pulled my jumpsuit up under my skirt, and quickly snapped myself in. I had been nervous about snakes in the bush, but it was much shorter foliage than I remembered and it was pretty clear the only other animals out were the birds and the occasional runner. I set my camera up, pulled focus, and made Tyler act as my human shutter release. I checked the camera, put a wig on, and did the whole thing again. I wish I’d had more time, but looking at the clock we started to get nervous we wouldn’t get back to the ferry in time.
We packed up and started our walk forward on the trail. We estimated it would take us about 30 minutes – it ended up being closer to an hour. I’ve never much liked backpack style camera bags, but lately I’ve been wishing I had one just for the sake of my hip and shoulder. Sometimes when I’m walking with my kit it feels as though I’m training for some whacky kind of endurance sport.
We decided to splurge and pay the two or so dollars more for the “fast ferry”, which we have never taken before and was surprisingly, shockingly, fast. We set off with a shot and were back to Circular Quay in about 15 minutes. We jumped onto the train and headed back to Redfern, dragging our feet and swearing we’d never put off coffee until after a hike/shoot/anything again.