After days of winter weather, rain, snow, sleet and frost I awoke to a stunning morning and new it was the perfect time to continue my travels on South Bruny island. The Moon, who was completing her stunning full phase, started to descend as the fuzzy pink fog of dawn spread (ok I’m practicing my descriptive writing skills here!). On my last visit to the large island named after one of the French explorers, Bruni D’Entrecasteaux, I made it half way along the large island which has three discreet climates and rainfall patterns. This time, taking advantage of fair weather I was aiming for the lighthouse at Cape Bruny, hoping to see the famous white wallabies of the island. Well, one goal achieved out of two is reasonable. And my quest for the wallaby led me on an unexpected adventure across the forest trail of Mount Mangana.
Some travels are solitary, while being open to the possibilities of new connections but for whatever reason, you just don’t meet others. I’m fine with the solitary, it is an wonderful opportunity to create a meaningful journey on my own terms. Besides, when you are the driver, you get to choose the soundtrack for the journey. Then there are times when fellow travelers want to share common experiences and this visit to Bruny was one of those times. When I asked a fellow traveler like Noelene from New Zealand, to take a photo of me she interpreted that as wanting a photo with he r after she had shared her life story! Bless her little (not cotton) merino wool socks!
Then there was Josie and Tony, a couple from my old stamping grounds, The Blue Mountains , west of Sydney, who filled me in on developments with some of the “characters” from the area as well as a description of a large extended family. Tony pointed me in the direction of the white wallabies gathering place. Easy! Just take the first turn to adventure bay. The turn led to an untarred road through Bruny forests. Had a thought about it in with more clarity I.e. consulted the map, I would have realised that I would be entering a semi wilderness area, however believing that (surely?) The road would level out and asphalt reappear,I pressed on.
As I ascended the road became a charming mudslide and collection of deep potholes to be entered ever so gently as you could not swerve to avoid them. I had to keep going because I didn’t want to become bogged and I had faith that if I was patient I would eventually travel the ten kilometres to Adventure bay. I also appreciate the distraction of the dulcet tones of Tony Bennett singing “I left my heart in San Francisco” on a library borrowed CD. I suddenly remembered while wading through the mountain creek which had been called a road, that the original title of the classic song was written by an Australian and called”I lost my heart on Hayman Island” . Funny how your mind retrieves the trivial when you are concentrating on more profound matters. Yes, some words were changed by the melody and intent was the same. So naturally I acted on creative licence to change the words yet again. I made it down the mountain, both car and driver unscathed and called in a lovely cafe for lunch where the local proprietor gave me exact directions to the gathering place of the white wallabies but as the sun was declining I decided to leave that pleasure till another day. My heart had been stopped enough by the amazing beauty of the island-and an unexpected detour.