There was no-one. In fact, the previous time I’d camped overnight and left early, the golden hour in fact. The light was exquisite, the temperature cool, the trail enticing and I was alone; but that was decades ago.
The ragged rock faces, weathered over millennia, seemed not to have changed as I got into my stride, though these day it’s more of a shuffle. Somehow, being alone with nature enhances the senses.
The low angled winter light filtered through branches warped from a harsh climate. Ever seeking the sun they’d probed higher, in places surmounting the shade of the rocks, casting their branches skyward.
There were places that bespoke of the origins of the sandstone; tubes that had once housed worms in a sea were present in places though they seemed out of place this far from today’s oceans.
My work boots left prints in the soft sandy track while the numerous birds serenaded my progress. Pink Erica dotted the sidelines as I reached the first drip. Somewhere above a tiny amount of water eked its way through the subsoil and fell over the edge, drop by drop. Behind me the ripply bits of the crystal clear stream created an audible sound that somehow blended in.
The concrete steps are an addition since I was here last. The brief ups and downs of the trail made easier by their presence but whoever thought they’d stay put on the soft sandy bottom where they cross a small stream obviously hadn’t quite thought it out. Now warning signs were about the danger of uneven footing.
The shapes lent themselves to all sorts of inspiration for the camera. One feels quite blissful in the surrounds and then, just over a kilometre in, the way splits into two, 20 metres to the lookout, 30 metres to The Drip, for that is the name of this attraction, though it’s not unique, you can view similar in the Blue Mountains, but not the same.
It’s a long and towering sandstone wall and, in a pronounced horizontal layer about the middle, there’s flourishing green tussocks of leafy twig-rush and a modicum of moss that contrast readily with the coarse surrounds. It’s here that the stream changes its course slightly and undercuts the bastion before sweeping away towards the coast.
Sated at having viewed it once again years later, I turned and headed back, meeting group after group on the return. I hadn’t been alone after all and counted eleven vehicles and two laden push bikes back at the carpark. Having conversed with most I was mildly surprised to learn that it was the first time they’d been here. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I had.