Wednesday, January 16, 2013

SydFest Notes For Walking



The Sydney Festival Notes For Walking was a lovely day out seeped in history, prose and wonderful panoramic views exploring the old naval Middle Harbour fortifications. I had downloaded the Notes For Walking app [screen-shot above], which list four locations The Gate, Outer Fort, Inner Fort and The Cabin arranged in order, with the 'notes' and a short video.

When I arrived, the place seemed deserted. I was wondering if this was due to the fact it was mid-afternoon and everyone had arrived early, completed the walk and had gone home. Strange that it didnt alarm me. In fact, I felt a eerie sense of ease almost as if the area welcomed me and was offering her riches to explore.

Contrary to the apps instruction of having it running as you walk, I made my own way. The Outer Fort was just incredible. An old run down fortress, it echoed of time past with a maze of sandstone and grey stone block underground and semi-underground tunnels, pathways and darkened rooms. Some tunnels went deeper, but were closed to the public with heavy iron gates. Still, one can imagine the extensive labyrinth, from the many grated vent openings that allowed a fascinating peek into the hidden fortress below.

The view from the top of the fort was amazing! Directly opposite the Heads with Manly visible to your left and the many other beautiful Harbour beaches to your right, the view was expansive and breathtaking.

The walk to the Inner Fort was a twisty narrow trek through thick bushland. I switched on the video to capture the adventure, sure to encounter some wildlife. lol [do massive spider webs count?] When I reached the clearing there was a long, slightly descending path leading into a semi underground tunnel with several rooms. I was alone, I realised, a mixture of excitement and disquietness was creating a strange sense of belonging, of seeking a recount of its past experiences.

It was here I sat and wrote my own prose.. the attraction I felt to this special place:

your mystery is such a vast depth of secrets
the rich stony land tells a story
green upon greys incredibly rich explorations
where azure skys meets the sea
intriguing rugged pathways offering mere simple beauty
a sanctuary that echoes of a time past
what will you find?