May 7, 2012

Hornsby Park and the Great North Walk

hornsby bushwalk

On a great autumn day - blue skies, cold air and sun shining - we headed to Hornsby Park.

hornsby bushwalk

After having lunch and kicking a ball around a bit, we decided to take a walk. Hornsby Park is a gateway to the Great North Walk...but we weren't that ambitious, so decided to try for the fishpond.

hornsby bushwalk

On the way in, we met an elderly couple who asked us if we were going all the way. When told we were headed to fishpond, they asked us to watch out for water dragons, and said they've seen quite a few. Ooh, dragons, chimed the kids.

If you keep your eye out in the bush, you spy all sorts of interesting things. (Pix of animal life in a follow-up post to this) Hubs has an eye for this - he pointed out foliage...

hornsby bushwalk

hornsby bushwalk

and this fern-covered ground.
hornsby bushwalk

As we walked, the silence in the air was punctuated by the occasional bird call, and such silly conversation:

"I saw a hop-ant!" declares Number Two in amazement.
"I think you mean a grasshopper," says Number One.
"No, it was a hop ant!" says Number Two.
"What's a hop ant?" asks Number One.
"An ant that hops, of course...DUH!" chimes in Hubs. "Is it dangerous?" he asks Number Two.
"No," he replies. "It can't smell, or see or hear."

We walk along a stream and Number Two says we should go seeking pirate treasure down by the water.
"Aye, maties, now scrub the decks," says Hubs.
Number One adds with his best pirate sneer, "Arrr...or I'll make ye walk the plank!"

hornsby bushwalk

The walk to the fishpond isn't a stroll in the park, and has some steep inclines as you approach the pond. But it was well marked and good enough for a five-year old to walk pretty much independantly.

This is the fishpond. We stood in the center - this is the view on one side...

hornsby bushwalk

and this is the view on the other - spot where the reflection starts!

hornsby bushwalk fishpond

We didn't see any water dragons though, and another couple we met near the pond said that it was perhaps a bit too cold. The big lizards like to bask in the sun.

On the way back, Number Two spots a stone on the ground which had the word Pennant Hills carved into it. He jabs the rock with his walking stick (a tree branch) and ponders.
"Someone had a very strong stick..." he concludes aloud.

Suddenly, Hubs and Number One decide to cheekily sprint away from Number Two and I. Every time we almost catch up to them, they sprint off again.
hornsby bushwalk

I wheez and puff, and tell Number One, "You go ahead. Leave me behind. Save yourself."
But he's loyal and sticks with me and tries to get me moving. He runs and pushes me from behind. He runs and holds my hand, dragging me along. He tries to play motivator : "Come on!" he urges. "You're always saying you have too much fat. Here's your chance to lose it!" I laugh too hard and waste precious oxygen.

Despite our best efforts, they get even further ahead, as my lungs cease to breathe air and start breathing fire.

hornsby bushwalk

But as I write this, you can tell I made it back in one piece. We took about 45 minutes to travel 1.3km to the pond, silly conversation and photo taking and all. I think we did the track back in half an hour, huffing and puffing and all.

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