Saturday, January 21, 2012

Epic Hawkesbury road trip, Part One: Healers, Rechargers, and Reg of the Dump

This is the story of my trip up here to Bandusia, over a week ago now. 

Enchanted Pecan forest,  Bandusia

I had heard that my Permaculture heroes were gathering to teach a PDC at the many-starred Bandusia Contry Retreat, home of the new Permaculture Sydney Institute. 
You don't just sit around in Sydney with this going on. 
So I packed my bag, and hit the road. 

I was not gifted with a talent for navigation and map reading. 
Life also landed me with irresistible urges to sidetrack, ever since I was tiny.

Here is what life is like, when you are made that way. 
Here are the people you meet, and the things that happen. 
Its just the way it is. 

Circling Bondai - Rebecca

First I got the creative idea that Bondai was on the way to St. Albans, which meant I just had to drop in and finally meet a lady from my Meetup group, a lady who had caught my fancy. 

After circling around a bit, I arrived at Rebecca's.

Dahlia flowers, my constant friend the thermos,
 and vintage tea sets at Rebecca's

The circling included getting pastries that neither of us would eat - she is a naturopath, I'm a permie, we don't eat that kind of dead white-flour food. 
She kept them for her husband. 

Kitchen sink sprouts

It was fun at her house, as it looked just like her - lots of growing, originality, and things evolving into other things.
Her work and her surroundings are all of a piece. She is also a 'doula', a kind of midwife. Bringing life to the world, and liveliness to our bodies is her mission and her profession.

Urban Beehive

Her new garden is just getting started as a permaculture garden. I did not know about her permie side, she did not know about mine. But we found each other.

Like a bee to honey.

 I love that all the colors of her house, the moods and eras all sing to the same tune - aqua and flowery and 50's and housewifely.

The theme of her house is Happy.

Rebecca is coming to my 'Tim Ferriss Meetup group's New Year Planing day next weekend, when we will be thinking up ways to bring our lovely projects to the world.

One of her many projects is Rhubarb, a wholefood co-op.
A labor of love, I can see.

I peeped into her pantry, the cupboards were full of bottled produce she and her friends had grown, all in jars without labels, all rather magical.  
To this she will be adding jars of upackaged grains and treasures from her co-op, one day soon. 
Orrganic good things, to be cooked up and become....herself. 

We enjoyed each other, did some mutual admiring, hatched up more new insights and ideas about how bodies really work.

Then I was back on the road.

I won't make it to Bandusia by lunchtime, I realize. 

Circling The Highways: 
You can't actually look at your iphone while driving, and I forget what maps are telling me the minute I take my eyes of them.  
My memory is excellent. Its just not interested in things that will date so quickly as 'right, then left'. 
In Sydney, if you are two seconds late changing lanes, you can get taken 20 minutes in the wrong direction. 
That happened, and it happened.
I just don't learn.
But I stayed on the road, just kept on going.

In my car,  2008.

Circling the Suburbs
I drew near the house of another lady I couldn't resist meeting, the second healer for the day. 
Janene is a host to special paying travelers on Air B&B, a wonderful site for sharing and connecting good people. 
She looked like a friend waiting to happen, so I dropped in. 
She shared her lunch with me. I gave her come of my cards, and a bit of garden advice.
She let me  recharge my poor overworked iphone, before I headed into the mountains.
Navigating wears everything out.
While I waited,  she had me sit and listen to a downloaded affirmation on her personal computer.

I enjoyed it so much. 
There was some Californian motivational speaker, urging us into visualizations to draw in a soulmate. 
Another one of my blank spots.
Navigating, and finding soulmates.
It did, however, pop into my imagination how nice it would be to have a Japanese bathroom, steamy with the fragrance of ceder wood. 
Yes, geting a husband could result in enough stability for such a lovely thing. 
My phone charged, and with a charming new vision, my bath of matrimony, I waved goodbye and got back on the road.

Cecilia driving, 2008

A hut in the forest
Driving deep in the mountains, there is a patch of convoluted turns so tight, I didn't even THINK of disobeying the speed-signs. 5km, they said, at the turns.
It seemed endless, but I did emerge.
I pulled over to calm the adrenaline, say a little prayer, and let the antsy cars behind me pass. 
Now can you imagine this?  They leaned on their horns, to teach me some kind of lesson. 
I sat there a long time. I gathered my wits, as the light faded. 
Did some more gathering my wits. Then just a bit more.
I turned the key. 

Lucky my phone was charged. An NRMA man was on his way, through all those curves, to come and charge my flat battery.

Off the road.  Just temporarily.

Reg of the Dump

My evening rescued by Reg of the Dump.  
Reg took me in as I waited in the fading light. 90 minutes, they said.

"Would you like a cuppa, love?" 
"Well, is there any chance I could use your stove? It would be great if I cook some of my oatmeal. Its just in the car".  
"We can do that. Come in, come in".

My dinner: Oatmeal and Hawksbury river prawns, wth hot water and milk.

He offered me some Hawksbury River Prawns he had just cooked to go with them. The were tiny and sweet, like cashews.
Fusion cuisine.

After my supper, Reg showed me some of the treasures he had gleaned from his days as the boss of the Wiseman's Ferry Dump.

A carousel cigarette dispenser. A curly candelabra. Elaborate Victorian dining contraptions and fancy china, all from the dump.

He showed me the legacy from his dear dead wife, the china dolls she had made by hand. She was always in the op shops, he said. Always looking out for frocks to be re-made into fine little dresses for her pretty girls, her darling girls.

Hes blokey, but seemd to like the postcard set I gave him, with my pretty drawings.

Recharged again and back on the road, I kept on going. 
I've missed lunch and I've missed dinner, but I kept on going.

Circling Wisemans Ferry: Dark

After my usual wrong turns and reverses, my little car and I arrived at Wisemans Ferry. A man with a biker's beard put us on the ferry, and winched us over the river. 
After an increasingly strange drive, I finally saw what my iphone map had been telling me all along - there are TWO ferrys at Wiseman's. I had taken the wrong one. 
As is my custom.

I back track, yet again.

Starry night by Ander Bos

By now, everyone at Bandusia would be asleep. I have enough petrol for the official part of the journey, but my capacity for getting lost is beyond calculation. 

I vote to wait until the petrol station opens. 
My car and I found a place by the river. I spread out my Sheridan sheets as far as they'd go, and hopped into my pink pyjamas.

Off the road, but just for a bit. 


DEB said...

I love reading about your adventures. Can't wait for the next episode.


David said...

funniest thing I've read for a while, still shaking with laughter!
Now how about challenging your design skills to expand beyond the garden fence to the sense of a district awareness? ;-)