Since about 1994, the escape has been, every so often, taking that left-hand-turn, onto the M5 and staying on the Hume Highway, until Mittagong.
Comfort stop there and buying some fruit and milk and such and then taking that road less travelled by most, towards the Wombyan caves.
Fortunately, every few years the road has been graded again and there is less shudder and less red dust.
Going through that ‘cute’ little tunnel and usually using the horn on the sharp bends, as required. Every so often there really IS a car coming the other way.
At the orange gate, I slow down and start the descend. Every so often there are glimpses of the little buildings, waiting, in the valley, down below, and also a little of the Wollondilly River, looking a darkish blue-green colour.
Park the car and look at the film of red dust, all over it, thinking about how we cannot use a hose, once back in Sydney but that’s for a few days from now.
Collect keys and drive up to the cabin and the first cup of coffee. The few belongings brought inside and the towel on the chair, on the verandah, clothes off and feet up.
After a rest, the first of many walks.
Past the kangaroos, who are forever there and which are reluctant to have their peace disturbed, even for a chance to be photographed.
For the next day or so, many walks, to now familiar spots along the river, to sit in the river and let the water run over, like nature’s spa.
It’s been such a great ‘escape’. It has to remain special. Enjoy swims in the pool too and sitting in the real spas. Enjoy the freedom of choosing whether to socialise or not. Like the walks there much better than on the suburban street. Am always amazed how long it’s been since the walks were started, upon the return.
Mobile phone is out of reach. Radio works but who wants it? No t.v. and no computer. Just the sun going up and later on down. Just the birds and the kangaroos and there used to be goats and there should be a platypus-or-two (Shall not get into a discussion about platypuses or platypi.) but I have never really seen them.
During the summer months, once you have carefully negotiated the twisting, quite steep and roughish road, to the ground-level, the warmth, trapped among the trees wraps round you, as you slow down and park near the little statue of David.
Life has now slowed down. There is a stillness and the constant noise, in the background of the Wollondilly River, running over rocks.
Had such nice dark blond hair when I first took walks there, along the Wollondilly.