So, yesterday. We got up early, in order to go and get our hire car. It was small, silver, and not a lot happened when you pressed the accelerator. Never mind.
We drove to the Royal National Park, which is about an hour south of Sydney, on the coast. It’s apparently the second oldest national park in the world, behind Yellowstone in the US. By this time the sun had come out and it was a beautiful, warm spring day. We went for a walk along a track to a lookout point over the valley, only to be followed by a screaming baby. I kid you not – this screaming baby (and it’s mother) followed us all the way along the track, no matter how fast we walked to try and get away from it.
We drove to another part of the park, and went for another walk, this time to try and find a waterfall. On the map, and on the signs at the beginning of the track, the waterfall was a kilometre down the track. We walked for longer than that, and still no sign of said waterfall, though we could hear it, just out of reach, somewhere. We never got to the waterfall, but we did see a kangaroo bouncing across the track just in front of us, and some kind of small mouse-like creature.
We went for lunch after this, down near one of the beaches. I’d packed a picnic, so we had chicken, pasta salad, and doughnut-shaped cake that I’d managed to disguise with lots of cream and strawberries. We were stalked by some black birds with enormous beaks, and one bird that had some kind of mohican on its head, all hoping to eat our chicken. Cannibals. About halfway through our lunch an old guy and a young woman scrambled out of some bushes a hundred yards or so in front of us. I make no comment.
We drove to a second beach after lunch, and had to stop on the way for an echidna to cross the road. It started to rain shortly afterwards so we didn’t spend long there; just watched the few hardy surfers braving the waves and the cold.
Just at the south end of the National Park is a coastal road, part of which consists of a “sea cliff bridge” where a bridge has been built that hugs the cliffs. We drove over it, and then, at the far end, got out of the care to look at the view. We noticed that there is a pedestrian section to the bridge, and along the railings are hundreds of padlocks. We weren’t sure what they meant, or what they were for to start with, until we looked at them more closely. They were all engraved. They all had a different story to tell. Some of them were couples’ names, some to commemorate a wedding and some were for a birthday. Those that were the most touching were the ones in memory of someone who had died. There were a few for lost children. Such a strange thing, but so beautiful and so lovely. We both wished we’d known; we would have brought one of our own.
We drove back to Sydney, dropped off the car and went back to the flat. We were planning to go out to an Argentinian restaurant for dinner, but both of us had a headache, so we went for some quick Chinese food instead. We went to bed not long after. The husband went to sleep, and I cried, trying hard not to wake him. Crying for the child we’ll never know, the child that should have been born yesterday (or thereabouts anyway). Crying for the fact that I should have been a mother and the fact that the world doesn’t see me as one. Crying for the fact that none of my family, nor any of his family could be bothered to remember us yesterday. Crying for the fact that things are not, and never will be the same again.