Darkness envelops me as I turn off my motorbike and hoist my heavy pack onto my back. The 12.5kg water inside the pack is a dead weight against my back so I take a few moments to adjust my pack and stance. Above me the sky is still dark. The crescent moon tries to hide its silver light behind a cloud as stars twinkle in the clear sections of black velvet above me. Near silence greets my ears as the bay breeze blows cold against my ears and nose.
I walk along a pathway that I selected for the presence of geocaches. I enjoy the challenge of geocaching while out walking, especially when it’s too dark to see much beyond my head torch’s narrow beam of light. I find four of the six caches I search for, logging two disappointing did not finds along the way. The caches along the path are not particularly creative; they are just containers hidden at the bases of trees or under logs. But they still all count to my tally, which now sits at 190 caches.
Kookaburras start laughing and I know that dawn is about to break. The wind dies down as the first tinges of red colour the eastern horizon. Within minutes the darkness lifts, first to grey then, only a few minutes later, to full glowing daylight. The kookaburras fall silent, content with having woken the world. As they do, my ears are filled with the sound of an orchestra of birdsong.
Wrens and finches sing crisp clear notes as mudlarks (pee-wees) make their distinctive suburban call across grassy lawns and parks. Lorikeets squawk in their aggressive shrill tones; a sound that is in stark contrast to their beautiful feathers. Magpies warble their joyous prayer of gratitude for the sun as the miner birds add their noisy cheeping to the mix. I’ve no need for an iPod as I enjoy the orchestra’s song to the dawn.
Total: 5.08km walk with backpack +12.5kg. Average temperature 17.3’C.