Warragamba

Blue Mountains…Never been a fan of mountains for being born and raised at the foot hills of the French Alps but I learn in my later years to appreciate these giants that used to close down my youth in an irregular arena.

In Warragamba for few days, diving in questions of despair and rising into a tender mellow spirit of perfect moments: Roller coaster of a life yet to exist but already so old.

I really thought I was in a dream for hours. Nothing seemed real the water filtration plant frozen in time, lonely and buzzing in nature, the dam in the distance, The eagle I missed to take a picture of, the magic mushroom so fat and colorful, the Ape; And then the escape into an abandon theme park where Lions used to roar where the Ape smelled game and saw foot tracks, I floated around like I was there only in spirit holding my camera like it was my only link to reality. I was happy, simply but terribly happy.

A bit of history from the Mirror Sydney, author Vanessa Berry

http://mirrorsydney.wordpress.com/tag/abandoned-theme-parks/

“While dam visitors still come through the town, Warragamba’s tourist heyday was in the decades from the 1960s to the 1980s. The dam was a vast, new piece of civil engineering and the source of much pride. Visitors to the dam could cross the suspension bridge and walk through the tunnels inside the dam wall. They could buy postcard folders of views of the dam and the town, souvenir rulers, giant pencils and souvenir spoons.

From 1968 visitors to Warragamba could also visit the African Lion Safari. Lions and tigers roamed free as people drove their cars through the park to observe them. The African Lion Safari was enclosed by a double layer of fencing and as people drove in they were warned by signs:

YOU ARE NOW IN LION COUNTRY.

TRESPASSERS WILL BE EATEN.

The block of land where the African Lion Safari once was is still there, overgrown, its few remaining buildings in ruins and covered in layers of graffiti. The double row of fences still exists, although now it is in many places penetrable. Urban explorers face the fear that there may be a gang of remaining cheetahs and step inside the fence to see what they can find. I think of the snakes in the jam jars at the dam, and I am content to stay on the other side of the fence this time.

Across from where the African Lion Safari once was, in the big corner lot, is a weird collection of objects, dotted among the trees. It’s a strange kind of graveyard…etc…”

I follow Ape on the Northern road towards Sydney. We stop for these fascinating dead trees on open field, dark shadows on a blue sky. When I came out of the car this lady ask me to approach her. She was cutting grass of her driveway. She hugged me and said I was a good person and that she could see it, from anywhere I was from didn’t matter that she knew. She was from Yugoslavia and spoke to us for a while. Ape told me he had guessed she was from the old country he said “falah” to her and listen with a tenderness I had never seen in his wild eyes before. She held both our arms in each of her strong hands. 88 years old and full of stories, turquoise in her eyes and hair as white as the moon.

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