For part of our journey to work the train line follows the path of Wolli Creek. The creek begins somewhere near the rather dreary suburb of Narwee, where I once worked in the post office. It is but a concrete lined stormwater canal, running besides the M5 East motorway, behind playing fields and factories, then bland houses and fields. At Bexley North, it meets with the railway line and becomes a real creek at the base of a bush covered sandstone escarpment. But the creek is choked with weeds and willows, lianas covering the trees like a tropical jungle.
I imagine now punting down that creek, like an explorer through the deep jungle. I doubt if it is possible through the vegetation, am afraid of what I would find if I delved too deeply into the waters polluted by a city’s run-off.
A bit before Turella the creek turns away from the railway tracks at 45 degrees, then makes a remarkable 90 degree turn back again, carving an isoceles triangle out of the land as seen from above. Where it meets the tracks again, just before Turella station, there is a large tin clad building. It looks old, abandoned, but through the unglazed windows I can see fluorescent lights. I wonder what they make or repair in there?
Again the creek runs behind industrial sites, then it emerges into a tall mangrove and parkland area. At the bridge bisecting the stations of Wolli Creek and Tempe the creek meets the Cooks River and it’s last stretch as they flow towards to the sea.
The Alexandia Canal branches off before the outflow into Botany Bay. It would once have served the industries towards the city, now replaced by container stores. The old Hilton Hotel, now a Mecure overlooks the river and the adjacent airport. Should you sail out into Botany Bay from the river you would hear the roar of jet engines. At this point my journey could be to anywhere in the world.