Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Blue Mountains

When we left the hotel early that morning we were greeted with a light frost on the ground. The piercing shriek of the strong wind that had kept us from sleep the night before had moved on, but it had left the feeling of a not so distant winter in its wake. The cold air, that made our breath visible, felt exhilarating on our skin. We were anxious to explore the Blue Mountains.
A short walk took us from the bitumen roads of the mountain town to a soft dirt path in the woods.  The forest was densely populated with Stringy Barks.  The tall spindly trees were draped with the outer layers of bark that had been shed during the heat of the summer.  At that time their trunks were left pink, as though burned by the sun.  Now, with winter around the corner, the trunks were gradually changing color as the trees put on their grey winter coats.

The recent storms had left the hiking trail littered with fallen leaves and bark.  Had it not been for the seasonal debris the sound of our footsteps would have been masked by the moss lined path.  However, each downward step not only broke the silence that surrounded us, but it also released a smell of decay.  The odor of the moist, decomposing matter returning to its earthly state, intermingled with the strong aromatic scent of the eucalyptus that hung thick in the air.  The two smells blended together exquisitely creating a natural perfume.
The solo sound of the crunch of the leaves was soon accompanied by the babbling of a small creek.  A soothing melody of the running water perfectly accompanied the rhythmic beat of our footsteps.  A perfectly created tune, that combined human and nature.
Slowly the dense forest opened to a broader alluvial plain flanked with grasses and heath.  We soon discovered that we wouldn't be following the river much further as it dramatically plunged off the edge of a cliff.

As we stood behind the fence looking at the scene before us, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what lay in front of me.  Huge towering red cliffs measuring hundreds of meters in height give way to steeply carved gorges, the floors of which are hidden by giant trees.
As we followed the exposed, elevated path around the cliff's rim I felt as though I were looking out across an expansive ocean.  It wasn't just the blue haze--the eucalyptus oil evaporating from the gum trees--but the way the oil-covered leaves glistened and moved in the sunlight.  The steady and constant ripple of the treetops mimicked the roll of a wave and it didn't take much imagination for the sway of the bush to become the swell of the ocean.  It was as though mother nature were transporting me to a distant time--to a harbor of long ago.


  1. The photos are majestic mathched by your beautiful lyrical description.

  2. Hi Maya, that water fall is amazing. The way you write really gives me a wonderful audio and visual idea of what you experienced during your hike. Very enjoyable read.

    Thanks so much for sharing. Great photos.

  3. It's been a long time since I've been to the Blue Mountain.It was fanstastic.Great write up.

  4. Hi KAthy, the water fall was amazing. I included a picture to give you an idea of the size of the cliffs. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts.

    Keats, we've been to the Blue Mountains 3 times. The first was New Years Day. The place was very busy, and we weren't very impressed. The other 2 times we visited less known areas and loved it. Thanks for stopping in.