Friday, August 12, 2005

Lower Blue Mountains

We decided to go into the Blue Mountains for a spot of tree hugging. Sometimes we really have an urge to get out into proper wilderness and it doesn’t come much wilder than this landscape. However, having to return the same day required a plan, as it's a fair drive out (something we don’t normally do)!

We wanted to visit Normal Lindsay’s gallery again. This is the artist featured in the film ‘Sirens’ (played by Sam Neil). It’s not hard to feel the romance of the place. My only criticism is that I wish they had some decent books or catalogues to buy!!

After the gallery, we headed for Hazelbrook and a walk along Bedford Creek. We’d bought a guide book of walks in the mountains. Considering the time constraints, this looked like an easy enough walk and not too long.

The book said there was a dirt track leading to a car park, where you then join the walking track. I think Australia has a different definition of dirt track to the rest of the world. Luckily we’d just bought Henry who has a higher under-carriage than most cars. I wasn’t prepared for the track we met – it was very definitely off road with great variations in the level of the surface. I had just expertly manoeuvred down a very steep and rocky section, when a rather ordinary car just powered up the same slope scraping the whole bottom of the car, which didn’t seem to bother them!

Anyway, we took our walk along the creek, peeking at various waterfalls there. It’s a very peaceful place and because it isn’t too strenuous a walk, you’re able to enjoy it properly.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Up north!

On Tuesday, we decided to go up to the northern beaches. The sun was playing hide and seek, so we thought we’d do some more walking. Our first stop though was Avalon for brekkie and to see Bee in her shop. We love Avalon and have very fond memories from our first visit to Australia in 2002 when we stayed with Bee and Phil.

From there, we went up to Palm Beach and Barrenjoey Head. It’s a rocky peninsula with a lighthouse at the end. There are two ways to climb up to the lighthouse – the very steep way (that smugglers supposedly used) and the easier but longer route. We decided to take the smugglers route (we had a time limit on the parking ticket!). There are beautiful views as you’d expect from the top and you can see all around the Head.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Royal National Park

Dean's got this week off, and we have our new wheels, so we're off exploring!!
Our first trip was to the Royal National Park, about an hour south of Sydney. It’s quite a large park and goes right up to the coast, with lovely peaceful inlets and also wild and rugged cliffs.

The weather was again glorious! We took all our gear as usual (picnic, beach towels, cameras). There are several walks in the Park and we chose the one that takes you along the coast to a little inlet. It’s a lovely easy walk in and out of scrub and along some weather beaten and eroded rocks.

The inlet is quite secluded and sheltered. We camped down on some rocks above the water and ate our sarnies watching the sea. The tracks down to the inlet seemed easy enough to follow, but going back we had a different perspective. I had been on a previous visit with my friend Charlotte and we managed to lose the track back. So I was prepared when Dean wanted to go in the wrong direction!! I was determined it wasn’t going to happen again.