Prepare for an armchair hike. Here are the photos from our walk in the Blue Mountains last weekend:
At the start, the flora looks like this – eucalyptus forest with grevilleas, banksias etc – some blackened by bush fires:
Then, as we followed the track down the steep sandstone sides of the Grand Canyon gorge –
and when I say steep, I mean it was all rough-cut steps
– the flora rapidly changed from dry sclerophyll forest to dripping wet rainforest of enormous tree ferns and myriad different fungi:
Halfway down we stumbled across some work in progress:
Which is undoubtedly timely – the almost constant stream of water run-off from higher up is visibly eroding the steps.
These stone blocks are apparently air-lifted in by helicopter and then manhandled into place by a race of giants (those large white bags contain their vegemite sandwiches).
Anyway, here’s some they made earlier – further down the track at a point where the path again crosses one of the streams which feeds the river at the bottom of the gorge:
Shortly after this, the path disappeared into a tunnel:
We emerged, several metres of blackness later, to this watery ghost:
A little way further down and we were at the bottom of the gorge, which was all enormous tumbled rocks and rilling water:
There was a fair amount of scrambling and clambering inelegantly:
And then a little light yodelling for the echo:
We admired the rock forms shaped by millennia of moving water:
and we spotted a few little yabbies:
as well as some lovely abstract eddy patterns on the water’s surface in a quiet little side pool:
Then we began the long climb back up and out of the canyon. I didn’t take any photos because I was too busy concentrating on breathing.
Oh, except for this one of an Eastern Spinebill, because he was new to me:
However, when we reached the top and saw this, it was all worthwhile:
Thanks are due to the indefatigable Tim, who guided us with unfailing patience and good humour, even though he was missing Gabby very much (she is in Stockholm on a 3 month exchange program with our parent company – our lovely Swedish yodeller is the other half of the exchange).