Well I never thought I would say this but we are settled in, in the Blue Moutnains. We have a nice house to spend time in for a few weeks here and there while in Oz and it feels wonderful. I have wanted to experience this for about ten years now instead of travelling up from Sydney every weekend after work. Funnily enough I had to become a tourist in my own country to do it.
Our first day up here we shopped and tidied up the house a little and basically organised the creature comforts. As it is still cool up here I figured out how the gas heater works. This is super important since it has been down to two degrees up here recently. I left the continent with a level of confidence that it would be warm at this time of year in Australia, being a local.
We headed out for our first afternoon walk with a small pack and a little water. I had a little plan to take Karine down to Wall’s Ledge, also known to the climbing community as Upper Shipley. This amazing cliff line faces directly west and has some of the best sports routes in the mountains. Most importantly it also has an incredible array of Australian wildlife very close at hand.
Walking down through the bush towards Centennial Glen the spring flowers were beautiful and it is always amazing to see the stunning contrast of colours that the Aussie bush presents. As we reached a small clearing on the edge of the cliff line I heard…..”Woooooowww!!! Karine was having another “Wow” moment in the Blue Mountains. She stood there staring down into the beautiful valley below.
Off in the distance I could faintly hear the sound of a bustling frog colony. There is a small wetlands alcove where we are going. Its tucked into a little corner that seeps water runoff on a permanent basis. I am always happy when I hear this. It means that they are thriving and there are not too many Tiger snakes around yet, as the Tiger’s eat the frogs.
Karine and I moved on down to the left and wandered towards the frogs and as we arrived they fell slowly silent. It was a beautiful sound to hear. A few steps later a beautiful big King Parrot landed in a tree in front of us and chattered away for a minute or so. I pointed it out to K and she was enthralled. Karine was just taking it all in and being her first real walk through the bush, she was seeing plants and wildlife that she had never knew existed.
Approaching the beautiful orange sandstone that glowed in the afternoon sun brought back many wonderful memories of climbing with “Good humans” on my weekends and trying to improve ourselves as not only climbers but also as humans. This place is truly inspiring and I am looking forward to climbing here with Karine whilst we are up here. As I look up at these wonderful lines I actually feel less intimidated than I ever have before. I feel motivated and confident.
Heading out of the far end of Wall’s Ledge and backup onto the Shipley Plateau to walk back to the car, we stand on the cliff edge and stare out at it’s overwhelming beauty. It is hard to express in words at time just how you feel about a certain place in your world. I can only say that I am always inspired and completely amazed when I stand in this place. There are other incredible places on the planet I have been that have reduced me to tears and overwhelmed me. This place is not better or worse……..but it’s just so so different in every way. 🙂