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A walk in the Blue Mountains.


Here we were, driving on Kings Tableland Road. The car dealt with this clear dirt road looking like any other dirt road in Australia. When the car couldn’t go further, we continued by foot for another hike.
A hike? Again? Yes, dear! This was the only real hike we did in Australia. But let's first introduce the place.

2



The Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range. This highest mountain range in Australia can be described within two figures: 3500 km his length along Australian East Coast, and 2228m, the altitude of Mount Kosciuszko, the highest mountain of the range, situated in the Snowy Mountains. Australia is a flat continent!

3





Geologically speaking, the Blue Mountains are very interesting. The Australian plains there are elevated up to an altitude of a thousand meters and large gorges are dug along sandstone walls. Therefore, perched on cliffs, we had the surprising sight of these plateaus simply dropping in these valleys filled of eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus trees release their volatile oils that create an effect of a blue veil on the red cliffs. Blue Mountains are really blue!

4





From Katoomba, hordes of tourists take the standard photos of the Blue Mountains. They come there to watch the few waterfalls and rock formations defying gravity – The Three Sisters. Just in front, an island dominates the landscape and the Jamison Valley. This is the Mount Solitary, our objective of trek, far away from this crowded place.

5





That bring us back to our roughly walking on Kings Tableland. A massive entry, big as a ranch portal, symbolises the entrance of the park. One kilometre after, our road dips into the valley. The cliff has, there, a default that the track uses to pass the obstacle. It explains the steep slope – barely a gradient of 100%. I wonder which vehicle is able to cross it.

6





The slope softened. We were quietly walking beneath the cliff, in the woods. We reached the trail leading to Mount Solitary. We meandered between the trees right to the bottom of the valley, where flows the Jamison Creek. Vegetation oddly reminded me my home region – la Provence: the heady scents, the rough red earth, the little sparse forest with its rugged shrubby carpet.

7





Jamison Creek is a lazy brown river. We passed it on a fallen trunk, near a group of hikers. A little sign to greet them. It was lunch hour. The air was cooler near the river, making the place pleasant. While cooking, I quickly figured something was wrong. Indeed, we were despicably attacked by a bunch of leeches! They were redundant and succeeding to climb our legs. Pierre even found one in his shoe! The rest of the meal became a new kind of dance. The goal was to avoid being caught by those bloodsuckers. Australia or the country where nature tries to eat you!

8





On the afternoon, we switched the peaceful creek to hot temperatures and exhausting climbs. We started to run out of water. Fortunately, clouds appeared and hid the sun. The sky even looked threatening. We decided to leave all the stuffs under the tent, a few hundred meters from the cliff. With the strict minimum, we came up on the top.

9





On the top of the cliff, we could see the tablelands, behind the blue frame, extending far away.

10





At this lookout stood a log book. We left there a little souvenir…
The trail continued to the top of the Mount Solitary along the rock wall, remaining within the sight of Katoomba. On the way, rocks carved by time, bent trees, parrots, cockatoos and a lot of wonderment.

11





There was no view on the top. Even after climbing trees. What a pity!

12





On the falling night, we stayed around the fire. The wood-fire smoke was repelling mosquitoes. Then the cold settled. The rock – my chair – became more and more uncomfortable. We gave in one and then the other to the call of the tent.

13





The day after, we woke up with the sun. Although the morning was cool and pleasant, we only wanted one simple thing: come back and have a rest. So we retrace our steps which is not really exciting.
We crossed again the river and filled up our gourds. What a joy to finally rehydrate. But we won’t make the same mistake to hang around longer. The last experience was traumatic enough!
Then we climbed back the steep road to kings’ tableland. Pierre then started the Berserker Mode. Here he was in quick time in the strong climb. He will kill me!

14





The special surprise of this hike must be the flat tyre we discovered back to the car. This was perhaps our new car that we hazed us!
This hike ended there. The Road Trip begun there. Discovering East Coast between Sydney and Melbourne. To be continued!

1


A walk in the Blue Mountains.


Here we were, driving on Kings Tableland Road. The car dealt with this clear dirt road looking like any other dirt road in Australia. When the car couldn’t go further, we continued by foot for another hike.
A hike? Again? Yes, dear! This was the only real hike we did in Australia. But let's first introduce the place.



The Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range. This highest mountain range in Australia can be described within two figures: 3500 km his length along Australian East Coast, and 2228m, the altitude of Mount Kosciuszko, the highest mountain of the range, situated in the Snowy Mountains. Australia is a flat continent!





Geologically speaking, the Blue Mountains are very interesting. The Australian plains there are elevated up to an altitude of a thousand meters and large gorges are dug along sandstone walls. Therefore, perched on cliffs, we had the surprising sight of these plateaus simply dropping in these valleys filled of eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus trees release their volatile oils that create an effect of a blue veil on the red cliffs. Blue Mountains are really blue!





From Katoomba, hordes of tourists take the standard photos of the Blue Mountains. They come there to watch the few waterfalls and rock formations defying gravity – The Three Sisters. Just in front, an island dominates the landscape and the Jamison Valley. This is the Mount Solitary, our objective of trek, far away from this crowded place.





That bring us back to our roughly walking on Kings Tableland. A massive entry, big as a ranch portal, symbolises the entrance of the park. One kilometre after, our road dips into the valley. The cliff has, there, a default that the track uses to pass the obstacle. It explains the steep slope – barely a gradient of 100%. I wonder which vehicle is able to cross it.





The slope softened. We were quietly walking beneath the cliff, in the woods. We reached the trail leading to Mount Solitary. We meandered between the trees right to the bottom of the valley, where flows the Jamison Creek. Vegetation oddly reminded me my home region – la Provence: the heady scents, the rough red earth, the little sparse forest with its rugged shrubby carpet.





Jamison Creek is a lazy brown river. We passed it on a fallen trunk, near a group of hikers. A little sign to greet them. It was lunch hour. The air was cooler near the river, making the place pleasant. While cooking, I quickly figured something was wrong. Indeed, we were despicably attacked by a bunch of leeches! They were redundant and succeeding to climb our legs. Pierre even found one in his shoe! The rest of the meal became a new kind of dance. The goal was to avoid being caught by those bloodsuckers. Australia or the country where nature tries to eat you!





On the afternoon, we switched the peaceful creek to hot temperatures and exhausting climbs. We started to run out of water. Fortunately, clouds appeared and hid the sun. The sky even looked threatening. We decided to leave all the stuffs under the tent, a few hundred meters from the cliff. With the strict minimum, we came up on the top.





On the top of the cliff, we could see the tablelands, behind the blue frame, extending far away.





At this lookout stood a log book. We left there a little souvenir…
The trail continued to the top of the Mount Solitary along the rock wall, remaining within the sight of Katoomba. On the way, rocks carved by time, bent trees, parrots, cockatoos and a lot of wonderment.





There was no view on the top. Even after climbing trees. What a pity!





On the falling night, we stayed around the fire. The wood-fire smoke was repelling mosquitoes. Then the cold settled. The rock – my chair – became more and more uncomfortable. We gave in one and then the other to the call of the tent.





The day after, we woke up with the sun. Although the morning was cool and pleasant, we only wanted one simple thing: come back and have a rest. So we retrace our steps which is not really exciting.
We crossed again the river and filled up our gourds. What a joy to finally rehydrate. But we won’t make the same mistake to hang around longer. The last experience was traumatic enough!
Then we climbed back the steep road to kings’ tableland. Pierre then started the Berserker Mode. Here he was in quick time in the strong climb. He will kill me!





The special surprise of this hike must be the flat tyre we discovered back to the car. This was perhaps our new car that we hazed us!
This hike ended there. The Road Trip begun there. Discovering East Coast between Sydney and Melbourne. To be continued!

.