Image

Smoky morning

My morning view, 21 November.

You may have heard about the terrible bushfires in Australia. Sydney itself is in no danger, but we do get smoke from fires when the wind is right (wrong?). A large, intense fire in an area about 150km (90 miles) northwest of Sydney, called Gospers Mountain, brought us much smoke recently. I live in the east of the city, about as far from that fire as you can get before encountering the ocean, yet the smoke was bad for me too. The air quality in Sydney on days such as this is rated ‘hazardous’. Just imagine how awful it is for people so much closer.

Below, for contrast, is what I see on a normal morning. And if you’re wondering — no, I did not walk to work on 21 November.

My morning view, 27 November.

Image

A soggy walk in the Blue Mountains

A splash of red in a foggy monotone, Echo Point.

In October, I went to the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney) for the weekend. My plan was to see the various gardens in the Leura Garden Festival on the Sunday, and get in a walk on the Saturday. I’ve been to this region a number of times, but always in summer, so this exposure to spring was quite an eye-opener. The temperature struggled to get over 10deg C (50deg F) and for most of Saturday it rained. But I had my waterproof boots, a showerproof jacket and an umbrella, so was determined to have my walk. I decided on the section of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk from Echo Point to where the path brushes against Merriwa Street in Katoomba, at which point I would walk back to my hotel. In all, about 4km. After laughing at the people admiring the view of the fog, I headed off.

This first path section is wheelchair and stroller accessible, and is usually teeming with visitors.

Here’s the real path. Jump the puddles, or go around?

This way to Lady Carrington lookout.

The view from Lady Carrington lookout.

No, the skies did not miraculously clear! I just wanted to show you the view from Lady Carrington lookout in good weather.

Looking back to the lookout through the fog.

Raindrops keep falling on my head — and on everything else!

There were many more photo opportunities of rain and mist and fog and puddles, and some quite impressively gushing waterfalls, but keeping the camera dry and shooting one handed (holding the umbrella with the other) was just too difficult. On the entire walk, I encountered only two other people, a couple, and they looked bedraggled and unhappy. By the time I reached Katoomba town centre, I was cold and wet, and well deserved the trio of hot chocolate.

Posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walks.


walks-badge