There’s no question that Sydney and the surrounding areas have been experiencing some pretty #%$* weather over the past 2-3 weeks.
Just recently we walked along the The Neck near Katoomba in bright sunshine, popped down into a tunnel that goes from one side of the neck to the other and emerged to find dark grey clouds overhead and thunder rumbling in the distance. Later that evening we were seeing face book posts from friends showing how bad the hail storm had been – and we’d missed it all in the 45 minutes we’d been “tunnelling”.
FYI – these tunnels were built back when the valleys on either side of the Narrow Neck – a long, narrow plateau of land, were being logged. Rather than build a new access road the tunnels were built to provide means of getting logs from one valley through to the already developed access roads.
A chance to exit the city for along weekend out in the hills. And so began a 3 day trip to Ti Willa Plateau in the Blue Mountains. From Kanangara Walls Hugh and I completed the 4 hour walk through to 100 Man Cave on day 1 with the intention to check out 1000 Man Cave the following day and then meet with another walking group the following evening .
And as is so often the case for the 2 of us, plan and reality parted company. 10:00am on day 2 and we were still viewing 100 Man Cave from our sleeping bags. By mid afternoon we had been underway and walking for several hours. We’ve negotiated Compagnoni Pass and started down a ridge line that Hugh assures me he’s descended before, crossed the river and climbed the ridge to the other side of the valley. Within half an hour that’s proved to be incorrect as there’s a 50-75 metre sheer drop into what can only be described as a canyoner’s paradise, steeped walled cliff faces on both side of the river and definitely no opportunity for us to access the other side of the valley.
In the end it all worked to our advantage – we walked around the western side of Ti Willa Plateau and come across some amazing cave and rock formations, we are in an area that obviously gets minimal human traffic, there’s no footprints in the dust filled floors of the caves and there’s no fire pits in the obvious camp caves.
And day three brings the first fine weather day of our weekend, the completion of the walk back to 100 Man Cave to refill with water before the walk back to car. An excellent 3 days in the Aussie Bush and a chance to get some much needed time in the hills.
My chance to head back to the Blue Mountains arrived a little earlier than I’d expected but with a full work schedule ahead for the next few weeks ahead I was quick to grab the unexpected opportunity.
Caro called for participants to join in an easy and short day walk, so I had to sign up!
At 8:15am we are walking away from Dunphy’s camp heading toward IronPot to then descend down to the Cox’s river and return via Galang Creek. Round trip – expect to take 7 easy hours.
And that’s about how it worked out. Down hill’s are (relatively) easy and by 10;30am we were down on the Cox’s river. We took a short break for a snack and water before starting the leisurely walk back up Galang creek. Don’t get me wrong, this ascent has some curly problems thrown in along the way and I’ll admit to making a wrong call at one point and going well of the intended route only to have to descend again and rejoin the group.
Galang Creek is creek for boulder hoping and as you can see from the photo’s below, there’s an endless number of rock pools and waterfalls to negotiate. Some great swimming holes as well. By descending via the creek you could make this into beginners canyoning trip if you wanted although the climb back up the ridge would be interesting (and hot, demanding work!).