Australia Travels - Blue Mountains Hiking

Photos by Dale Stuart

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The tiny guest house I stayed in, Cleopatra's, in Blackheath, ended up featuring award-winning cuisine, and Valrhona chocolate - much to my delight!
The english garden surrounding the guest house was in full bloom.
The view of the Blue Mountains from one of the many lookouts, with a 3-image panorama. The "mountains" are actually a vast maze of cliffs and canyons, some of which are so inaccessible, they have yet to be explored!
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Yes, they really are bluish when the lighting's right! The blue coloring comes from the oils released by the Eucolyptus trees.
Taking a hike down into the canyons, the soft limestone bears the marks of many years of water flow, with undercut hillsides like this one. The trail goes right through this cut!
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Deeper still, more water than daylight reaches the depths of the narrow canyon bottom. In places, the cliff sides were continuous sheets of waterfalls.
With no place else to walk, the trail goes right along (and sometimes into!) the creek itself.
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The trail goes right through some of the waterfalls. With so much water and so little light, the climate and ecology down here are extremely different from that just several hundred feet above, on the rims of these canyons.
Back on top to enjoy the view again, here some climbers have made it to the top of a rock formation called the Three Sisters...
The late evening light makes the Three Sisters glow. I'll be climbing the middle one (all the way from the bottom) in a couple of days...!
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