It’s been such a busy week. I have filled my Winter portrait sessions and spent the long weekend doing what I love most. Shooting landscape photos! I had received a message on Facebook from a good friend from Canberra whom I met whilst on my Central Coast adventure with Ken Duncan. She asked if I would be interested in spending a weekend taking photos with her up the Blue Mountains. Since I was a local I came up with an itinerary of places to take her. What better way is there to spend a weekend? Taking photos with someone with an equal passion for it and when not taking photos, talking about taking them. Where will our next adventures take us? Up in the air is Western Australia, Tasmania, travelling back to the Central Coast, and a quick overnight trip to Sydney. For me its fun to talk F stops, composition, lighting, and photoshop techniques. Its not exactly dinner table conversation for my husband, so it is good to relate to someone on that topic.
We arrived at Leura on Friday afternoon and checked into our suite. After a drink and a quick catch up we took off to Echo point to photograph the famous Three Sisters at sunset. Then it was back to our lodgings for Chinese take-away and drinks. By 5am Saturday we were on the road again to see if we could find some snow in Oberon or at least some nice low lying fog. Although the air was chilly and 0 degrees celcius there was no snow. However there was ice and fog so we considered ourselves lucky anyway. I myself was happy to travel in Louisa’s car as she has heated seats ahhhhhh. Such is life eh?
We started off in Mayfield Pine Forest where we found a skull (Not human thank god) and then we stopped on the side of the road on the way to Jenolan Caves as we saw a beautiful Valley with layers of fog, that was too good to drive by. (Photos will follow in a future blog). We hit Jenolan Caves by 9am and proceeded straight for the Awesome Blue Pool. Its vibrant colour is due to the minerals that flow out of the caves. As we were about to go on a hike down stream, Louisa shouted out “There’s a platypus!” I was so excited as I know how rare a find this is in the wild. The Australian Platypus is in fact “near endangered” as it is constantly under threat by dingoes, red foxes and fungal disease. WWe were given quite the show as he appeared several more times to chew his food on the surface.
I got several shots of him, this is just one of many. I had to brag to my mum, as she spent a whole day in Tasmania trying to see a platypus in the wild and towards the end of her day caught a 2 second glimpse of one before it ducked under the water. Whereas we pretty much tripped over this one. Ha Ha.
Plenty of beautiful sights surround the Jenolan Caves. We photographed many. Here is one such waterfall and blue pool that if it wasn’t so cold I would love to jump in.
We headed straight from the Jenolan caves to Empress Falls in Wentworth Falls. It was after 3 pm when we arrived with the sun due to set around 5pm so we set off down those killer stairs. For those of you who remember, down the bottom in the Valley of the Waters was where I injured myself back in January. I swore I would never return, but alas here I was. Once down there Louisa was happily surprised by how spectacular they are.
The Empress Falls are actually my favourite falls. It’s beauty is such that I am yet to find it’s equal. After some snaps it was time for the gruelling walk up. Horror flashbacks of January came through my mind. Climbing up last time with mediocre fitness and a fresh Meniscal tear was not something I like to remember. This time however was different. The injury is almost non existent and it was only my fitness that I had to worry about. For those of you who have never done it, it is around 850 steps up a cliff. But we took our time stopping for water and a breather, and made it up in time for sunset. We met a woman down there who had injured her ankle and was struggling up also, and it made me think just how many people have done the same? Although I still say it is worth it.
Here is a picture I took back in January which won a silver award in The International Better Digital Camera Awards.
We were planning to take another bush walk in the morning around the Grand Canyon Track, but we awoke to pouring rain and some tired muscles from the day before. Lou and I will be back however probably early next year, where I hope to show her a lot more of the Blue Mountains.
Stay tuned for more pictures from our journey. 🙂