Leaving the big smoke of Sydney behind us, we hit the highway, Blackheath bound. Following a pleasant journey, well once out of the Sydney traffic, we arrived at Jemby Rinjah Eco Lodge, our home for two nights. Nestled in the bush off Evans Lookout Road, our hut, (well it was a cabin but hut sounds far more effective and adventurous!) Anyhoo we arrived at our hut, the fire was roaring. Of course it’s important to explore your surroundings, the hut was not huge but there are just the two of us, our bedroom which was up on the mezzanine floor was very pleasant, it’s wall length window allowed the trees to become part of our sleeping space. The bathroom, compact but all you need, except a flush on the loo, the hut comes complete with a composting toilet, which is a wonderful thing in an eco lodge, it just seems weird not flushing. So exploring done, fire still roaring and then like magic, you hear it calling, yes it’s the cheese and wine wishing to join you for the evening.
After a pleasant evening and pleasant sleep we woke to an array of bird calls, each one singing a celebration of sunrise, the birth of a new day. The sky was blue, the air fresh and crisp, peace abounded. After a spot of breakfast it was time to don the walking boots and prepare to head off. Being the die hard walkers that we are, we of course drove to the information centre to get a map, we needed to decide which walking track to take. The very helpful woman at the information centre suggested we do the walk to Pulpit Rock (ironic considering its my weekend off from the pulpit!), apparently it’s graded as a medium walk so should be fine. Next stop Govetts Leap to commence the walk.
We headed off, found the track and commenced with a descent, of course every step a reminder that have to get back up at the end of the walk, but hey we’re fresh and we’re motivated. The air is fresh, the greenery along the pathway is unkempt and quite overgrown, but it certainly adds to the fact that you’re in a national park. Wildflowers line the track, the green of the trees interrupted every so often with beautiful tiny white and pink flowers, the golden display of Banksia’s. The walk to Pulpit Rock took us across the top of the cliffs, the ridge. At the lookouts, you almost gasp for air as you look down and see the trees that cover the valley below, a carpet of green spread out in splendour. The sheer drops and rock faces, the layers of time visible, ledges and overhangs, trees growing from anywhere they are able to place their roots. I take photo’s but I know that no photo will ever do justice to this magnificent sight (well not an amateur with an iPhone at least.) We walk through puddles and mud realising that the natural flow of water is journeying down to the trees down below, waterfalls gracefully hang down the sheer faces, like veils of silk and lace, they catch the suns rays, the water becoming a rainbow spring.
The scenery really is breathtaking, its creation and nature in full glory, as you look down at the carpet of trees in the valley you can see the courses forged by the waters over probably millions of years. We watched as tiny birds weaved in and out of the trees, then we heard the majestic sound of an eagle and turned to see it soaring through the air before resting on the top of a tree. We sat for a while at the lookout and just looked in awe at the beauty that lay before us. We watched as the eagle swooped and soared, then it was time to turn back.
Now on another note I have to say that one of the biggest surprises was the bloody track, seriously. The definition of medium grade track was “some steps and stairs – for people who “walk occasionally.” Now obviously after doing this “walk occasionally” means more than someone who just say walks to shops! Some of the descents and the steps where laughable, at one stage I looked at the “steps” and thought nah, I ain’t gonna get down there in one piece! This leads me to ask the question who decides what is classified as a medium grade track? what is used as a comparison? At some points I wondered whether it was a walking track or a rock climbing opportunity! It was so worth it, the scenery is breathtaking but there are moments when you wonder what the hell, I have been deceived this is not “medium!” Moaning over, I braved it, Mr Revthreads the ever trusty helping hand, and my trusty stick that I found that encouraged me along the path.
Once back we headed into Blackheath for a well earned lunch, we went to Blackheath General Store and what a wonderful veggie burger they served up, a lentil patty
topped with eggplant served on ciabatta bread with a pleasant side of fries, Mr Revthreads went the steak sandwich, apparently just as delectable as the veggie option. We explored the local area, walking down the streets that are carpeted with autumn leaves, rich red and golden amber. The streets filled with visitors taking photos. I did notice that rather than cut trees down around powerlines, the council cut a hole in the tree, yep true story looks like a meteor has smashed through the whole street of trees, looked quite bizarre. We wanted to check out a hat Hill Gallery, so we wandered down the street, my iPhone navigation suggested it was 700 metres away so we began walking, and walking and walking, but it just wasn’t to be, we’d walked significantly more than 700 metres, in fact we were pretty close to the site of our hut, so we turned back to go get the car. We had seen it the previous day but now it appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth! Mystery to be solved.
We returned to our hut, the evening was beginning to draw in, the fire was roaring once more, it was time to kick back ruminate on the adventures of the day and relax.