2016 Blue Mountains Sunrise

Ah it’s good to live in Australia.

SunriseIt is Saturday and this morning, early, no really, really early it was time to rise and shine.  I will tell you now that there was rising – but no shining.  What the?

I am up at 3.30am so that we can catch and photograph the sunrise at Govett’s Leap in the Blue Mountains which is about a 1 and a half hour drive from my nice warm bed.

Once everything is gathered we hit the road in anticipation that the sun will rise on us and warm our tired bodies.  Stopping for coffee and having to get out of a nice warm car, I realise that this is a bloody cold experience and I am an absolute idiot for being talked into this by my son (I think he is trying to do me in).

We arrive at Govett’s Leap (it is even colder than the coffee stop) and time to set up the camera, tripod, etc, etc and get ready for my first experience at sunrise time lapse.  Don’t worry, I also have my other camera so that I can take stills while the TL is carrying on about its business.

On the odd occasion I take my hands out of their little warm pockets, my fingers scream in pain.  Finally the sun starts to rise and it’s time to get moving, and that is easier said than done.

SunriseSunriseNow I can hear you say why is there such a dramatic change in the colour of the sky?  Because I am still fiddling with the controls trying to adjust for the dark that’s why.  Yes, yes, yes I need more practice.

Even though it is bitterly cold, it is a wonderful place to watch the sunrise.  There are quite a few other photographers here, bedecked in coats, scarves, hats and gloves and they are all clicking away having a wonderful time.

Sunrise groupiesAnother adjustment to the settings as the sun rises a bit higher and then after 460 photos I am done.  I will have to wait until I get back home – process through Lightroom and see how it turned out.

SunriseSunriseNow that the sun is up and I can see where I am walking it is time for a few more photos of the local area.

KookaburraGovett's Leap

HISTORY LESSON : The story of Govett and his ‘leap’ belongs more to mythology than to fact.

Govett's Leap

It is claimed that a bushranger named Govett, being chased by the police, spurred his horse on and died rather than surrender as he disappeared off the waterfall which drops 450m into the Grose Valley.

Unfortunately, even though the story deserves to become part of Australian history, it is more likely that Govett’s Leap was named after William Romaine Govett.

A young surveyor, Govett arrived in Sydney in 1827.

He spent many years surveying the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury area, and returned to England in 1834 after the government had reduced his surveying establishment.

Google tells me – a challenging walk from Govetts Leap lookout, Govetts Leap descent will delight hikers who enjoy a harder walking track, with scenic waterfall views across Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park. Thank you – but not today.

Govett's Leap

Once we have enough photos and pack our gear away it is time to discover more.

The day – well early morning anyway – has turned out magnificent so we head for Pulpit Rock.  The trail down doesn’t look too bad so off we go.

Well that was a statement made in haste!  Some parts are very easy going, other parts uneven and rocky, but it is all part of the adventure I suppose.

Pulpit RockPulpit Rock is an isolated pinnacle standing away from the cliff-face on a massive blade of rock.

They tell me that I can walk to it from Govett’s Leap, enjoying heathlands, swamps, waterfalls, and an ever-changing view of the Grose Valley.  Thanks, but the drive was much better.

The lookout was opened on 14th December 1935 by the then Minister for Lands – The Hon. E. A. Buttenshaw MLA.

Pulpir RockAs you can see in the above photo, that is the walkway down to the second lookout and then there is another set of steep stairs that lead to the final viewing area.

Pulpit Rock Track 1Stairs to 2nd areaWell, I did the first one (on the left) but the second (on the right) was definitely out of the question.

Then again there are those amongst us that wish to push the envelope to get ‘that shot’. Unfortunately my son is in that group.

As I stand there on jelly legs trying not to faint and to stay calm (mission impossible)  he is saying ‘take the picture’.

Idiot on a rockYou will be pleased to know that everyone survived and now it is time to walk back to the car – why on earth did it not occur to me that if I walk down I have to walk back up.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have to worry about my son pushing me off the cliff to gain an inheritance, all he has to do is wait until I kark it on the track!  Even going slowly by the time I get to the top I am ready to call it quits and go home.

But, next stop is to a nice, calm, level area – we have decided that, as it is around 8am – we will go to the Three Sisters before the tourist hordes arrive.

What a good idea – there is not a bus or group in sight.  You all know what the Three Sisters look like – it has been instilled in most of us from Primary School Days and the customary school excursion.  If you don’t know or cannot remember – this is ‘The girls’ –

Three SistersAs you can see we have them all to ourselves so we can walk around and take photos all over the place without the typical tourist photo bomb.

Remembering that we have not had any breakfast – we have decided that we are a tad hungry so it’s time to find the local food shop.  This turns out to be the pie shop and they were scrumptious.  Once fed and watered it is time to find some more places.

A sign for Leura Cascades catches our eye so off we go.  This turns out to be another walk but it looks relatively easy (HA) so let’s proceed.  The pathway is sound so no need to worry – here is a collection of the Cascades – on our way to the bottom.

Leura CascadesLeura CascadesLeura CascadesEvery now and again the birds let out a song and this, together with the sound of the water as it trips over the rocks is incredible for the senses.

Laura CascadesLeura CascadesIsn’t this just the greatest area?  Can you believe it is only around 2 hours from the centre of Sydney?

Leura Cascades

Laura CascadesLeura CascadesNow that I have bored you witless with my photos of the Cascades – it is time to retrace our steps – and for me to realise even though it was easy coming down – maybe it was all the stops to take photos – it is not so easy going back up.  I would like to know who raced out and put in all the extra stairs while we were walking down?  We get back to the car and that is it I’m afraid.  As I gasp for air in the front seat – I realise that more exercise is needed before I start trekking through the Winter wilds of Yellowstone and Whitehorse next year.

Tree fernsJust a note to finish on – how peaceful does this look?  At the top of the Cascades, near the car park is an enchanting area full of these lush tree ferns or whatever they are called.

That’s it – hope you enjoyed the trip – at least YOU didn’t have to huff and puff coming back up all those paths.  The things I do just to show you how I enjoy my time.

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