Back in the Blue Mountains of NSW

Well, I didn’t complete my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail this year as I had hoped, due to the whole broken arm fiasco, but I managed to cover 600 miles so it was a decent start. Perhaps I will try again some day… In the meantime there are hundreds of miles of great hikes in Australia (or kms, as we refer to them here), and I have the peace of mind of knowing that there is medicare in this country, so I will not find myself thousands of dollars out of pocket if anything goes wrong. Despite the issues I encountered with my travel insurance I had such a fantastic trip. I met some great people both on and off the trail, was able to catch up with old friends and new, and drank an extraordinary quantity of blueberry beer during my final month in the US!

Found these adirondack style chairs on my final hike with Wes in Knoxville

I returned to the Blue Mountains in early September and have been nesting in this sweet little van, owned by my friends Frank and Peter:

Van life

I’ve done some great hikes since I’ve been home. Here are some of the highlights:

Kangaroos at Euroka clearing

Peter Longhurst at Euroka

Late afternoon light with kanga at Euroka

Red Hands Cave – Glenbrook entrance to Blue Mtns National Park

I did an overnight hike with Kevin and Lee into the Bluegum Forest by way of Du Faur’s Head via Lockley’s Pylon, one of eight (steep) passes into the Grose Valley.

Frank and Peter joined us for the first section of the hike, which brought us to Lochley’s Pylon with its 360 degree views

It was ridiculously windy up there so we had to have lunch in the shelter of an overhang

Descending from Lochley’s Pylon

Approaching Du Faur Head

Into the valley…

View of the Grose Valley from Du Faur’s Pass

Grose Valley escarpment

Looking back the way we’d come (and the way we would have to return the next day)

Navigating the valley floor

Bluegum forest – love these trees!

We had to cross this gigantic fallen log to get to camp

It felt so good to strap that pack back on!

Our sweet little campsite

The lads introduced me to luxury camping on a grand scale, with Vodka cranberry upon arrival at camp and pancakes for breakfast. It was certainly a change from the scant fare I have grown accustomed to carrying!

Trangia pancakes, heck yes!

Govett’s Creek, Grose Valley

Morning light through the eucalypts

The ascent

Taking in the view

Du Faur Head

Crossing the saddle

I also went sunset seeking in Wentworth Falls with Peter Longhurst one afternoon last week. The mounting cloud bank obscured any chance of a late light display of colour but the rays were something to see…

Spectacular sunset from King’s Tableland, Wentworth Falls

In addition to hiking, we all spent a day helping Peter D and Will film their new music video (Smart Arse), which Brendan later edited and has submitted to the Blue Shorts Film Festival competition.

I’ve also been bookstagramming and am preparing for NaNoBuJoWriMo (National Novel & Bullet Journal Writing Month) and AcMaWriMo (Academic Manuscript Writing Month) in November.

Annotated Ulysses

#openbook #bookstagram (page of my A.T. Journal + page from ‘A Child of Books’)

Spring reading list

I paid a visit to Peter’s place and met this cutie:

Shorn ragdoll kitten

And I receive daily visitations in the van from this little munchkin:

Pippa the adventuress

Life is good 📚⛺️🌄🏞👣

10 thoughts on “Back in the Blue Mountains of NSW

    • Thanks Millie! They’re a beautiful part of the world aren’t they? I keep having to pinch myself to see if I really am lucky enough to have them for a backyard playground! ☺️


  1. Sorry to hear about your broken arm, but I’m very impressed with 600 miles! So awesome! The AT is a dream of mine. It definitely looks like you’ve done some incredible things back home, and your van is darling! Cheers!


    • Thanks Paige for stopping by the site! Yes the broken arm certainly slowed me down but I’m getting back into the hiking groove again now. And what a beautiful part of the world this is to do it in! I totally recommend the AT if you have the time available. It’s such a great way to spend six months. And you meet amazing people along the way. Unfortunately I can’t claim ownership of the van, but I am the lucky one who gets to live in it 😊.


    • Hey Courtney, thanks for stopping by the site! The parts of the trail I hiked were amazing. You should definitely aim to do some exploring since you live in Nth Carolina. It would be beautiful this time of year too with the changing leaves, but starting to get pretty chilly at those higher elevations! How close to the Smoky Mountain National Park are you? You could maybe try for the 100 mile challenge as part of the 100 year celebration of your fantastic National Parks. You don’t have to do 100 miles all at once. You just have to try and hike 100 miles within the National Park in 2016. The Appalachian Trail gives you 68 miles so it’s a good start! 👣👍 I read and enjoyed your post. You’ll find you get the right gear to suit the weather conditions over time. I hope you get to enjoy many more camping trips! 😊

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