29/08/2004 - report - photos
Participants: Tom Brennan, Jonathan Potts, Rachel Grindlay, Lisi Jarrott
After briefly helping out at the Oxfam Trailwalker on Saturday morning, I got thinking about doing a solid walk on Sunday, and fixed on the Blue Gum Forest, which I had only once visited years ago before I got into bushwalking. I was going to do it by myself, but first Jonathan, then Lisi and Rachel were interested, so we all ended up at Govetts Leap at 10 o'clock, about an hour after I had hoped.
As the Govetts Leap track was closed, we were going via Evans Lookout and Perry's Lookdown, which made for a longer day. We wandered along the cliff tops to Evans Lookout. I copped abuse from Jonathan for stopping at every lookout (as you do!).
The drop towards the Grand Canyon was very impressive, through a mini-canyon itself. The green moss, high walls and narrow chasm got me salivating for summer. After a stop at Beauchamp Falls, the walk down Greaves Creek took longer than I expected. It started to rain as we neared Syncarpia, at the junction of Govetts and Greaves Creek, and made pushing through the bush somewhat less pleasant. Strangely, just past this point we saw a young German Shepherd roaming around the flats near the junction. Dog going feral?
Being late August, the wattle were in full flower, and the section of the track from Syncarpia to the Blue Gum Forest was yellow with the blooms. After a water refill at Orang Utan Gully we pushed on to the Blue Gum Forest and had a wet lunch under a giant dripping blue gum.
With the rain still coming down we headed off straight after lunch, and made good time up Perry's, which was a lot easier than expected. We stopped at a rocky outcrop near the top, only to find as we started up again that the real lookout was just above - the memorial to the four CEBS boys who died in the bushfire of 1957.
The road bash to Pulpit Rock was quite hard on the feet, and I was glad when we reached Pulpit Rock. The rain, which had eased a bit walking along the fire trail, got heavier again, and the clouds started to fill the valley as darkness began to fall. By the time we reached Horseshoe Falls it was pretty dark, and we could see only grey out in the valley, with the occasional glimpse of cliff across the far side. I was quite happy to reach the carpark, and slowly defrosted my hands in front of the warm air vents in the car!
We stopped at Hazelbrook for chips on the way back to Sydney. A solid day's walk.