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Canyoning and the Blue Mountains

Canyoning-Snip-1So last weekend I went to Sydney to meet up with Amy, and we drove out to the Blue Mountains. For those unfamiliar, the Blue Mountains are a broken, primordial land of twisted Eucalyptus forests and kilometer after kilometer of sheer cliffs rising tens or hundreds of meters straight out of it. If there’s a more lost-worldy place on the planet, I don’t know what it is. It was practically a disappointment to not see flocks of Pteranodons soaring over the treetops on leathery wings.

So what did we do? We went canyoning! Well, Amy discovered it and organized it and booked it, which was a good thing, because once I found out it involved donning a wetsuit and helmet, strapping all your gear to your back and abseilling down a 33m cliff to the bottom of a 3m-wide canyon filled with snakes, lizards and icy canyon water, I was, let’s say… apprehensive. However, it it turned out to be fantastic fun. We were accompanied by our very Australian guide and a young Danish couple who, due to an accident of translation, thought they were going canoeing.

We swam on our backs, as instructed by our guide, and looked up at the tiny sliver of sky above. We saw ferns that were hundreds of years old, since bushfires never reach damp canyon depths. We saw lizards: water dragons and bluetongues, but if there were snakes, we never saw them. We jumped (without gear) off a cliff into a pool of deep, dark water. I woke up the next day still exhausted, and sore from head to foot. Amy wanted to do a four-hour cliff hike. We did not do that hike.

Anyway, pics will be up soon, but we used disposable waterproof cameras, so they need to get all developed and such.