A hike along Wentworth Falls

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I have never let myself enjoy the true wonders of hiking. I’ve never experienced that adrenaline rush, the scenery, the wildlife, the sweat and that final exhaustive breath of accomplishment when the trail is complete. Well that was before my hike along the track of Wentworth falls. I don’t understand my own time management sometimes. The Blue Mountains is a simple hour and a bit drive from my area, or perhaps a more tedious two hour train ride, but it’s Australia and Australia at its most natural.

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Starting a little past our scheduled time at 9:30, the six hikers Phoenix, Ronny, Cindy, Cynthia, Rachel, Yujun and myself begin the hike from Wentworth Station. Phoenix and Ronny, our guides for this little expedition lead the way, away from the petite town of Wentworth to the rugged track of the ‘Charles Darwin Walk’.

Our “schedule” was to be delayed more and more as us first-timers of the trip couldn’t stop our admiration of the landscape hindering our pace and prolonging our breaks. Following a small stream along we pass many small cascades of water. At our sightseeing intermissions we would run our hands through the cool water or jump over rocks to wander a little further down stream and then move on to the next mesmerising scene.

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(Photo credits to Rachel Bui)

It is not only the sights that intrigue me, the track itself challenges me. At times we meander along dirt tracks or clamber up incessant steps.  Every so often we climb backwards to get down steep inclines and to reach our promising destination at the bottom of the three-tiered Wentworth Falls.

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At this stage both my sense of time and direction has been skewed by the mountain’s magic, but approximately half way through our trek we stop for our lunch break at Wentworth Falls. Wait, did I say lunch break? As soon as I hear the rush of water falling into the tranquil depths below, I’m aware of the sweat dripping down my face and the heat burning the back of my head. Ain’t no time to be eating when that cool water be waiting.

10921745_920195864659434_1134984266_n (Photo credits to Rachel Bui)

I mean, would you be able to resist that supernal sight.

After half an hour of lazy laps and floating below the trickling water, I unsuccessful try to climb up to the ledge above, to the first landing between the cascading water. However, Yujun, the more daring hiker, finds a route up and is soon looking down on us preparing to jump. Following his lead I find myself sitting on the ledge mentally preparing myself for a jump into the depths below. The majority of the water is relatively shallow, reaching my waist at it’s best, and largely carpeted with rugged rocks. However, a small section dips to approximately two meters deep, providing us with the safest and sole landing point. Five minutes and a shrill scream later a cool blanket of water engulfs me and I’m ready for another jump. But my wrinkly fingers are in need of some air and time forces us onwards.

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(Photo credits to Phoenix Ngo)

The second leg of the journey is a lot more tiresome, but with Phoenix our jukebox in the back, Cynthia and Yujun’s melodic harmony and an occasional croak of sound from me, the pace continues.

Reaching our final stop, my adrenaline hormones are satisfied as we prepare to jump from a four meter ledge off Empress Falls. Abseilers simultaneously make their way down the Falls so we intermittently take turns jumping off the ledge when there is a break in their descent.

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(Photo credits to Cindy Ly)

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 (Photo credits to Rachel Bui)

Being the most hesitant jumper out of Cynthia, Yujun and Ronny, I’m the last and loudest to jump from the ledge. After an echoing shrill and a crash into the cold water, I’m once again ready for another jump. It’s simply so satisfying. The visceral fulfilment and the releasing shriek indulges my sense of accomplishment.

Brief intermission in my emotional rant, do you know why the Blue Mountains are called “Blue” Mountains? Apart from the obvious that they appear blue, but the geographical science according to their website states: “The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour.”

After we all had jumped twice, we finish the journey with a steady climb upwards and back towards the station. Fortunately Cindy had been able to drive us to the station, but in the evening I had some business in the city so I finally rested my legs on a 2 hour train ride back in to the city. But with good company and comfortable chairs, the ride passed in a blur.

10917374_920223634656657_1524626663953489575_n (Photo credits to Rachel Bui)

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