More Blue Mountains

The fog didn’t keep us from exploring. Neither did the light rain that fell intermittently. Small towns with bookstores and tearooms helped when things were too wet to wander, but when it was simply damp and not actually raining, we continued on. Because it was gray and cloudy, there weren’t a lot of people, so we heard a lot more birds, including bell birds, which I loved.

The dampness highlighted the beauty of the mountains and the lush foliage, as you can see in the photo below, left.

Coming down the mountain, we stopped at an old, sandstone bridge. It is hard to identify things simply from photos, but searching for old bridges in the Blue Mountains, and comparing the photos online to the one I took (below, right), it seems that we had stopped to explore Lennox Bridge, the oldest bridge on the Australian mainland. (An older bridge exists in Tasmania — in Richmond — which I had seen earlier.) Built in the early 1800s of sandstone blocks, this bridge was for a long time the only way into Sydney for those traveling over the mountains. Today, it is still in use, though more modern bridges now serve busier highways. It has been designated a Heritage Site. But that first day, all I knew was that it was old and charming and looked oddly out of place, wedged between steep mountain walls.

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2 Comments

Filed under Australia, Book, Geography, History, Nature, Travel

2 responses to “More Blue Mountains

  1. You’ve probably said this in other posts — I can’t recollect — but getting across the Blue Mountains was a major achievement. Most Aussie kids (well east coast ones) know that it was done it 1813 by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson. Those three names appear now throughout the mountains area and/or in Sydney. I think all have towns named after them.

    • Actually, no, it’s not in another post. I do mention it in my book, however, when I talk about Lachlan Macquarie, since he was the one who motivated people to get over the mountains. I also point out in the book why it was so tough — because it’s not really a mountain range, but rather an old, eroded plateau, so no mountain passes as one would find with “real” mountains. However, while I know well the names and accomplishments of Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson, they didn’t get mentioned — so thanks for bringing them up, so anyone interested can pursue the actual feat of crossing the mountains and the greater feat of the astonishingly rapid building of the road across the mountains that followed. (Though anyone interested in this trio should also read up on Macquarie — aka The Father of Australia — since he was the power behind the expansion of New South Wales at that time.)

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