timeless . . .

It’s always a good day when the G.O. doesn’t go to work on a Saturday; it doesn’t take much to transform the ordinary into extraordinary. That’s what happened last weekend.

We didn’t set an alarm. We got up late, drank coffee and instead of cleaning, grocery shopping or errands we decided to set off to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney to follow the crumbs in a trail of family history research I’d unearthed.

Our route past Victory Motorcycles and its lure even though he’s not in the market to buy was too strong for the G.O. to ignore, plus the traffic on Parramatta Road was barely moving so a 15 minute browse wasn’t going to make much difference.

We headed for Wentworth Falls for a late lunch at the deli-café Fed, which we’ve enjoyed before. Shortly after we arrived and were strolling down the street, a large strikingly orange butterfly flew straight up to the G.O. and fluttered determinedly in front of him. We looked meaningfully at each other, both with the same thought “we’re on the right track”.

After eating lunch then wandering through the shops we set out for our destination, Leura Memorial Gardens with vague instructions to go to row 7 in the Rose Garden. The gardens were beautiful, the afternoon was sunny, as we headed down through unnumbered & unnamed tiers of gardens to a bridge and chain of ponds. It was peaceful (in between noisy gunshots from the neighbouring rifle range…) and pleasant but frustrating as we attempted to discern our treasure without the help of signs that made any sense. We searched to no avail but consoled ourselves that we were close, with handfuls of sun-warmed wild blackberries growing at the perimeter, and the agreeable company of King Parrots and wild ducks. We encountered only 2 other lots of visitors, each of whom were helpful but had no more idea of the site that we were looking for than we did.

The search, and the story, will keep for another day while I make further enquiries.

So as to make the most of the rest of the day the G.O. who has spent much more time in the Blue Mountains than me suggested a tour of the sights. Even though it was late afternoon we had plenty of time and daylight left so we drove to Wentworth Falls Lake & Wentworth Falls lookouts -new to me- where we walked around the vantage points, and on to Katoomba, Echo Point & the Three Sisters I’d visited previously.

Having in mind a specific purpose for the trip we hadn’t come the slightest bit prepared so did no proper bushwalks, nor browsed any galleries. But seduced by the fresh air and scenery we lingered.

Most stunning of all was the drive out along Narrow Neck, which in his words is the “most special out of a few special places” for the G.O. Prevented by locked gates from driving its full extent, we walked for a while in the late afternoon sun along out-of-the-way dirt tracks and climbed to vantage points to take in the views of the Jamison Valley to the east and the Megalong Valley to the west.

The sun hovered in the bright hazy sky for much longer than it seems to do in the city. Time seemed to stretch. The G.O., not wearing a watch thinking it was about 4.30 pm was surprised when I suggested as it was 7.30 pm we should start heading back. But still we couldn’t leave so we detoured via Mount Victoria to the grounds of newly restored Hydro Majestic Hotel to watch from the escarpment the sunset over the Megalong Valley.

Heading home at 8.30 pm we pronounced it a successful day regardless, and dubbed it the Oli’day in memory of the G.O.’s friend Ollie, who so loved the Blue Mountains and so loved her friend, the G.O. It was for her we made the trip and we are quite certain the orange butterfly was her message to us, so we’ll keep looking.

“Once we discover how to appreciate the timeless values in our daily experiences, we can enjoy the best things in life.” Jerome K. Jerome

29 thoughts on “timeless . . .

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t find what you wanted but what you got certainly didn’t disappoint if the stunning photographs are anything to go by.
    There will be another day and perhaps that’s the day set aside for you to find what you need.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


    1. We got closer to finding it, which was good enough on such a lovely day. And there will be other days, we’d love to spend more time in the Blue Mountains, it’s a good enough reason 🙂


  2. Those blue mountains pictures came up on my reader and brought back lovely memories. Ah, so long ago. The details are hazy, but I think we started at Katoomba, descended, wandered the valley floor, wild camped, avoided the odd snake, but what really stuck in the memory was the ascent, Govetts Leap I think. The last stretch was just some rusty looking metal steps/ladder attached to the rockface. Doubt I could do that these days. Especially with a rucksack!

    Memorial gardens at Leura look beautiful. Sounds a gorgeous day out, and hope you find it next time. This trip, you were meant to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.


    1. The G.O. mentioned those ladders as well when he described past walks and the ascent from the valley floor. I’ve not spent near enough time exploring the Blue Mountains, just a few sightseeing visits over the years. But each time I’m there, the vistas are simply stunning all over again! And the light, air and bush scents are so distinct. It’s wonderful that you did the walks and camping.
      I think there’ll be another couple of trips to the Mountains this year, with a little planning some local activities and overnight stays.


    1. The Blue Mountains truly live up to their hype. And there is certainly no lack of hype. Some areas, some days are heaving with tourists… but the beauty of the scenery surpasses all.


      1. Would you believe I’ve only been to Sydney once? And never to the Blue Mountains, although we may have driven through on the way up to Newcastle, not sure about that. One day I’ll have to visit all these places I’ve missed.


        1. I’d believe it… I’ve been to Melbourne more times than I’ve been to the Blue Mountains!
          Unless you took the very scenic route the drive to Newcastle from Sydney is north, and the Blue Mountains is west but it can be done.


        2. I can’t remember much of it to be honest. It was my honeymoon and we were driving up to Newcastle to stay with family. Pretty much drove through the night so I guess we could have passed without noticing.


  3. I love the Blue Mountains – I could so live there. And the Hydro Majestic has been renovated! Oh I love that building! Glad you had such a lovely day xo


    1. Thank you. We say that every time we visit “oh, I could live here!”. The G.O. has from time to time. I think it was only the need to have a base close to family further north that stopped him from making it permanent.
      We were excited to hear about the Hydro Majestic as well. The G.O. stayed there in its heyday. The glimpses we had of the refurbishment, and what we’ve seen online look fantastic. We’re hoping to spend a night or 2 for his birthday in June.


    1. Thank you. It depends, in Summer it’s pretty warm (but was chilly when the sun went down!) and the days are long so you can fit in lots of sightseeing & walks. In Spring, the gardens are beautiful, and many private gardens are opened to the public. In Winter, it’s cold & sometimes snows but many places get their woodfires going. Autumn is my favourite, where the leaves on the trees change colour and the weather is milder. And each season has various festivals.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like one of those magical days that should never be allowed to end… I fell in love with the Blue Mountains on my first ever visit to Australia. When I lived in Victoria, I had the Grampians as my mountain go-to, in NSW I had the New England plateau. Mackay, sadly, is very, very flat… The photos made me quite nostalgic – there’s that lovely line from A Shropshire Lad by A E Housman “…Blue remembered hills”. That’s what these are.


    1. As I was gazing out on Saturday I thought someone must have described mountains like this in a poem! the blue is astounding. Every visit I remember how awesome they are. When I think of the Blue Mountains I think of cafe’s, galleries and the sights but it’s the views that take your breath away.
      We’re torn between our love of mountains, country and coast… and the desert… there’s so many great places, and console ourselves with visits to wherever we cannot be.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy the photos worked out so I could share the day… it was bright and hazy and we only had our phones to capture it. And words can only convey so much of how simply glorious it was to be there in the fresh air, sunshine and peace only an hour and a half drive from the city.


  5. Your day sounded so lovely. Thank you for taking us along. The info you were seeking will pop up at the right time, just like this wonderful day did for you.


    1. We’ve had some very enjoyable visits to the Blue Mountains, but last time we stopped for lunch on a trip west Katoomba was miserable and I was under-dressed for the conditions! This visit redeemed it. The day was a lovely gift, and all the better for being unanticipated.
      I’m not sure the G.O. is in the market… and the prices have gone up!


  6. Anyone would stop for Victory Motorcycles! (intrigued over row 7 – a specially named variety?)
    “Time seemed to stretch” Great phrase – suggest to me you were in the right place, at the right time, doing exactly what you needed to do – and the universe smiled. (and allowed the butterfly message)
    Delightful views


    1. Browsing motorbike shops for the G.O. is like browsing shoe shops for me… even if we don’t buy the dreams are pleasant!
      The type of gardens holds the clue… but all will be revealed, row 7 didn’t make any sense at all.
      You’re right, I think the Universe knew the day was more important than the answer.
      Thank you, the views were fabulous, what was hard to convey was the experience of being in the bush, and also in the view from a different vantage point – if you look at the top RHS of the page at the Instagram pic…


  7. What gorgeous vistas! Sometimes when you’re looking for one thing, you stumble on another. That usually happens to me when I’m traveling too.


    1. It was spur of the moment and no expectations really so to have such a great day, on top of our mission was delightful amidst the ho hum of post-holiday return to work.


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