Monday, January 16, 2006

What price Beauty?

I'll tell ya what price; pain.

We went canyoning this weekend, and it was fantastic. Nik and Scruffy organised everything and made sure we weren't being completely daft with the ropes, and they took us to a place called Claustral Canyon up on Bells Line of Road. The canyon is absolutely stunning. Twisted facets of sandstone dripping with ferns and aglow with back-lit moss, with rushing waterfalls and inky pools running down throgh the middle. Mist-wrapped peaks, and yabbies the size of my forearm. Glow-worms. The whole treatment; classic Blue Mountains of the sort that I suspect most people, local or otherwise, rarely get to see. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Did I mention the pain? Due to an unfortunate oversight in planning, they built this beautiful big canyon at the bottom of a large hole in the ground. To get there, you climb down some steep hills, and once there you follow the water sliding off of waterfalls and over some sizeable scrambles heading consistently and almost relentlessly DOWN. Your car, alas, is still parked exactly where you left it 6 hours previously, and the end bit is almost entirely devoid of escalators. The climb back out was, in its own way, challenging, scenic and interesting, but alas my recent regime of heavy training for geek-stardom appears to have been emphasizing different muscle groups - more of the mouse-clicking, beer-lifting sets; less of the dragging my ass bodily up a vertical wall sets. I am still nearly speechless from the beauty... and nearly motionless for other more purely mechanical reasons.

Photo courtesy of Gareth; more here.

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