20 Jan 2013

Off Road - the day in full!

So we started at about 8am yesterday morning and made our way up into the Blue Mountains, going via Richmond and Mt Tomah. It was great to get the Landy onto some real roads - away from the city. After a brief stop to get some 'side of the road strawberries' (the best we have ever, ever tasted), we continued up to Lithgow and onto Lidsdale.We have a 4WD Treks book, so we followed one called 'Gardens of Stone' so we could see some good views. It was rated as 'moderate' difficulty and in hindsight (more like, current-sight while we were gripping our seats in fear), it may have been a bit beyond what we needed for our first foray into off-road-ness.

Anyhoo, the first thing to happen, 30m into the trail was that we almost got bogged. Yup. The puddle looked small so in we go and out we almost didn't come! Poor Landy was a-slippin' and a-slidin' like crazy and with no one around to potentially tow us out, those few seconds felt like a few hours! But, the upshot is that the car found its grip like a champion and we now have a suitably dirty 4WD.

Up we go onto the ridge, but to get there, there was a hell of a rocky climb. Again, I'm gripping the seat, getting thrown about all over the place. I had this maniacal smile on my face like 'Sure honey, this is GREAT!' but quietly shitting myself. Put it this way, the baby was churning inside my belly for the next hour. Talk about adrenalin surge!

Once we were up the top we stopped at a beautiful lookout point over-looking the valley. So quiet, we could hear a car driving down below, maybe 3km away as the crow flies. It was super peaceful.

Not 20 minutes later, we see some bushwalkers near their car (the only people we saw all day) and they hail us down. No, not for a broken-down car, they just wanted a lift down the hill to save them a walk and they thought their car wouldn't make it that way down. Boy, were they right or what!? The next section into the rainforest was so steep, so rocky, and while we're all trying to keep up polite conversation, poor P is navigating some two tonne of car straight down. OK, it was actually really fun. But between wondering if we would make it without a crash and wondering if the backpackers were secretly plotting to murder us, it was a tense half an hour. Avoided a few more mud puddles once we got to the bottom and eventually dropped the walkers off for their trail - just as it started to rain. They were probably re-thinking their trek at that point, but they didn't tell us!

We decided then that we'd had enough 'challenges' for the day and we made our way back up and out, continuing north rather than go back the way we came. Lucky we went the way we did, because we saw some awesome wildlife! A few wallabies and some kangaroos (see pics).

Finally back on safe, secure bitumen, we made our way back to Sydney, but not before a quick cuppa tea and coffee (ok, AND some chocolate cheesecake. I'm pregnant, so I'm like, totally allowed). We think the old dog at the teahouse was keen on our food, more than our company...

The weather really did do weird things that day as you can see in the pictures. But all in all it was wonderful. A great start to our off-roading adventures!

Es xx

Lunch Spot
The point just before the fear.

Hi there!
Finally, some mud on the car.

This guy.
Weather change much?

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