With the terrible news of a British backpacker, feared dead and missing for 8 days, after walking in the Blue Mountains, I feel the need to stress the importance of a few basics steps that will help prevent trouble should you want to enjoy this wilderness area.
1. Plan your trip.
2. Tell others where you are going, what your time frame is.
3. Take a mobile phone. They do work in a lot of areas e.g. on top of Mt Solitary.
4. Research your trip. Many are unaware that there are a lot of mine shafts in the Blue Mountains.
5. If possible do not travel alone. 3 is an ideal number
6. When walking in a group only go as fast as the slowest member, never walk off ahead.
7. Wear appropriate clothing. Again, today I met a guy in a suit, business shoes and no water.
8. ALWAYS carry water with a little in reserve, a first aid kit, and enough food for an emergency night stop.
9. ALWAYS take a rain jacket and something warm. Even on a hot day.
10 Always take a box of waterproof matches.
11. Use a map. There are many little tracks that are often "blind" but can take you away from the correct one.
12. Take a gps and use it
13. Know your fitness level. If you are unfit- don't do it.
14. If you are in trouble- stop, think and do not panic. Panic will only make it worse.
David admiring the view from one of the viewing platforms.
It's just simple stuff, but it is simple to fall over and break a leg too. These simple things can make a night out easier, and for rescuers to find you faster. Sadly I feel society is being "dumbed down" and a lot of people think its the responsibility of National Parks, rangers and rescuers and that its easy for them to find you. Its not.
Today David wanted to walk to Victoria Falls to look for birds and yabbies. I am pleased to say we saw both. Its a great walk, with spectacular views and as said in previous posts, the western end of the Grose Valley- leading into the Blue Gum forests and all those other places I have mentioned in previous posts.
I love the Blue Mountains, Its where I feel at ease with myself, its where I can build my relationship with my son- away from the hectic pace of city life. Where basics are the key. I enjoy watching him grow, watching him become fitter, and listen to his conversations. These are true gifts.
After a few hours we returned refreshed.
On this walk we spotted:- Pee Wee, Superb fairy Wren, Black faced Cuckoo Shrike, Bell Minor, Currawong, Wedge tailed Eagle, Noisy Minor, Australian MAgpie, Striated Thornbill, Grey fantail, Whipbird, Lyrebird, Brown Tree Creeper and Willy Wagtail.
Stop Press:- I did not announce that my favorite car- the Landcruiser Troopcarrier was sold a few weeks ago, (photos of her to the right). Sadly, on the last major trip she had some mechanical failures and I felt it was appropriate to find another vehicle. It carried Maalie and myself though the outback, and my family on numerous trips into the desert. It was the topic of conversation at pubs too ( Jim will verify this) because it was so COOL! It will be sadly missed. But! I have bought a Landcruiser tray back turbo diesel which I will make into a camper. It went on trial today, and pulled through with flying colours. Better fuel economy, better in difficult situations, and more comfortable with its later model suspension. It's a welcome addition to the family! I am sure Maalie cannot wait to get on a plane and trial it!