Sometimes nature creates its own air pollution, a welcome sort of haziness that settles on a warm sunny afternoon.
Jamison Valley, inside the Blue Mountain National Park, is one such serendipitous location. According to the publication prepared for the park’s World Heritage Nomination, “the eucalypt-dominated vegetation disperses fine drops of volatile oil into the atmosphere. The oil drops increase the risk of fire, perfume the air and scatter, with great visual effect, the blue light rays of the spectrum.”
In layman’s terms, the mountains and forests look blue and smell nice because of the Eucalyptus trees. It is also only a two hour train ride from Sydney. Barret and I arrived Sunday afternoon at the small town of Katoomba which sits on the plateau overlooking the Blue Mountain National Park. We dropped our bags off at the Clarendon Guesthouse, a 90 year old building with live music and performances and left to make use of the last few hours of daylight.
A few blocks from our accommodation we jumped onto the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. It traced the edge of the plateau and offered plenty of panoramic views. The route led us through string cheese-like eucalyptus forests and past damp tropical pockets hidden from the sun. An hour later we emerged from our cliff walk near the Three Sisters, one of the most popular attractions in the Blue Mountains.
Scanning the valley floor we saw flocks of cockatoos swooping from tree to tree. Their white feathers were striking against the blue leaves, their shrieks echoed against the mustard yellow cliffs of the plateau. Above us a lone rainbow lorikeet called out. The jade wings, blue face, ruby beak, and yellow chest reminded me of the crayon sets given out at family restaurants. They were always the colors you needed least, yet it seemed that everything in the Blue Mountains came in those four electric hues.
When the sun began to set Barret and I headed back into Katoomba for dinner. As we walked I wondered if any of the restaurants gave out crayons and if so, what colors?
About: The Blue Mountains
About: The Clarendon Guesthouse