I've travelled to Lithgow Blast Furnace on a few occasions but have yet to be rewarded with a decent sky. Mark Nolan and his trusty buddy Jake accompanied me this time and it was quite exciting to see the fog appear as we approached our destination.
Unfortunately many of my shots are less than impressive as I rushed them and elected to shoot without my wide angle lens.
I was convinced the fog would dissolve before I had a chance to capture any images at all. The greatest disappointment of the day was a failed attempt to shoot what I thought was a magnificent narrative video of the location. Another trip is definitely on the cards now !
Much of the site was still in shadow and frost covered most of the grass and leaves. I'm disappointed that I didn't do justice to the tiny little icicles decorating the edges of every leaf giving them the appearance of jewel encrusted wedding finery.
Wandering around Lithgow provided us with a variety of compositions but the light conditions quickly deteriorated so we decided to explore the greater area on the quest for more abandoned buildings. The ruins of an old burnt down house occupied us for a while
and then we moved on towards Hassan's Walls. Hassans Walls was so named because it reminded Governor Macquarie of the Rock Walls of Hassan in India.
The cave there is the highest lookout in the Blue Mountains. I had seen some magnificent shots taken from this location and was enthusiastic, however the enthusiasm soon turned to frustration due to the lighting conditions.
The Blue Mountains' valleys cause terrible irregular shadows at inopportune times and although the scenery was spectacular, particularly from a little natural stone cave, it didn't translate well to the digital medium.
Whilst I appreciate the noble intentions of the people who construct these fences so prevalent at lookouts, they certainly do nothing to promote the taking of halfway decent shots. There are just as many areas unfenced yet still easily accessible it somewhat negates the purpose of barricades of any sort.
We travelled towards Blackheath through Hartley Vale and rusted old farm machinery appeared to be the order of the day on many properties.
We had planned on having lunch at the Comet Inn at Hartley Vale, but unfortunately, although very well recommended, it is now a guesthouse B & B and was closed to travellers.
We chose to stop in for some quick refreshments at one of the old pubs at Mount Victoria and warmed ourselves standing by the open fire, a pre requisite for any self respecting pub in the Blue Mountains.
Many lookouts exist at Blackheath but one I hadn't previously visited was Pulpit Rock. The walk to the lookout was described as easy grade and 400 metres. I'm sure this was highly inaccurate and I decided to draw the line at over 200 steps. From this vantage point the additional 50 or so steep steps which led to the final section were visible.
We decided to have dinner at the Blue Mountain Hotel at Lawson on the return trip to Sydney, lured by Mark's memory of their reputed top class chicken schnitzel .
Most of the heritage buildings in the Blue Mountains area feature the most amazing stained glass windows and deep burnished wood interiors which reek nostalgically of childhood days and more leisurely times.