Dam Cliffs- Danger the whole family can enjoy

Once upon a time the powers that be decided to build a dam.

img_0611

The dam is situated to a series of massive cliffs.

img_0619

The locals told me to try the “spiral staircase”.

We climbed down this ladder thinking it was the spiral staircase. Quite possibly it wasn’t, because there was no spiral.

img_0699img_0633

We ended up on the underside of the dam, which was kind of spooky, but standing on slippery pillars above a sheer drop to dubious murky waters was a plus.

img_0660img_0678

But let’s forget about the underworld of the dam, and have a look at what the actual dam has to offer.

Firstly, the water is very deep. It is clear and swimming with tiny fishes that nibble on your feet and possibly free you from dead skin cells.

820

Sploosh!

img_0567

Secondly, because it is so deep, almost everyone that comes here jumps off this cliff.

It’s shaped to conveniently allow you to jump off gradually higher and higher. I had a friend who started at the top, took a look down, then climbed down to the second highest level. He looked down, then climbed to the lowest level. He gave up, sat down, and said, “Today, I did not give in to peer pressure.”

img_0573

Jumping off this cliff does not lead to any injuries. However, if you don’t pin drop with your legs closed together, you may find that you leave the water feeling strangely violated, as water rushes quickly upwards and into your buttocks. For those of you that want a good clean, this may prove to be a blessing.

This cliff is also spectacular for rock climbing. You don’t need a harness because if you fall off – you just plummet into the water, instead of into your doom.

The reason I called this post, “Danger the whole family can enjoy” is because of a particular cliff swing.

cliff-swing

Now I am all for a bit of swinging. I’ve swung on much lower cliff swings. However, this cliff swing left me looking like THIS:

16797350_1877497155866375_1738673257840821428_o

This is an actual picture of my body following the incident.

Needless to say, it was a very funny experience. One second, I’m swinging down, feeling the rush of wind in my glorious hair. The next second, the water has smacked me in the side, and half of my body is in immense pain. I don’t normally swear, but I was pretty sure I was yelling out a combination of obscenities as I tried to stay afloat.

My partner (who is normally a bit hesitant about jumping) leapt off without a hesitation and swum me to shore. My hero!

I have pretty much recovered apart from a nasty bruise, but I actually don’t regret the experience, and maybe in the future I might try it again. I think I have terrible grip strength, and with a bit of practice, in time I will be able to do the swing.

Apparently there were two young boys lining up behind me, who saw me smack into the water, and said, “Um… maybe not”, and ran off.

Would I recommend the swing to other people? Absolutely. If you’re a strong young male, it should be no problem. If you’re a delicate flower like me? Probably not.

 

Advertisements

Kanangra Walls – A wall no one had to pay for

My parents used to take me bushwalking constantly as a kid. The Waterfall Walk at Kanangra Walls is just your typical bushwalk. There are cute spirally stairs and swirling rivers of brown water (if you want to see blue water in Australia, see my previous post).

kanangra

13614959_1758919841057441_2701456111600391766_n

As a result, I feel like walking through the bush is not enough. I need a spectacular sight, a cool place to swim or a new place to climb. I mainly enjoy climbing without any equipment at all, just my two hands, and a lot of terrified onlookers.

Kanangra Walls provides ample opportunity for this. On the Plateau Walk, you get to walk (or climb if you want) across steep cliffs that have no warning signs or fences to keep you from falling to your doom.

I had a short nap on the edge of the wall, just to feel the thrill of waking up, and seeing nothing but sky and spongy green mountains. If you roll over in your sleep, this may not be a good idea.

kanangra4

kanangra3

If those cliffs are too tall for you, you can head over to the Dance Floor Cave. There is no dancing, just a floor, a cave and an extremely rusted bucket that has been receiving water since time immemorial. The hidden secret to Dance Floor Cave is at the back. If you continue further, there are some great rocks to climb.which feel a lot like a beginner’s rock climbing wall. You’re high enough the ground to break your leg, but not high enough to die.

kanangra2

Kanangra Walls is a great place to walk, climb, fall and die. We had fun doing 3 out of 4.

 

Evans Crown – a great place to propose

I had a young male friend who was thinking of asking out a certain young female. He wanted to find an ideal spot, to make her head turn to thoughts of love. He, like many other men, chose Evans Crown.

Evans Crown is the ideal proposal place. If your woman can stomach heights, and a complete lack of direction, she will find Evans Crown will woo her with the magnificence that you may lack.

To get there, just type “Evans Crown” into Google Maps. That should take you to a dusty car park. The walk starts at the gate. You walk up the stairs for twenty minutes, until you arrive at a series of large boulders. These boulders are “Evan’s Crown”. I always imagine that a large giant called Evan just lay down and turned into stone. That giant’s name was “George William Evans”.

Your aim is to make it from the first gigantic mountain of boulders you see (Evan’s bottom), to the second gigantic mountain of boulders (Evan’s head). And finally to the top of the mountain, Evan’s crown. How you get there will be your choice – you can tunnel through the caves, you can leap over gaps, or you can be boring and take the walking track that weaves around the boulders.

At the top of the boulder mountain is a 360 degree view of the countryside. Rather than the furry tops of gum trees normally found in the blue mountains, you are treated to some the square green pastures of Australian farmland. Think of the view outside your window when you take off from a plane, then take away the plane.

Below is a picture of the first place you should try and make it to. This is what we call “Pride Rock”, because of it’s resemblance to the place where Rafiki lifts Simba to the sky. You’ll understand when you see it.

evanscrown11

But if you find the sweeping panoramic views mundane, the other appeal of Evans Crown are the physical challenges it presents, that make it the “Adventure Playground” of the Central West. There are a million different crevices to go through and boulders to climb. The sandstone is extremely grippy, so there is very little chance of you slipping.

Here is one of the many challenges that I will never admit to having publicized. If you look at where the girl is standing on the rock, she is about to take one of the many challenges we regularly do at Evans Crown. Basically, we like to slide down the rock face. Now, the “mum” inside our brains tell us to never slide down a rock face that steep. However, my friend has slid down it numerous times, and even sent her younger brothers down it, so I would totally classify it as safe.

*Except one of my friends sprained her ankle once. But… she just landed badly.

evanscrown10

Another great thing to do is the “chimney”. There are two walls very close to each other, that we always shimmy up to complete the walk. The ledge you get onto is less than half a metre long, and makes you wish for a harness.

evanscrown8

The key to enjoying yourself at Evans Crown, is to remember to enjoy the journey, not the destination. With absolutely no marked ending point, you may have to make your own ending point. If you try new things, you may end up like me and my friends who tried to shimmy between these two boulders, and ended up exhausted and stuck, but with a majestic view.

evanscrown7