Monday, 28 January 2013

Blue Mountains Walk on Australia Day

Did you all have a good Australia Day? Did anyone indulge in some fairy bread? A sausage sizzle at Bunnings? Vegemite on toast with cheese? Lamb? My Australia consisted of undertaking my favourite form of caveman exercise; walking. I had the pleasure of walking in the Blue Mountains National Park in Glenbrook, 60km west of Sydney city. If you're after a Bikram yoga sweat without actually going to a Bikram Yoga studio, this walk is one for you.

The day commenced with a big breakfast at 6am of two fried eggs with pepperoni kabana...which is what I usually have for breakfast anyway:) I really am confused by the number of people posting their Australia Day breakfast of fried eggs on Facebook. Fried eggs are Australian? And, why would you only have fried eggs on Australia Day?

After demolishing the eggs and kabana, I sat around for three hours until Alan woke up...dum de dum.......check emails, check the news, check the weather.....Once he woke up, we packed five litres of water, some food, a monopod to act as a walking stick and drove to the Blue Mountains!;)

Because everyone knows you need a four wheel drive to drive on sealed roads...

Once at the Glenbrook entrance of the Blue Mountains National Park, we paid the $7 entry fee to the park ranger. You can park outside the main gate and get away without paying the entry fee. However, if you take this option you will be walking a really long way to the track that we walked along.

I would say the entry fee is a good price seeing what you get once inside the park - there are signs to guide you, the roads are in good conditions (even the dirt roads), the parking areas are also in good condition and you are supporting an organisation that looks after this beautiful area.

The main track that we walked along this morning was the Jack Evans Track. Named after a worker on the Warragamba Dam, this is a steep track and the sign recommends it be attempted by experienced walkers only. I am not an experienced bush walker, but I do believe I am the fastest post work walker in Sydney CBD. I overtake everyone on my power walk to Town Hall Station each evening.

I do not believe the track is dangerous, but you will need a decent level of fitness to make it back up the track to your car. My heart was beating so fast climbing back up the hill face! The information sign below recommends you allow yourself two hours for the return trip. We made it in 1.5, which included a small picnic break.

After a short while, we made it down to the bottom of the track, to Erskine Creek, which starts in the Kings Tableland as Bedford Creek. The information sign above mentioned we may see platypus in the clear pools of the water. Unfortunately we did not see any. Have you ever seen a platypus in the wild?

It was then time for some food. We had protein bars and bananas in our backpacks.

Bounce natural energy ball, almond flavour

We tried the Bounce almond energy ball. The wrapper indicates it is a 'chewy mix of nuts and whey protein. I think the sun on our backpacks softened the energy ball, so it was not chewy. It was more like a dense cake or a brownie.

You can SEE the almonds!

I really enjoyed the almond flavour as it reminded me of marzipan. Each ball contains 12g of protein and 0g of trans fat. They are GM free, contain no artificial preservatives and are gluten free. Gluten free means they contain rice products. My stomach is very sensitive to grains and there is no way I could eat a bowl of rice. Fortunately however, my stomach has no troubles with these balls.

Bounce energy balls are available in almond, cashew pecan, coconut macadamia, fudgie walnut, peanut and Spirulina Ginseng flavours. A few of the flavours are available from Woolworths and I have seen the entire range of flavours available in some health food shops.

Me eating a banana

Next, we enjoyed a banana each. If you have yellow bananas that need ripening, simply place them in a backpack and leave in the sun. You will have slightly browned bananas in a few hours! 

Creek side beach

We packed our rubbish into a plastic bag (it is simply stupid to littler here and fortunately we only saw one piece of litter on the whole four hours we were in the park!) and walked back up the hill. Our t-shirts became drenched with sweat in a matter of minutes. 

Our legs ached and mine were cut by some branches on the side of the path. We felt like we had really done some exercise. Although uncomfortable, we enjoyed it! A totally different experience to my usual exercise of walking in the CBD, walking in the suburbs and swimming in the local pool.

I smiled when I saw this bus stop in Glenbrook! Childhood memories!

We had a great morning in the Blue Mountains National Park and I look forward to some more walks:)

What you need to know:
Blue Mountains National Park, Glenbrook
Where: Bruce Road, Glenbrook
When: All year. May close due to poor weather and/or fire danger
Other: $7 vehicle entry fee. Be prepared: wear closed shoes, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and take lots of water with you.
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