Blackheath, Saturday 22nd January 2005
I travel at low speed. Every now and then I come to a full stop, let the world pass by me.

Blackheath is a small town where time stands still. In Dutch eyes Sydney is a relaxed town. The Blue mountains look virtually uninhabited to a Dutchman. Katoomba is a bit too busy for me. Following the advice of Rob and Annet I stay in Blackheath, a small town close to the Grose Valley.

Govett's Leap The Grose Valley is a wonder to watch. It is like someone pulled a finger through the landscape. It is a wide valley, a full day walk to cross. Steep cliffs on both sides make the crossing almost impossible. The first Englishmen searched for 25 years until they found a suitable way to reach the other side.

Govett's Leap is a hotspot for tourists. The steep cliffs are well visible, show their layers of different types of rock, each with it's own age. Hundreds of millions of years are stacked here. It is a spectacular sight.

The view is beautiful, wide and above all empty. The horizon is empty, no human constructions in sight. My mobile phone protests, looses his connection with the rest of the world. This seems to be the end of the inhabited world, hundred kilometres outside Sydney. What a pleasure it is to sit here, enjoying the view. In the shade with a book I look at the impatient visitors.

Tourists come and go, stare for three minutes at the millions of years and re board the bus. Make a picture and move on, as they expect to see more at higher speed.

Three minutes and back into the bus. What a waste of time. Actually you should not travel at all to obtain maximum time for being at a place. Travel less, see more.

Govett's leap gets too crowded for me. The various trails along and through the valley are too active for me. The George Phillips Lookout, at a few hundred metres of Govett's leap (follow the Fairfax Heritage Trail from the picnic area) offers the perfect point of rest.

The view is the same, but it is just beyond the inhabited world. I sit here for a full day and nobody passed yet. My ears have to get accustomed to the silence. There are no human made sounds any more. The wind rushes through the trees. Insects and birds sing me a song. Salamanders come to greet me. You see more when sitting still. If only I could sit here for millions of years to see the valley getting wider.

Till next Nut,