Friday, February 22, 2019

Bells Line Gallery 17-2-2019

Last sundays ride into the Blue Mountains along the Bells Line I took my DSLR for some practise photography. Here's a gallery of bikes I took of bikes passing by. I believe the Ducati Riders club was out today which explains so many Ducatis in these pics. Enjoy.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Not all who wander are lost

The girls were going out on Sunday and as I wasn't doing anything much I thought I'd join my two hobbies into one fantastic day. What could be better than a sunday ride through the Blue Mountains and take my camera along and take some photos. Photo's of what you ask? Well anything really I didn't have a plan on where I wanted to go or what I wanted to take photos of. I thought I'd just go with the flow as they say and see what happens.

It was going to be a hot day in Sydney today at 35-36°C so the Blue mountains was an excellent choice as it was only going to max out at 26°C. I thought I'd try out my new Dri Rider all seasons jacket today to combat the heat from the last ride where I was positively melting in my leathers.

Internal liners out and dry mesh jacket on, camera backpack on and then hit the road. Stopping to top up the gas tank was priority before tackling the Bells Line of Road up through the Blue Mountains. It was nice and cool in the ventilated jacket. I stopped to take a picture at Mt Tomah Botanical gardens, not wanting to spend too long I left my helmet on. Today I learned that you can't put your eye up to the viewfinder on the back of your DSLR with your helmet on as it is too big to fit in the helmet opening. Dang, fail.

Mt Tomah Botanical Gardens

So I quickly packed up and moved on to the next spot. I caught up to 3 bikes that got stuck behind a slow moving semi, then another 10 or so bikes came up behind. Looks like it was going to be a busy day out today. Next stop was down a dirt track to Mt Banks lookout. It wasn't a great spot for a photo so I left after grabbing this little gem.

View over the Banks Walls from Mt Banks(Not shown)

I made my way back to the main highway then continued along and found a spot on the side of the road were I could stop in the shade. I thought it might be a good spot to take some pics of any bikes that happened by. I was in luck as plenty of bikes came by. I'll post a gallery up a little later. Looks like I was under exposing most pics today by about 1 stop, better luck next time. Practise makes almost perfect as they say.

 A quick half hour break was good to test out my camera and take some snaps of my bike, which I'd not really done with this camera yet. Packing it away again I continued on until I got to Bell.

Not sure which way to go I quickly decided to head down towards lithgow. Coming into lithgow I saw a sign that pointed back up into the mountains that said Hartley Vale. I thought I'd follow this along and see where it went. I meandered through the foothills of the mountains. I found a little pub called the Comet Inn. It looked in great condition for a country pub but also looked closed.

Oh well, this road continued on climbing back into the mountains, it was only a little one lane road with 2kms of dirt, bumpy narrow and need to take a lot of care if anything comes the opposite direction. It popped back out onto the darling causeway between Bell and Mt Victoria.

I thought I'd like to go and have a look at Govetts leap, which is a lookout near Blackheath so I set off through to Mt Vic and the great western highway. I got a parking spot right at the entry arch to the look out. It was a beautiful day to be up that's for sure.

 I've been up here a few times, but I always like coming back. I could sit here and look at that mountain landscape for hours. Why? Because I can.

The sign says the Fall of water was named Govetts Leap after the surveyor of the same name discovered it. The Blue Mountains gets it name from the blue haze that can be seen in the air here. This is caused by the eucalyptus oil evaporating into the air from the tree leaves. And today it was particularly blue and hazy.

The hazy Blue Mountains

The sandstone cliff faces give off very different colours through out the day, in the morning and afternoon the cliffs glow in a bright hue of orange colours which can be quite spectacular.

I decided to move on and head around Cliff Drive at Katoomba and check what lookout I could get a good view for some more pics, Cahills lookout was that stop. It was starting to feel quite warm standing in the midday sun and I was getting hungry and thirsty. One more stop before I grab lunch. I met a older gent in the carpark who came up and looked at the bike and said" I could have sworn that was a Ducati coming up the hill from the noise it makes". I love the sound of the crossplane engine. It sets this inline 4 apart from every other mundane inline 4 cylinder engine.

Cahills Lookout

The views out to the south and west from Cahills lookout were also quite good. Amazing vistas and scenery up in this part of the world.

The cliffs are a shear drop off the edge, wouldn't want to wander around in the dark up here otherwise your could go straight over a 3-4 hundred metre drop.

What I didn't notice at first when I took the photo above was that there was something unusual about it. I took a closer look and then snapped this picture. Not for me but each to their own and I know they were out enjoying their day.

I was now getting very hungry and thirsty, it was after 1pm so time to get something to eat and drink. I was getting a bit tired of getting this big DSLR camera out. Get backpack off, open bag get camera out, put backpack back on take pics, reverse order again. It was getting a bit old. I think I need a tank bag I can shove it in if I take it out again to make it easier. That complaint over it does take some great photos, I just wish I knew how to take those one's hahahaha. Oh and if anyone wants to know, I don't use Auto either. It's all or nothing. The 300mm lense was to big for most of these shots today and was used between 70-200mm.

I headed off around Cliff drive past the 3 sisters no pics of that today, perhaps another time. I made my way through Leura. The smells from the cafes was now making me very hungry. One thing I love in the Blue mountains is the small pockets that have ever green tree's lining the streets, pines etc. The one's below are not ever green but still really beautiful.

 I finally pulled into Mountain Pies at Wentworth Falls for lunch. A pie, coffee and water to rehydrate was dispatched in no time. I cooled down a lit in the air conditioning before making for home .

Dropping down from the mountains into the outer suburbs of Sydney the temp skyrocketed from a balmy 26° in the mountains to 36° in the west, it was damn hot and I was glad I had the Mesh Jacket on but it was still stifling, lucky it was only 30 min to home. Another great day out on the bike and only 1 tank of fuel. Here's a quick map of today's ride.