Yesterday, here in Australia, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the first crossing of the Blue Mountains by the European settlers. In may 1813 an intrepid group of men fought dense bush, sickness, and a very rugged landscape that included sheer cliffs to find a way westward from the settlement of Sydney. There had been numerous failed attempts before and some even said that every attempt would be blocked by impassable cliffs.
The current Great Western Highway very closely follows the route taken by these men. We rarely think of the hardships endured by these men as we travel in comfort for about 50 minutes over a route that took them weeks.
It has been said that the settlement of Sydney may even have been abandoned if a way had not been found over the mountains.
Their achievement is a vital part of the success of the colony of New South Wales and should be regarded as such.