A chance encounter with a mysterious woman and then a plea for help pinned to a gate by the firetrail leading to Faulconbridge Point.
It’s the stuff of romance novels, and not one of the usual happenings in the Blue Mountains National Park.
But on November 26, life took an unexpected turn for Neil Shannon from Winmalee, when he decided a swim in the Grose River was in order on a hot Sunday afternoon.
He had ridden his mountain bike on the firetrail to Faulconbridge Point and upon reaching the track intersection to descend steeply to the Grose River, he set out on foot.
It wasn’t long before he came across a brown-haired woman in her 30s with neatly tied back dreadlocks wearing no shoes, with a man and two other women – one of whom appeared to be American/Canadian and was in distress.
Mr Shannon offered to carry the woman in distress, and suggested the barefoot woman take his shoes.
“I offered her my shoes thinking she’d damaged them or lost them,” he said.
“It was her smile and the way she was looking at me. She had a pleasant way about her. She seemed unmaterialistic and that really appeals to me.”
His offer of help was declined so he continued on his way for a swim, but caught back up with the group later where they talked again. The barefoot woman gave him a compliment, but being quite shy, Mr Shannon said nothing and kept walking.
“I wish I had turned around and said something,” the groundskeeper in his 30s from St Columba’s Catholic College said.
Rueing his silence, Mr Shannon put two signs up on the track, hoping the woman might have been a local and encouraging her to get in touch if she felt like it. But there’s been no leads.
After the Gazette saw the signs and contacted Mr Shannon about a possible story in the paper he was initially reluctant to ‘go public’ out of concern for the woman, but agreed to give it one last shot.
Do you know more or can you help?
Mr Shannon can be contacted via Facebook, just search for Neil Shannon.