Blue Mountains (CONTAINS VIDEO)

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
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Trip End Mar 21, 2008


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Flag of Australia  ,
Friday, November 10, 2006






Although Sydney no doubt has a lot more to offer, we feel like we should get out of the city and try something different, so we decide to head out to the Blue Mountains.

The train from Central Station to Katoomba takes a couple of hours, most of which is just getting out of Sydney. While we are passing through one of the outer suburbs, Jane sees a kangaroo standing on the grass, watching the train. As soon as we get out of Sydney, we start to rise up into the mountain range that proved difficult for the early European settlers to pass but, once conquered, opened up all the rest of Australia for development.

Jane and I, along with all the other foreigners, pile off at Katoomba, the gateway town for the major touristy parts of the Blue Mountains such as the Three Sisters and Echo Point. While the term 'Blue Mountains' refers to the entire, huge region of mountains, it is this small cluster of sights that gets most of the visitors. Most of the other tourists fall straight into the expensive trap offered by the local tour service masquerading as an 'information' office, but we find out that it is only a half hour scenic walk down to the cliffs.

The Three Sisters are the large rock formations that jut out of the mountains like three fingers. If you've seen the poster for the movie 'Saw 3', imagine that but in rock. These rocks hold great spiritual significance for the aboriginal people. At the first 'sister' we see some steep stairs going down the cliff so we follow them down, and down, and down, and down some more. The people we pass coming up are all sweating profusely and gasp warnings like "Make sure you have plenty of water" and "For the love of God, don't go down there!" Actually, no one said that, but that was the look on their faces.

Finally we reach the bottom and discover that there is actually a nice bush walk that takes us across the side of the mountain, thus delaying the inevitable climb back up. It takes us about two hours, through cool rainforest tracks lined by eucalyptus and fern trees, shrieking cockatoos and huge moss-covered rocks that have tumbled off the brittle cliffs in centuries gone by. We stop for our picnic lunch beside a waterfall, then begin the ascent up the Ferber Steps to the ridge. From there it is another 90 minutes or so to Echo Point, where most of the coachloads of tourists jump out for a quick photo before continuing on with their tight itineraries. At the other end of the spectrum, hardcore bushwalkers can hike down to the valley floor and do multi-day hikes but we are very satisfied with our five-hour trek.
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Comments

busybee0
busybee0 on

remember tthis?
Hey James
Do you remember the last time you were at the Blue Mts? You were 12 when we did the crampervan trip.We went to Leura, i think but didn't get to do such an adventurous trek (you had just had your toe op). Love Mum

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