A breaf Blue Mountain boogie.
Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
43Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Blackheath Caravan Park
We stayed in Blackheath, which is approx 100km west of Sydney just past Katoomba. It was a very peaceful tourist park (caravan park is not p.c. anymore). When the birds, and there were a lot of them, weren’t screaming at each other, it was very quiet and very relaxing. We were encircled by enormous trees that stood like sentries that protected us, the intrepid travellers, from the dangers that lurked in the mountains and valleys beyond. There were also a set of creepy American twins that lived on sight in a large-ish caravan.....never did get to work them out because they very seldom left their caravan......probably only when the moon was full, they were very hairy boys
Campervan life is becoming more and more acceptable to me as a future method holidaying. There is something about preparing a meal in the fresh mountain air and sitting down outside to eat it that I find overwhelmingly enriching and I want to keep doing it.
This camp was also full of wonderful birdlife. There were snow white cockatoo’s flaring their plumes at any other birds that dared share a tree with them. The usual lorikeets were still screaming away at each other, we had gorgeous red and blue parrots jumping about inside the denser trees and 3 or four other species that I couldn’t identify (don’t forget the ducks)
The first night we didn’t do much. We had a few drinks at the local pub and called it a night. The following morning (15 Mar) we went out to Echo Point. It’s very touristy but worth just having a look because the views are pretty cool. From this point you can look out over Jamison Valley as well as the Three Sisters which are 3 enormous rock "fingers" that stand a few hundred feet high. According to Aboriginal folklore they used to be three women that fell in love with men from another tribe. Custom did not allow this and they were told not to even think about it.....but, like Eve, they just had to have a go. They got into quite a bit of trouble for their sneaking around and the local witchdoctor came up with a fool proof way to stop them crossing the valley to the other tribe. You guessed it, he turned them into stone.....nice. The deal was he’d leave them like that until they got over the blokes from the other side and then he’d release them from the spell. Unfortunately the witchdoctor died before he could revoke the spell and VOILA!!!!, we have a tourist attraction....mmmm maybe he was just thinking ahead
The valley itself is phenomenally wide and deep, kinda like the Grand Canyon but with a carpet of trees. Pink and yellow cliff faces rising vertically from what can only be described, from that height, as a broccoli forest. It was beautiful. From up there it’s easy to see why they call them the Blue Mountains. There was a blue haze covering all the foliage for as far as the eye could see. This, apparently, has something to do with Eucalyptus oil being released .....but I’ve seen it in South Africa as well (Bloukraans) so don’t believe everything they tell you. If the screaming children and busloads of photo happy orientals don’t put you off, then there are a few cool walks to go on from Echo Point. One in particular takes you down, almost vertically at one point, to the base of one of the Sisters,.....more incredible views and in my case, more crazy rock formations. Been there, done that, took the photo’s, but then we had to get away from the tourists.
Every road you choose here seems to end in a mind numbingly beautiful vista’s that could be absorbed from alarmingly high viewing points.. We had to be discerning about which views we took in because there just wasn’t enough time in the day. We chose one that had two valleys meeting with a river flowing down one valley. It looked like a thread of silver from our vantage point. We had a spot of lunch here under the ever watchful and opportunistic eye of the magpies. All that staring into the infinite blue yonder gives a man a hunger.
Before we headed back to camp, we decided to take a drive down into one of the valleys for a different outlook on things
Right so let’s re-cap, ...stunning, awesome, breathtaking, excellent, beautiful etc etc,...well done the Blue Mountains. Next stop Sydney, not overjoyed with the prospect of going into a big old city again, I like the quiet country and coastal life. I guess it’s gotta be done though.
We headed back to camp with smiles on our faces and memories burned into our minds. They were keepers. When I sat back in my chair outside the van and cracked an ice cold bottle of Tooheys Extra Dry, it hit me that I was so relaxed there was a danger of me slipping into a coma, life does not get a whole lot better than this. By the third beer I was convinced my life was at its peak. By the fifth, I couldn’t do a lot of rational thinking so, instead, I got fleeced up for another cold night under a clear, crisp sky. There were two Kookaburra’s in the branches above our van.....all good.