Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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Finally made it to the Blue Mountains!
..to the bustling little town of Katoomba - nice enough, busy enough and bursting with local life, but all a bit invisible it seems. The whole place is shrouded in mist and I haven't seen a single glint of panorama yet.
Chuffed to find hot showers though, even if I do find myself sitting here freezing my tits off afterwards. That last leg was a bitch of a ride - lashings of cold rain, howling winds and a whole onslaught of chilling misery that had me hugging the tank and grimacing like a kid with extra homework. What topped it was having to suffer the road in. Which begs the question: Who's idea was it to slap a load of 60 and 80k zones back-to-back along this beautifully smooth sweeping freeway that winds itself gracefully through the heart of the Blue Mountains? Who? Cos' they need a clip.
So while the weather's ruled out any visual treat today, things have been getting interesting enough indoors. 'Entertaining' would be a better word. Got a great mix of roomies here at the Flying Fox Backpackers, including the perfunctory 'older guy' - from Switzerland this time, who's taking a year out to redefine his priorities (and absolutely loving it); an obsessively neat German girl who does nothing, says nothing and watches everything and everyone through the corner of her eye (her good eye); the classic inconsiderate English gap-year dick-head who has no grasp of the simple concept of 'other people'; and a chirpy American girl with a bright smile who's on temporary release from the military to have a bit of a jolly before she returns to Iraq to engage in more friendly-fire against the allies. All good.
Met a few interesting locals too, in particular the eccentric film-producer dude in his late forties who instantly took a shine after hearing of my ripping around Australia on a twin. We watched the superbikes on the big screen for a while and got talking. Turns out he's a bit of a bike fanatic who spent years tweaking twins and Guzzis and generally pissing about with engines. I happened to catch him in the middle of a two-day bender, so in minutes, half the place got to hear of my random adventures from this excitable bike nut. Naturally, it was embellished ten-fold and before I knew it I was supping a coldie and bantering with a load of randoms as 'the guy who's on the run from the Feds and now plans to hide out in the Blue Mountains'. This was almost as classic as the open mic night that kicked off at around 9pm, along with some of the fruit-cake characters who got up to belt out a screeching symphony. It's not often you come across side-splitting entertainment, but this was worth every bit of the pain. I just know I'll be sore for days..