The Majestic Blue Mountains

Trip Start Nov 29, 2012
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What I did
Blue Mountains

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, April 5, 2013

One of the reasons I decided to take a detour through Sydney was because I was desperate to see the Blue Mountains, one of the highlights of the New South Wales region. It had been recommended in the Lonely Planet guidebook and to me, that meant that it was an absolute must see.

No one ever doubts Lonely Planet after all!

An extensive mountain range about two hours outside of Sydney, it's home to The Three Sisters. Even though there are around a million guided tours available, I was determined to go myself, even if I didn’t have Felicity. Oh and Mr You like Party? Of course. After I’d shooed him out of bed, we set off and arrived around 11am to blistering heat in Katoomba, the main town in The Blue Mountains. My first impressions were pretty scary. In the main street, a group of kids were having a standoff and effing and blinding at each other. Then when I went to the bank, I was at the counter and a little old lady who sounded like she smoked sixty a day and looked the wrong side of crazy sidled up and started stroking my arm. 'Where are you from?’ she croaked, peering at me as if I was some sort of specimen. I just smiled sweetly and quickly backed away slowly before she freaked me out even more! Despite the fact I hate tour buses, I had conceded that I had to go on one to reach the Three Sisters. To be fair, the bus driver was pretty awesome and even gave me a shout out along the lines of ‘Och aye the noo’ which made me laugh, especially as he said it with a thick Australian drawl. We decided that as it was such a lovely day, we’d go bushwalking which offered the most amazing views. The Blue Mountains got their name from the fact that the forest floor is lined with Eucalyptus trees which release an almost blue vapour into the sky. There was an option to take a cable car but the mountain passes offered much better views, the cable car did offer fantastic photo opportunities against the cloudless blue sky though.

One of the things I loved the most was the complete silence. When Mr You like Party?? Actually stopped talking for once on the mountain pass, you could have heard a pin drop, it was incredible.

The best part though was The Three Sisters themselves which looked incredible against the skyline. After a quick lunchbreak, we had the opportunity to walk down The Giant Staircase which led down from The Sisters themselves, all 900 steps of them. Many years ago, people used to go rock climbing and abseiling on The Three Sisters but this was banned a couple of decades ago after erosion of the rock, probably explaining why they appear the way they do today. The staircase was exhausting and by the time we reached the bottom, I thought my knees were going to fall off! There was a signpost that offered two options, to go to the Scenic Railway or to go to the Leura Forest which was around a kilometre walk away. Or so it said anyway. Mr You like Party? insisted that we go to the Forest, despite my protests. The track didn’t look very worn and I was rather worried. We traipsed for what felt like miles in the rainforest and every step I took I was convinced that a snake was going to have my leg off. Eventually, we reached a clearing and found a sign that told us that we had another an hour and a half to go before we reached the surface again. Sigh. We didn’t see a single other person while we were down in the rainforest which was slightly unsettling. And then came the steps. Ladder after ladder of steps. At times I wished I would have a coronary so I wouldn’t have to keep going up the stairs, I was completely exhausted. Then, to add to things, Mr You like Party? wanted to take a detour to the Leura Falls. I didn’t have a clue how far it was so I said I would wait for him to come back. Twenty minutes passed and he still hadn’t returned. I kept stamping my feet in a bid to scare off any dingos and when it reached the half hour mark decided I would venture off into the bush myself and head back to Katoomba

To say I was terrified would be an understatement. I practically ran up the steps and was severely unimpressed when I stumbled across a sign warning of death adders! I hadn’t even thought of those! Needless to say, I sprinted even faster and before I knew it, I was back on the main road, completely out of breath and sweating like a hippo on a treadmill! Mr You like Party? materialised about ten minutes later having not being devoured by dropbears* after all and joined me for our long trudge back to the train station in the blistering heat. Sigh.

*Dropbears are an Australian legend which, depending on who you're talking to, are like koala bears with huge fangs and sharp claws that jump from trees onto unsuspecting tourists. It is in fact, a myth to scare people off bushwalking!
**I seem to have misplaced my photos of The Three Sisters themselves which is pretty good going! Will upload them when I find them!  

 

 

 
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