Pink Converse's in The Blue Mountains

Trip Start Nov 01, 2010
Trip End Nov 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Lurline House Katoomba
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, July 23, 2011

Katoomba/Jurassic Park Take 3

With the end of my 6 month contract looming we decided to take a few days break and maybe go away for a 3 day break. I finished up work Tuesday 19th July, had a bit of a work leaving do in the Senate Bar GPO, below work. A few guys from my team (Cheryl, Dale, Ange, Goce, Deryck, Andrew, Horacio and Peter) joined me along with some of the footballers I'd become good friends with. (Kiran, Gil, Stevey & Matt). It was good craic especially when your boss waves the magic company card ;)

Arrived home that night, crashed out, then it was up and packing. Caoimhe had decided to take 3 days of work so it all worked out perfect. Our destination, we basically couldn’t leave it alone, Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains. We couldn’t overlook Lurline House B&B either [], we fell in love with the place a few months ago. This time however we knew there was a strong possibility of snow, and it being quite high season for the mountains especially with the fact that "Christmas in July"/Yulefest [] was held in the Blue Mountains. A celebration set up many years by some Irish people to celebrate the fact having a 40 degree Christmas day on the beach felt rather strange.

We arrived at Katoomba, would have frozen the balls clean off a brass monkey. No snow, but plenty of sleet. Peter the B&B owner picked us up, same drill as last time as we opted for public transport over car hire.

On arrival he announced that even though we’d booked a standard room, the spa room was available and so he upgraded us. Legendary. Felt like hugging they guy only not really sure if he’d appreciate it. He was quite posh and very softly spoken. I doubt he be the kind stumbling about on a Friday night with 7 yegga b0mbs in him :P

Anyways got sorted out, unpacked and went for a dander up the street. Rain and sleet was pouring down, which was a bit sh1t but we were well wrapped up. With it being a Wednesday night the place wasn’t exactly ready for lift off but we managed to find a small restaurant with some lights on. As it turns out it was a Korean restaurant, hardly “stuffed turkey and sprouts’ but sure it will do the job. It ended up a cracker feed and felt like we were back in Asia…ahhh if only the prices were back in Asia too :) The south Korean was a nice lady, her English was as broken as mine, but we still understood her clearly when she says they don’t sell alcohol :( 

Afterwards, we dodged on up the street and found a bar still open, an “Irish bar” surprisingly enough where I had a nice pint of the black stuff. Rounded the 1st night off nicely. We took a peak out the bar door, bucketing down – sack this for a game of darts – Taxiiii….

We hadn’t bumped into Ernie just yet (our bearded taxi driver from a previous trip) but instead got another driver. We asked if he knew Ernie and with it being a small mountain village and all, sure he knew him well. He was able to tell us all about Ernie and his 10 years spent living on a commune which explains a whole pile of stuff now thinking back haha, he was a little legend. Our driver informed us he'd left the commune over an argument which started over a donkey eating all the vegetables….lol

I think the best feeling was actually being off work for a few days. Holidaying in Sydney and working in Sydney are 2 entirely different things so it was great to put the tourist hats on again and just do random silly stuff.

Got up early the next morning around 8am and decided to go for a run down to echo point and down the giant staircase to the 3 sisters. Felt very eerie as I was the only person in the entire area and usually the place was jammed with tourists. Eventually got back to the B&B (managed to run ok considering I cracked my rib 3 days previous, disaster) showered and then the mc daddy breakfast was ready for us. The breakfasts rock in this place!

Back to the room, chilled and the got ready for the hike. It was about 2 degrees and drizzling down non-stop but we were determined to see more of the Blue Mountains this time. We walked under the arch in the direction of the 3 sisters giant stair case only this time veering left and ventured onto the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. (Practicing for NZ) []

There were various viewpoints (honeymoon lookout) along the way and we stopped for break or 2 or 3 – spectacular views, taking a few photos. There really were some huge cliff over hangs and drops totally unfenced, tut tut, in Intel I would have logged a 'good-catch’. Yanks ! 

We were plastered in mud, luckily though Caoimhe had excellent climbing footwear, a pink pair of converses! lol some craic. Weirdly we only bumped into a handful of other people, because we are hardcore hike masters obviously.

We had been tracking for about 3 hours by the time we got back to echo point. On the way back to Lurline House a very wet Brian and Caoimhe took a detour into the “Chocolate Factory” for a hot chocolate to warm us up. We’d been to the place before on Valentines weekend, where I stole Caoimhe’s heart….

Back to the cosy B&B, scrubbed up, and were ready to head out for a feed. A common theme was appearing here, walking, running, sleeping and eating, it was finding that fine balance haha 

There was joint nearby, which came highly rated, The Swiss Cottage. [] – weirdly the place didn’t accept credit cards which was odd considering it was basically in the middle of nowhere with no ATMs around and the reason we didn’t actually go the night before. Anyways, it was a 2 minute walk and we were looking forward to a good feed. Sure enough, place was in some nick. All Swiss decorated, ran by a Swiss family for 20 years but unfortunately is now up for sale. Myself and Caoimhe’s eyes lit up (at the size of the rib eye steak lol)

The lady who served us (daughter in law of the owner) was very friendly and we had good banter with her, food was fairly pricey (It was no ‘meal deal’ Rory Hill will like this) – but was well worth it, and to top it off it was BYO – we’d red wine, white wine, beer, you name it we had/drunk it ;)

We awoke the following morning, feeling very refreshed , breakfast round 2 (fit for a king I tell ya), Peter left us off at Katoomba train station and it was Sydney bound, for the worst rain fall in July for, wait for it, 61 years ! Yip you can blame us! ;)

Great little break, ahead of a chilled out weekend planning more of our Fiji Itinerary and an action plan as to how in the name of God we are going to ship all our stuff home without actually needing our own private ship!
A Drenched but very happy Brian & Caoimhe 

Ciao Katoomba

P.S The converses have just been through wash no.3 – they are getting there ! There is a glimmer of hope that they will be once again, pink!

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