Caves and more Caves

Trip Start Jan 18, 2006
Trip End Dec 19, 2006

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Having decided to stay put in Katoomba for a while and do short drives out from there, today we went to the Jenolan Caves. This involved one of the worst hairpin drives so far this trip!! Not only was the road very narrow but you couldn't see round the bends, we were pleased to arrive. What a surprise, not only did you enter the 'complex' through a huge stone archway which is part of the hill, but then you went past the Cave Hotel, an Edwardian huge tudor type building from years gone by! I strolled into the ticket office to get a ticket to go round the caves, and the chap there said, which ones do you want to go round, how fit are you, how long do you want to be here, how much can you afford? What?....I thought this was going to be simple!! I said, wait and I'll get my husband!! There are about 6 caves you can pay for, we with his help, decided on Lucas, which is the biggest and 'the must see' - this was an hour and half tour. We had time to go for a walk up the hill to the stone arch high above the valley. (and a cuppa!) Then off we went into the caves. These were huge, with the usual decorations of stalligmites, columns, shawls etc, but there had been a lot of damage from Victorian tourists who took a lot of these for souvenirs!! We climbed over 3000 steps during the time!!

I then wanted to do another cave, one of the 'gems' while Gra wanted to do a walk, so I had a quarter of hour wait, no time to have lunch, and did the 'Orient' cave. This was 'a gem!' Wonderful and completely unspoilt, I loved it, though it involved even more steps! Gra enjoyed his bush walk and saw Kangaroos and different birds.

Walks in the Blue Mountains are a bit like a lucky dip, there is no proper literature or maps, rangers are unhelpful so you just have to take pot luck and go for it. Sometimes the track peeters out in 50 metres, and other times (most often) you find yourself going up and down steep steps on the side of a cliff, always wonderful views with the blue haze. We'll be fit by the time we reach NZ!!
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