18.March.2006 - Part 2 - Blue Mountains

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sorry this entry is coming a bit late. Schoolwork took it's hold directly after the trip to the Blue Mountains. I'll try to recall as much as I can from the trip, it shouldnt be too hard, as the second half was amazing.

So after the Zoo, we took a bus ride for what seemed like forever (for whatever reason, I get bus-sick... only in Australia though... very odd). Then we arrived at a small town, officially named "Blue Mountains". The "city" of Blue Mountains is one of the biggest cities ever, with something like 200 square kilometers of area. We stopped and had the usual lunch and such. Thats where I found the awesome store: "Stairway to Kevin". Of course I had to take a picture, though I didnt have time to stop in. From what I could tell, it's a record/cd shop. Also, on the way back to the bus, I was again distracted by a yard sale type thing, but it seemed more permenent than a garage sale. Plus, there were multiple venders there. One of the venders was selling harmonicas, which of course I ended up picking up. The guy was totally cool, and even played a song on the harmonica for me. He was pretty good too.

Shortly after getting back on the bus after lunch, we arrived at the three sisters. The Three Sisters is a rock formation near Katoomba (a nearby town that I later visited) that jots up almost 1 kilometer off of the ground!!! (A bit over a half mile). We got to walk around the 'scenic lookout' and see it from all different angles. Also, I got some perspective of the size of the mountains, as you could look over the side of this lookout and barely see the treeline way way below. I tossed a rock over the side, and it took a good several seconds to hit the treeline, though I wasnt even able to hear the sound. It just puts things into perspective, the world is huge!

After the Three Sisters, we jumped back on the bus, and headed towards Katoomba. It wasnt too far away, and once we got there, we immediately began hiking down a hill. We were told, we're going to a train that goes up and down the mountain, the steepest train in the world infact. So we keep walking, and about 5 minutes later, we realize that we're going to hike down the mountain, and then ride the train back up. Wow, mountains are big. We spent a good hour walking down! Oh, and for the record, hiking down a mountain is difficult. Everyone in the group was warn out afterwards, and every part of my body below my waist was sore for the next several days. But it was worth it. There were plenty of scenic shots to be found, and along the path, it was really jungle like. I commented to a few people during the hike that I felt like I was in a Vietnam movie, and all that was missing was the M-16's and Charlie in the bush. It was pretty intense. So eventually we reached our destination, which was a train platform, which was not like a standard train. It was very much similar to an amusement park ride, getting in the big steel cages and waiting for everyone else to pile into the thing. It went almost strait up, through a rock tunnel thing, eventually depositing us at the top of the mountain again.

And that's all from the Blue Mountains. Make sure to check out the pictures I took, they were awesome! And stay tuned for my next update, which should be coming soon(er).
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