Communing with Nature

Trip Start Apr 20, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
Traveler's Rest Hotel

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today we are heading out to the Blue Mountains National Park outside of Sydney for a day of exploration of the natural beauty of this part of Australia.  There are many tour option to this national park ranging in cost from $55 to over $120.  We decided to explore the park on our own.  You can buy a rail ticket which will take you to the entrance of the park and it includes the "hop-on hop-off" bus within the park.  For us this was the best option as it allowed me the freedom to spend more or less time in each spot as dictated by my photography needs.  It is about a 2 hour train ride to the town of Katoomba where we enter the park area and hop on the bus.  
I was a big wimp and decided not to take the Cable Car over the canyon.  I am sure it offers great views but I just could not do it.  The first stop we elected was at the Katoomba falls or a little walk thru the native vegetation of this part of Australia and our first glimpse of the impressive valley below.  As we cleared the forest and arrived at our first vista, I realized that it was a good thing I did not go on the cable car.  We could see to from our vantage point and I was queazy standing on the edge of the cliff looking at it suspended in the sky.  That's for some other more adventurous types but what beautiful views!!  The mountains do appear to be covered in this blue mist.  It is caused by a secretion from the Eucalyptus trees and is the only place it can be witnessed on earth.  We stopped in the middle of the forest and enjoyed our lunch in a very calm and relaxing atmosphere.  This is truly a beautiful place and I can understand why it has been classified as a World Heritage Site.  

We hopped back on the bus to our next chosen spot, the 3 Sisters viewing platform.  It was very crowded but did offer another amazing overlook of the valley and of course the Three Sisters rock formation off to the side.  We made our third and final stop at the Leura Cascades here we trekked down a small path along side a stream that seemed to continuously cascade gently over the rocks.  It was a really nice walk and I was able to take some great photos of the water and surrounding vegetation.
I highly recommend a visit to this park while you are in Sydney.  There are a lot of trails to be explored and I am sure so much more beauty to be discovered than the few spots we were able to visit.  A great day of hiking and communing with nature.  Don't miss it.
After our 2 hour train ride back to the city, we decided to go up to the Sydney Tower just in case there were some issues tomorrow.  It was dusk to it gave us a good view of the city from on high.  I must admit it is quite expensive ($25 pp) and in my opinion not really worth it.  Due to the location of the Tower, we only have a small glimpse of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.  Yes, it is a good view of the entire Sydney metroplex with it's many islands and waterways, but…..  That was a good long day with lots of walking which is becoming more and more difficult for Mom to do so I must make some adjustments to our upcoming travel schedule especially in Uluru.
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Carolyn Summers on two never surprise me with your adventures. Love your potographs. Take it easy on MOM; we are getting older you know. However, I have never known Arlene to slow down; she is always ready for a new adventure and it is wonderful she can do it with you, Zach.

Looking foward to more posts of photos.

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