Blue Mountains

Trip Start Nov 20, 2006
Trip End Jun 27, 2007

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

After an extremely uncomfortable 13hr overnight bus journey from Byron Bay (with very little sleep), we arrived in Sydney and got the train to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. After a quick power nap we headed off on our first walk along one of the mountain ridges. We started off at Katoomba Falls, which, unfortunately, were barely more than a trickle due to the drought. It was then onto the scenic skyway cable car for a short journey across the valley floor.

The views were incredible - the forest floor below, as described by Matt, looked like broccoli!

The next viewpoint, Echo Point, had great views across the mountains and the Three Sister rocks.

The mountains get their name from the blue haze that surrounds them which is apparently due to the vapours given off by all the eucalyptus plants.

Thunder had been rolling around the mountains throughout the afternoon so after a brief climb down to the Three Sister rocks we decided to head back to the hostel.

Katoomba is quite a sleepy town with some very 'local' pubs. Although everyone turned to stare at us as we walked in, which was slightly daunting, they did make us feel very welcome. We also found a really good Thai restaurant where we had a meal for 6 pounds each - slightly above our 4 pounds average but you have to splash out sometimes!

The next morning we woke to rain lashing at the window. There had been a storm during the night and flood warnings had been issued in the mountains. Undeterred (surely the storm would blow over), we put on our wet weather gear (which hasn't had an outing for a good 8 weeks!) and set off to Wentworth Falls. On arrival our first stop was a cafe for hot chocolate and coffee - it seemed we were slightly too optimistic on the weather front. After an hour or so though the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to come out. We set off on our walk and straight away were hit by the total lack of signs to 'one of the Blue Mountains top tourist attractions'. After our last directions mishap in Noosa we were ultra careful, taking our time, finding a sign before setting off. After walking for 1.5km through a residential area we started to doubt ourselves. We decided we must be going the wrong way and set off back to the main road to get directions. We had in fact been going the right way but just needed to go 2km to get to the falls - before starting our main walk we had already done nearly 4km. As we started to approach the falls a mist started to roll in and on turning the corner onto the falls lookout this is what our efforts were rewarded with:

It was quite amusing and I took quite a while to recover from laughing so much - better to laugh than cry! We started the walk down to the falls but today didn't seem to be our lucky day - the rain had been so heavy that the path had flooded and we couldn't get through. I bet the falls looked spectacular though with all that rainfall - we could certainly hear them but the mist wasn't budging. We thought we might as well carry on and were rewarded with even more spectacular views from the second lookout:

We have been so lucky with the weather for the last few weeks that it was bound to run out at some point!

It rained all that night and was still raining the next morning. Not just a bit of rain either but totally torrential rain. With the forecast being more flash floods throughout the day we decided to head straight to Sydney. At least we were rewarded at Katoomba train station - the train station stairs looked like a waterfall all of their own!
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