. We then drove back to Karen's and stopped off at a little market to have a look and a sausage sarnie-yum! Karen lives in Wallerawang (near Lithgow) (Karen - if you're wondering how we remembered that, your mum gave me your address this morning!). After depositing our bags, we headed out to watch a game of rugby (which they also annoyingly call football!) with Karen's son Brendan playing for Kandos. Sadly, they narrowly lost in the last minutes of the game (its the playing that matters - spot the Barnsley fan!). Off to drown sorrows at local pub, where we scared the locals by having a pint (they only drink Scooners - something between a half and a pint, but bigger than a pot). Back at Karen's, we met Paul & Scott (Karen's youngest boys - Hello Paul & Scott!!), who we chatted with whilst Victor BBQ'd up a feast.
After a well needed nights sleep, we read a bit more of Harry (despite a certain boy trying to read the last page before us). We all (boys included) headed out to a local lookout (Karen - you may know the name) to admire more of the Blue Mountains. We had planned to meet Diane (Karen's sister) & kids at the Zigzag railway (see below) however as we were a little late the train & them left without us. So, we had takeaway in a park for lunch. We made it to the train station in time to see Diane, as the train went down the new tracks in the other direction, which was nice
. The Zigzag railway is so called as it zigzags down the side of a gorge (type thing), the railway now goes through tunnels so it is just left as a tourist attraction. One of the rides is a Harry Potter one, so they had lots of Harry related signs up - so all had picture taken on Platform 9 3/4, yeay! The train set off, with the boys in the co-pilot seat. First, we went through a dark dark tunnel, we stopped on the top of the zigzag to look at the viaduct. The train then zigzagged its way down to the bottom (with us swapping ends each time). We got off at Hogsmeade station and had a look around the workshop, where the steam trains & Thomas slept. Back on the train, we all had a chance of changing the signals at one of the signal boxes on the way back up. The boys are now expert signal changers! After the dark, dark, tunnel we were back at Platform 9 3/4 where we said goodbye to the driver and got back to Karen's to finish Harry.
The next day Karen kindly drove us to Lithgow train station for our train to Sydney, which went through Zigzag, which was nice.
Thanks to Karen, Victor, Paul & Scott for a fab time up in the mountains!!
Despite being bleary eyed after an overnight bus journey we managed to negotiate Sydney's transport system (if someone can explain the difference between Intercity & Countrywide that would be great - esp as we got an Intercity train to the country) and get on a train to the blue mountains. We got the train to Katoomba where we were met by Karen (Anne's sister) & Victor (boyfriend). We drove to a great lookout point over the Blue Mountains where we could see a rock formation called the Three Sisters with clouds floating over it - beautiful. Then we went to Scenic world where we went on the steepest funculair in the world. Steep doesn't begin to describe it, we have never been so scared!! (or glad to be in a caged roofed vehicle). We then walked through the forest at the bottom, where the coal mine used to be - fighting Asian-tour-bus-hoards all the way! We came back up by cable car (not going on the train thing again!), we were sardined in with above mentioned Asian-tour-bus-hoards