The Blue Mountains

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
Trip End May 02, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We picked up our white Hyundai i30 and loaded our gear. Getting out of the city on the left side via multi-lane roads and highways wasn't too difficult so soon we were on the M4 bound for the Blue Mountains.  The climb was gradual and the scenery well hidden, until we reached Wentworth Falls.  A few steps off the parking lot a lookout provided spectacular views of the canyon walls and valley below.  Further on we descended to Prince's Rock with splendid views of the high and broad falls below.

Our next stop was Echo Point, a massive terrace overlooking more canyons and most famously, The Three Sisters, tall sandstone towers of important Aboriginal significance.  We devoured our lunch on a bench built into the side of the first sister, essentially on the edge of a cliff with a safety fence.

We set off to explore more of the area, hiking along the top of the cliffs in search of Katoomba Falls.  Parts of the trail were closed due to a recent bush fire so we detoured via the road.  The blackened tree skeletons looked eerily beautiful.  Like any great waterfalls we heard them before we saw them.  First a set of cascades appeared, then, walking toward the dropoff, the sound intensified and the lookout jutted out over the cliff just above the main falls.  Many stairs lead down with multiple small terraces offering unique looks either back toward the falls or out into the valley.  We marvelled not only at the scenery but also at the bravery and ingenuity of those who made all of this so accessible to lovers of nature like us.

After seeking advice from the information centre we drove northwest to Perry's Lookdown camping area.  Although surrounded by canyons we barely saw in the fading daylight, the layout was similar to campgrounds back home.  We had our first rest in our new car, both sleeping and waking episodically throughout the long night.

Despite the forecast for a 90% chance of rain overnight, the sun came up and the ground was dry.  We took a short walk down to Perry's Lookdown and observed the mountains and valleys in the wrong angle of light.  Around the corner were Anvil Rock and Wind Eroded Cave, the latter a sandstone cliff-side carved by nature into a glorious fiery sculpture of enormous proportions.
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