Katoomba

We woke up lovely and warm this morning. This guesthouse/hostel really is so cool. It’s been a guesthouse since 1913 and has lots of 1950′s charm about it plus stripped wooden floors, cosy checked duvets and underfloor heating. What a luxury!

We get up and after breakfast head out in the car. There are lots of lookout points here and we start with Wentworth Falls. The scenery is spectacular; The Blue Mountains get their name from the blue mist that arises from the oil evaporating from of the thousands of eucalyptus trees covering the mountains. Looking around its impossible to take in the whole canyon and mountainous surround in one go as it’s so vast.

We decide we will take the “Scenic World” route around the area in order to get the best views of the landscape. First is a trip across the 300m wide canyon in the skyride. It’s a massive thing with a glass floor and surprisingly I quite enjoy it. We have a fantastic view of The Three Sisters. (Rock formation) The biting icy wind is my main concern and we skip around in an effort to keep warm when we reach the other side of the canyon. To get to the bottom we take the funicular railway, it’s claimed to be the steepest in the world and I can definitely believe that as it was almost vertical.

At the bottom of the canyon are coal mines which were in use until 1945 when the colliery was finally closed down and we have a good look around. Some of the mining equipment is still there and we look into a ventilation shaft whilst reading the history of the mines and about the lives of the young miners who carried out such a dangerous job on a daily basis. We take some good photos of the kids posing with the coal cart and on a replica of the original mountain train called The Mountain Devil.

There are lots of different types of plants and animals here and we read about the various species of eucalypts, Jurassic age tree ferns, rainforest mosses and fungi. Animals frequently sighted here include possums, bandicoots, kangaroos and wallabies, none of whom made an appearance today. Presumably too cold!

We get another cable car back and after having chicken wraps for lunch in the cafe get back in the car and head for the local supermarket. Maisie has asked if she can cook dinner tonight and we decide roast beef will be lovely. We get all the stuff and drive back to the hostel for a quiet afternoon in front of the fire. Bliss.

Simon and Maisie get the dinner on and we sit talking to a really nice couple called Adrian and Liz. They have been all through New Zealand and give us loads of tips and advice about places to go. As they are heading up the coast to Cairns we do the same for them. They have a bottle of red wine and offer us a glass of mulled wine. So good and the roast beef is perfect. We have a hot chocolate with marsh mallows and flake for pudding. Just a normal relaxing Sunday afternoon!

Later Simon, Adrian, Liz and Ali go to see The Three Sister in the dark; apparently it is lit up at night and looks stunning. The photographs don’t prove it as our camera isn’t that good but they said the moonlit effect was excellent.

When they get back we sit talking until late about the effect the trip has had on all our lives and future plans. They spent two months in South America and it sounds amazing. Very safe, interesting and beautiful, I would love to go there.

Tomorrow we are going back to Sydney really looking forward to seeing the sights such as the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge- how exciting!

Comments are closed.