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The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Screaming!!!

sunny 25 °C

Hi Everyone

How are you all, well we hope? Well since our last update we have managed to tear ourselves away from the restaurants long enough to have some more adventures to tell you all about.

We took the opportunity to go somewhere a bit farer a-field with the Easter long weekend and went to the Blue Mountains. As the name suggests they are mountains that are blue and we booked to stay in a place called Katoomba, which is about 2 hours west of Sydney on the train.

Before we even got half way there the adventure began when we changed at Lidcombe to get on a train, which had over 900 adventure scouts on it. There was no place to sit so we both got comfy (as you can) sat in the doorway of the carriage.

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The journey was quite funny as about 20 of the adventure scouts kept running through all the carriages shouting “give me high 5’s” and “touch my nose” to everyone. Also we got talking to a couple of ozzys on the way, which was great and made the time pass quicker.

Anyway we got there eventually and after we had dumped our stuff at the hotel we headed off. We went straight away for a walk on a footpath called Prince Henry Cliff Walk. The views of the mountains were unbelievable and every so often there would be lookout point that over hung the cliff edge and when you looked out it was bloody scary.

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This cliff walk took us all the way to the three sisters which is a rock formation that is pretty famous over here and has a whole Aboriginal legend attached to it, but we wont bore you with it.

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From there we took the giant stairway, which is 1000 steps down the mountain face to the bottom of the valley. The stairway was this set of dodgy metal steps that were very steep and very rickety.

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By halfway down we were both knack’d and totally demoralised when we saw what looked like a 99 year old Chinese lady…going up!!! Anyway we managed it in the end and like the wobbly legged Shaken Stevens we then followed the Federal Pass walk.

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This took us to a thing called the Scenic Railway, which is an old mining railway that used to take coal up the mountain face to the top. Now it takes people up the mountain face to the top at an angle of 52 degrees, which was a bit scary.

After that we went back to the hotel and went out for food and a drink, which was nice, we also looked round Katoomba and found allsorts of shops and stuff that looked interesting. Especially interesting was the Paragon Café, which in the front had the biggest selection of homemade chocolates you have ever seen.

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The next day we set out to a place called The Zig Zag Railway, which has a private train line where they run old steam trains up and down the mountain in a zig zag formation like they used to in the old days. To get there you have to take a train from Katoomba to this stop where the private line is a short walk away. But the platform for the Intercity is small, in fact only big enough for 1 carriage and is so rarely used that you have to ask the driver specifically to stop there for you and when it stops you have to go to back carriage to get off. Anyway we got off and walked to the private line and got on the Steam strain and it was brilliant and gave some good views when you passed over the viaducts and when you went over mountains also the sounds of the old train chugging away and whistling was nice.

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So that took most of the day and after that we returned to the main line to go home via our Intercity but wondered how the train would know to stop for us since we had to tell the driver to stop on the way there. That question was answered when we got to the platform and there was a sign saying that the train would not automatically stop at the platform and that if we wanted it to stop for us we had to take the big green lollipop lady style stick out of the holster and wave it at the on coming train for the driver to see and stop!!!!! And we thought Thorne South was a bit of a dodgy stop but never had we had to wave a train down.

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We had planned to go to Blackheath another place along the way home that has a great gorge called Govetts Leap that we intended to walk but we must have spent to long at Zig Zag and didn’t have enough time so we called it a day.

The next day we had booked a bus trip to a place called Jenolan where they have fantastic caves with stalactites and stalagmites and all that. Also Jenolan has lots of walks and scenery and a green pool where platypuses play (yes we know it platypi, but we’re common alright!!). So before our cave walk we went for a look round the area at all the huge outdoor caves and round the pool.

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We saw signs all round the pool telling us about the snakes in the area as well as about the platypi (ok happy!!). But while walking in the area Lou actually spotted one of the snakes the sign was on about. So we were both snapping pics away happily and the thing was turning round and hissing at us but we didn’t mind too much as the sign said nothing about them being poisonous, eventually we left it alone coz we didn’t want to get bitten poisonous or not.

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We went for our cave walk and enjoyed the caves; although the guide kept turning the lights completely out to demonstrate how dark (really really dark) it was which was a bit scary.

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Anyway we got back to the coach to go back to Katoomba and we got chatting to the bus driver and told him we had seen snakes. He seemed really interested so I showed him the pictures and he looked and said, “bloody hell, I hope you used the zoom lens for those pictures, they would have ruined your day they’re red bellied black snakes and they’re deadly!!!!” Oh well lesson learnt I guess, snakes are to be kept away from regardless of whether you think they are deadly or not and dont rely on the signs to keep you alive, but believe them to get you home.

Anyway as well as seeing the snakes we also saw lovely spiders…yes we finally got to see the S word that John has been dreading so much since touching down in Feb (and Lou to be honest).

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Although we still haven’t seen tarantula type spiders yet, just house spiders on steroids. Either way they’re bloody horrible and hopefully they won’t feature too much in the coming road trip as John may freak out and in the small campervan and that might not work out so well!!! If the vans a rocking!!! Sorry mum and dad!!!

Other things weve been up to, during another sunny sunday afternoon we took a trip to Tumbalong park to the Thai annual festival. It was pretty cool! There was alsorts going off and alsorts of nice treats to eat too! Im sure we have all thought of what can you do with fruit to make it more eatable/appealing than a bag of crisps,.. but the sculptures at the Thai fest were really something else!

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Walking is fast becoming our favourite free past time during our stay in Sydney and after the festival we caught a bus to bondi junction and walked to the beach and followed the Bondi to Coogee beach walk! It was pretty spectacular! Especially cos all the beaches were officially closed due to the enormous crashing waves, even the more hardy surfers were put off!

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Anyway thats all for now, hope to hear from you all soon, take care.

Posted by chumba 16:33 Archived in Australia

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Great post!

Got a favorite destination in OZ? Mine was the Whitsundays. I have a liking to sailing and the experience was priceless. Had a good time watching the National Geographic TV series about Queensland and the Whitsundays with my partner. Brought back some great memories!

by unspoken

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