Week 27 - September 19, 2018 - September 23, 2018 (a short but busy week)

This week has a bit of trickle over from last week in Tasmania and although this page only covers four days of adventure,  it was four incredible days in and around the Blue Mountains. 

We flew out of Hobart, Tasmania and back into Sydney and were greeted by Adriana.  She whisked us off to this wonderful little gathering place (The Grounds) wherein we enjoyed a fabulous garden lunch.  But, as we planned to get up into the Blue Mountains by nightfall, we quickly unpacked and repacked Cinderoo and up we went.

  Gerson looks handsome in his Akubra hat and views around Sydney           Fabulous lunch and gorgeous flowers
When you look at the last photo, that is the coastline we will be driving on our way to Melbourne

We made it to our Blackheath camp and made sure we got plenty of rest for what was going to be a strenuous next few days.  The Blue Mountains is a World Heritage site and its 'blue' name is derived from the fine mist of oil that exudes from the massive eucalyptus canopy.   Our first jaunt was the Pulpit Rock lookout which also included the Anvil Rock lookout and the Wind Eroded Cave.  From there, it was over to Evans Lookout for another spectacular view.

   Pulpit Rock lookout - WOW!                        Trail to Anvil Rock lookout.

  Gerson in the 'tube' and Evan's lookout                             Gerson in the Wind Eroded Cave

It did not take us long to realize that the Blue Mountains give our Grand Canyon a run for its money.  The views are so intensely magnificent that your brain just cannot take it all in at once.  To say our breath was taken away would be an understatement. 

Our following days were spent near Katoomba with the intention of exploring Scenic World - the only way I can describe Scenic World is that it is a wild nature amusement park.  The 'park' borders the Blue Mountains National Park and has incorporated two 'Skyway' gondolas to take you over the Katoomba Falls and up/down into the Jamison Valley below.  There is also a fun historic train that carries you up/down the valley.  The Scenic Railway is considered the steepest railway in the world (I believe it) and has a 52-degree incline to the Jamison Valley floor.  We had so much fun on the train ride we did it twice, just for the thrill of the ride.

But, before we got to Scenic World, we took advantage of a lovely morning and ventured out to Govett's Leap, Bridal Veil Falls and Barrow lookout.


   Govett's Leap lookout                   Bridal Veil Falls                   Around Barrow lookout


And, if all the beauty seen from the lookouts was not enough, we spent the rest of the day at Scenic World wandering around, up and down the Jamison Valley.  We saw so many iconic landmarks that one photo from one view was never enough.  We hiked on top of cliffs, through forests, along waterfalls...not to mention the fun we had on the gondolas and especially, that train!

  Katoomba Falls seen from the Skyway gondola                                View out to Mt. Solitary along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk

  The Three Sisters and the magnificent Jamison Valley          Jamison Valley and a local Skink enjoying the sun

  Kids enjoying the falls                                             Cool view to Jamison Valley and the Skyway            

   Witches Rock                                Sulpher Crested Cockatoos in the falls                         Skyway overhead

  Katoomba Falls                       Could not resist a selfie with the Three Sisters              Our lunch view

     The train was super steep and super fun              
  Valley canopy view              The skyway celebrated the U.S.A. 1996 Bicentennial             Just the moon over the Three Sisters view

The next day, we walked from our campground to the Giant Stairway (crazy stairway carved out of the mountain) and down to the Three Sisters.  Although the Sisters was our point if interest, I had more fun spotting the wonderful metal sculptures of the various critters you can see around the Blue Mountains.  I do not know if I saw them all, but I found quite a few tucked into corners, perched on walls and sprinkled on rock faces.  Just another superb day in the park.

  Nice memorial to the road builders - thought it interesting that the indigenous are not shown working (as they did not build roads)

  Giant's Stairway to the Three Sister's bridge                   Views from the Three Sisters

Love the sculptures                                A very cool tree


One more stop before we left the beautiful Blue Mountains and that was Wentworth Falls.  We knew the area would be fantastic but we were still amazed with the falls and especially, the Undercliffe Walk.  And, by 'undercliff walk', they meant walking under the cliffs!

  Wentworth Falls                           Found another sculpture              

  Gerson taking a break                                   Walking around the falls                      Had to strike a pose

  Gerson just being content                             Undercliffe Walk along the cliff face (middle, just above treeline)                 

   View to Valley of the Waters                         Cool rock/bush formation - reminded me of the Indigenous

   Cliff walk lived up to its name                            Wentworth Falls and glorious rainbow

   View to Valley of the Waters                                    Fancy meeting a Skink up here - beautiful copper color


As though all this excitement was not enough, we noticed Cinderoo had a slight problem with the recent adjustment of her brakes and we had to drive down from the Blue Mountains (about 1100m or 3300 ft high) to Sydney for a Monday morning mechanic visit.  To say the drive down was interesting would be an understatement.  Alas, we made it down the mountain with little trouble, thanks to minimal Sunday traffic, downshifting, the J-brake and a direct shot to our caravan park near the mechanic.


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