‘I need to hold on with both hands’ – Blue Mountains, Sydney

12th November

Four became five today as we reunited with Rich for a day trip to the Blue Mountains. So it was up bright and early for a brisk walk to Pyrmont Bridge to meet Rich at 7.30. Of course we were late, but only slightly this time.

Rich, the trooper he is, had taken care of everything for us so we piled into yet another Nissan and started our road trip to the mountains.

It was forecast to rain today (as it has since we arrived in Australia) but so far the weather was glorious. One beautiful rendition of Uptown Funk to remember our Stray bus days, and we were there in what felt like no time.

The Blue Mountains is both a mountainous region and a mountain range just an hours drive outside Sydney. It is an area made up of sandstone rock and steep gorges, surrounded by rainforest. Easy to see why it is such a popular destination with tourists.

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We arrived at the first lookout point, Echo Park, at the same time as every child in Sydney on a school trip. So the peace and quiet of the scenery was somewhat overshadowed by the screams of sprinting kids. Flo at this point managed to put her foot in her mouth by approaching a kind looking stranger and saying ‘wouldn’t it be lovely if there weren’t any children’ only for her reply ‘oh I’m sorry we’ll be out of here in just a moment’…of course she was the their teacher.

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One very large school photo later where all kids were asked to punch the air and shout ‘praise Jesus’ at the top of their lungs and they were gone. Thank goodness for that. Serenity could resume.

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There were many steep and uneven stone steps down to the famous Three Sisters. It was at this point I realised Abi’s fear of heights as I looked back to see her clutching the banister double checking each step. The gorges in the blue mountains reach 2,490ft deep so fair enough a slight wobbliness in the legs occurred when leaning over the sheer drops.

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After admiring the view we moved to Scenic World, the hub for all things Blue Mountains. It’s here that you buy your tickets, we of course went for the ultimate Scenic World experience which includes unlimited rides on the Railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway.

First stop for us was the skyway. A large cable car with a glass floor traversing Jamison Valley and looking down to the rainforest below.

The weather was still holding up so we walked to the cascade.

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The walkway through the rainforest was pretty amazing. Humid. So with big humidity hair and sweat pouring we practically ran to the railway. The Katoomba Scenic Railway is, according to the Guinness World Records, the steepest railway in the world. It was originally part of the mining tramways that were built between 1878 and 1900. It apparently descends 415m at a maximum gradient of 52 degrees. All I know is that it wasn’t what I expected but it was a good time and steep it certainly is.

It was around now that the rain started. This was no avoidable drizzle but a full on storm with raindrops the size of golfballs. Seeing as all of us had conveniently left our waterproofs in the car we were drenched in seconds. Lucky for us we weren’t far from our final destination, the scenic cableway. We reached undercover soaked but nothing compared to the poor souls who kept arriving looking as though they had been swimming.

Thunder, lightening, seriously heavy rain. It was no surprise that the cableway was not running due to the weather so we had no choice but to wait it out. Stranded in the rainforest in a tropical storm.

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Eventually the rain subsided a little and we saw the cable car coming to get us. The scenic cableway is the steepest aerial cable car in Australia. It took us up passed the newly formed clouds of water evaporating from the trees. It was quite a sight, very Jurassic Park.

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Time to get of of there. We had been so lucky with the weather but it had most certainly turned on us. The drive home was like driving trough a car wash with rain coming from every angle. Hopefully it would die down before tonight.Tonight we had planned another night out in Sydney, which this time, we would be prepared for.

We ran into the Germans; Adrian and Marcel, from Melbourne in our hostel for free pizza night. This could only mean one thing; goon.

Goon was not my friend this night. But once we headed out to Scary Canary we met up with Rich again and another friend, Kitty, from school. It was lovely to see her again and a night with some of the most random mix of people turned out to be a great one. Our new acquired Germans (don’t worry Sam you have not been replaced as number one German), Kitty, and Rich it was a top night. All topped off by yet another Hungry Jacks (Abi’s hash brown burger comes highly recommend).

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Until next time gang.

Tori x

(Title courtesy of Abi)

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