Saturday, March 19, 2005
On Friday, we (me and Dean, Phil and Bianca) drove up to the Blue Mountains to celebrate our birthdays (mine was 19th, Phil’s was 20th and Dean’s is still to come on the 28th). Thursday night rained persistently and constantly, keeping us awake. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to going if that was what the weather was going to be like! But, when we got up, although it was still overcast and damp, the rain had stopped. We’d booked accommodation in an eco lodge in the woods near Blackheath. We were only staying Friday night as me and Dean had sailing on Sunday and Phil had work (on his birthday, poor chap!). After checking in we went for a walk in the Grand Canyon, which we’d first visited 2 ½ years ago. From the name, you can guess that the walk takes you steadily down into the bottom of a canyon and then up again at the other end. As you descend, it gets gradually darker and lusher. It’s such a beautiful and undisturbed place and so peaceful. There are lots of rocks and fallen trees along the bottom, some conveniently placed as stepping stones in the water! Eventually you get to the end (unfortunately) and it’s time to climb out! The rocks start to disappear, it gets lighter and more and more trees replace them as the landscape opens up. The climb up seems longer than the one down, but it’s worth it in the end, as you’re rewarded by another spectacular view at the top, across the tree-covered mountains. The boys were desperately in need of coffee and cake, so we took off to Leura. It’s a really lovely quaint little town, with fantastic coffee and sweet shops! After that, we had a quick visit to the Three Sisters. It was getting a bit foggy by that time, but it all added to the atmosphere. We went back to Leura for pizza before retiring to the lodge and a real stove fire. It kept us very warm all night. The next morning we got up to feed the rozellas outside the lodge. They’re amazingly colourful little birds and full of chatter! It was a great start to my birthday. After some delicious breakfast, we set out for the Three Sisters again and the Scenic Railway. We set off for a walk along the mountainside, but I’m afraid it was cut short, as the track seemed to disappear and became more of a mountain hike. We didn’t really have the gear and I preferred to take it a little easier on my birthday. So we took a much less stressful walk to the bottom of a waterfall. Then it was back to Leura for another coffee and cake break before heading back to the city.