Published: March 2nd 2006February 15th 2006
After arriving in Sydney and hanging out in Manly for a couple of days I decided to take myself off to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, by train. I stayed in Katoomba, a queer hilly town that reminded me of those small French/Italian Alpine towns you suddenly come across when driving through the, er, French/Italian Alps. This might have been something to do with the 10 degree temperature drop (well, it felt like it!) and the swirling mist as the train climbed higher and higher from the suburbs of Sydney.
I did some good walks on my own round and down by the Three Sisters and National Pass and across to Katoomba Falls, walking through rain and eucalypt forest. You can see why the Blue Mountains are so named. The fine mist of moisture and eucalypt oil given off by the trees hang above the mountains and through some scientific trickery (i.e. refraction) appear to make the mountains blue, hence their evocative name. I also walked around Wentworth Falls along the Overcliff/Undercliff pass and had some dizzy moments when realising I was quite high up and only a bit of rocky path and some trees separated me and the
abyss below. I passed few other walkers and it was amazing to be out in forests and mountains all by myself (although probably not very sensible!) I also undertook a bit of a trek in Blackheath walking from the Grand Canyon track to Govett's Leap, narrowly escaping a cracking thunderstorm that appeared in the valley below. I felt thoroughly knackered when I got on the train back to Sydders but also thoroughly invigorated having spent some time in this spectacular area (I definitely wasn't bored of being in this World Heritage Area - although I am wondering if any of Australia isn't designated World Heritage - Brisbane springs to mind...)
There are more photos below