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Published: August 7th 2007
I'd had various plans to go away over the Easter break, four days off work seeming to be the perfect excuse to jump on a plane and escape the city, but somehow things happened, time eluded me and I never quite got round to booking a ticket. So Easter in Sydney it was! As it turned out most of my flatmates were around too and with none of us being overly enthralled about the idea of four days in town we hired a car and went off on a couple of day trips out together. Our first one took us a few hours west to the Blue Mountains, a range named after the bluish tinge it takes on when viewed from a distance and which results from the volatile oils released by the Eucalyptus forests. I've been here twice before, the last time with Megan E when she was over in October and when on a hot sunny day we walked the Grand Canyon circuit at Grose Valley. This time on a rather grey, sometimes sunny, sometimes drizzly day we did the three hour Wentworth Falls loop.... given all the rain we'd had recently seeing the falls seemed like a good
idea and to be honest after a few days of solid rain back in Sydney we were just glad to be outside and doing stuff!! Following the National Pass track from the Valley of the Waters Conservation hut we took the steps down by Empress Falls, zig zagging across it and then Lodore falls before heading along the pass towards Wentworth falls, skirting round a few sticky swampy mud situations and eating lunch with the most amazing view out over the blue hue's of the Jamison Valley. At Wentworth falls we had a nice steep climb back up the seemingly endless stairs that are carved into the rock face and after a brief stop at the top to recover we headed back via the Overcliff track.... to collapse in the coffee shop at the conservation hut with a well earned coffee and muffin ;0) I'd actually done this walk before, about 7 years ago now, but the scenery with its waterfalls and lush forests of ferns and Eucalypts was just as stunning as I remembered.
Next we headed off to Echo Point, the main viewpoint for what is probably the most photographed sight in the Blue Mountains... the Three
Sisters. In all the times I've been here I've never really enjoyed it, primarily because I'd usually just swapped the calm and tranquility of a beautiful (and comparatively tourist free) spot such as Wentworth Falls or Govetts Leap for the loud, pushy tour bus mayhem that is Echo Point. That aside for once we had a really good view. Last time I was here the view was obscured by fog, this time the approaching rain clouds created an amazing but moody effect out across the valley. Made of soft sandstone the Three Sisters are Meehni (922m), Wimlah (918m) and Gunnedoo (906m). According to the Aboriginal Dream-time legend three sisters living in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe fell in love with three brothers from a neighbouring tribe, but law forbade them to marry. A battle ensued as the brothers tried to use force to capture the sisters, during which a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe turned the sisters to stone in order to protect them from harm. When the witch doctor was killed in the fighting no one else could reverse the spell so the sisters remained as stone.....
Next up - a day trip to
the Royal National Park, learning to surf (well, trying to), Ann visits from Blighty and I leave Sydney.....
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