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February 2nd 2017
Published: February 11th 2017
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The Blue Mountains is a beautiful area a short drive from Sydney. We spent 3 full days hiking various trails and stayed at a B&B in Katoomba, the largest town in the area. Most of the hiking trails were well organized and clearly marked. They were rigorous in places and certainly challenged our fitness level.

Many panoramic views were bountiful as the trails descended down into the gorges that contained numerous waterfalls. Of course, a steep trail down always partners with, what seems to be, a steeper trail up. One of the most popular areas, Echo Point, is where the famous Three Sisters can be seen. These were very unique rock formations that change in colours as the sun's reflection moves. Aboriginal legend is that the Chief of the Katoomba tribe had 3 girls who fell in love with 3 young warriors who belonged to the warring Nepean tribe. Since inter tribal marriage was forbidden, the Chief had his witch doctor turn the girls into stone with the intention of turning them back after the war ended. Unfortunately, the witch doctor died in battle so the sisters remain in stone forever. Love is hard and you can't get "blood out of a stone"!!

There are quite a few Towns in and around Katoomba. Leura is a quaint tourist community with a number of specialty shops, restaurants and other retailers. On the surface, it appears to be a quiet Town that relies mainly on tourism. Anecdotally, the majority of visitors appear to be from Asia. In watching the Australian news, the country is experiencing quite similar increases in real estate prices that we have in the major cities in Canada. Of course, Donald Trump's supposedly tough telephone conversation with Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, dominated the news for a few days. It's interesting to note that Justin Trudeau is quite well known in Australia and I believe has been a good ambassador for the Canada.

Our plan for the last day in the Blue Mountains was to hike a trail at the Grand Canyon (not quite as big as the one in USA). Unfortunately it was shrouded in dense fog so we ended up going back to Sydney early. Our Hotel was just outside the city and close to Costco which we toured as a time filler. It wasn't much different than the North American stores, although this particular outlet seemed less busy. We fly to the Sunshine Airport on Saturday morning and move into our house rental in Noosa Head which we're looking forward to some relaxation and some golf!!

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