Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rainforest

Date : 24th Sept 2009
Location : Katoomba

I'm still suffering from jetlag but I don't mind. I took my mid off it by first calling my Dad, England time 07.40 and then my Mum at 08.10 in Lanzarote. Some how waking them up with a 'Well you told me to keep in touch' made my tiredness feel alot better! I didn't do much last night. I wound up in bed at 21.30 and waking up around 01.30. I couldn't get bak to sleep but it did mean I got to watch the sun rise. The winds kept up all night and I was worried about the weather today but it's hot! The skies are totally clear and blue.

I wandered down to the front bar at 07.00 and was suprised to see locals in there drinking already. Sat around with pints and glasses of neat liquer. From what I can gather Katoomba is filled with hippies and gypsies. Most people visited here and then wound up moving here. They either work very hard or not at all and are looking for work. Both are very relaxed. I ordered a coffee and wasn't charged - again. Then I realized I had no cigarettes left and after asking what brand I rathered a local went out and brought me some. He wouldn't accept any money but he did let me buy him a pint. To look at most people here they are a little scruffy, a little rough around the edges like the town itself but they're a nice bunch. Once you've got past the 'are you local' looks and the swearing. It's nice to be in a place where other people sit on the floor ; in the street, in the pub or at the station stop.


Location : Leura Cascades

I just finished walking down the rhidiculous number of steps to the rock pool. Wow! Skipping down the steps to take pictures I couldn't be any happier. The weather is fantastic, the sky is so clear and blue. Most of the walkway is boarded with a rail to help you up and down. But on some of the glat bits theres a break in the rail and I can stand on the edge of the Cascades. I can't resist stepping into the water. I even took off my shoes and socks to enjoy the water rushing around my ankles. The walk to the rock pool is an easy one as long as you don't have an issue with steps!
I continued along a different path, that could take me to Echo point should I have continued, and it tooke me to a view point on the cliff edge. All around were white birds, it was amazing seeing 'Sulpher Crested Cokatoos flying around in their natural environment. I've seen them a dozen times in zoos and as pets but this is so different. They call to each other, the noise reaching out over the valley. I'm sure you must be able to hear them over on the mountains in the distance. It's an endless view of green and blue. Looking over the canopy, of the birds flying around with the mountains in the background. I've never seen anything like it. I found a rock to sit on, on the cliff edge just sit. Just enjoy. It's so beautiful and it's not even the main attraction of the area.



As I sit and wait for the trolly bus to pick me up a private tour arrives. It's a small group of over 60's and they settle down in the picnic area to enjoy some breakfast. Before I know it I'm enjoying breakfast with them. Turns out there is normally more of them so there is plenty of coffee and bannana cake to go spare. In exchange I take some quick snapshots for them before I hop back on the bus.


Location : Tallawarra Lookout, Prince Henry Cliff Walk.

I stayed on the bus for a few minutes and got off at Honeymoon Lookout to walk to EchoPoint. The view from here looks back onto the cascades and viewpoint I was at a short while ago. The view of the canopy is much clearer here and all I can hear are the birds and the rustle of the tree branches. It's quiet of human traffic. No planes or cars to be seen or heard. I'm just sitting again, watching the Cokatoos fly around below me.



Location : Echo point

The walk rund to Echo point was fantastic. The beautiful parrrots were taunting me, still too far away to take a decent photo of them. I was nealy on the main path to the Three Sisters and the Giant Steps when i heard an Australian King Parrot. It was just a clicking to start off but then the call of the bird itself. The parrot was sat in a tree having a feast on the seeds. Close enough to take some pictures and make me very happy indeed.


Location : Trolly Bus pick up point for Skyway, Scenic World

Echo Point to Scenic World via Giants Steps & Federal Pass. Totalling around 3kms. I got lied to big time. I was told the walkway was boarded. Evidently the lady in one of the many 'Buy your tickets from us PLEASE' shop in Katoomba has not done this walk. Only the walks round the base of Scenic World, once you have reached this destination, are boarded. But what a walk! My first ever in a rainforest. I did the walk in a little over 1hr 30mins which makes me a slightly above average walker apprantly. Most of the path was rugid and rough cut out the side of the mountain. No rails here to stop you falling into the canopy! It all seemed rather easy compared to the Giants Steps thoiugh. A very long, very narrow stairway carved out the rock. I can barely believe it's open the the public - despite the numerous signs letting you know that 'if you fall it's your own stupid fault as this sign has warned you it may happen'.



Before this though I went to the viewpoint and looked out over the Three Sisters Properly - very pretty.

The 3 sisters


Still OK....half way down Giant Steps...


Nice bit of path on the Federal Pass



By the time I got on the cable car I was starting to feel a little tired. I've done around 5.5kms today which has taken a harsher toll then I thought with the lack of sleeping thats been going on. The cable car and skyway are well worth the money ($10 each, each way...I got a single on each) for the views, although I can't say it did much for my fear of heights! I'm waiting for the trolly bus again, to head back up to my hostel style hotel. It seems a good time to end, the winds picking up a lot and thers clouds gathering.

Walking through Rainforest Mission Complete.






Cable car Ride TURN VOLUME DOWN

3 comments:

Adam Robertson Photography said...

wow what an awesome blog :D nice to see what you're up to!! x

Dan said...

Hey! Where is my new episode of 'A tale of Bink'? I'm trying to have a vicarious holiday here!

MadameBink said...

@ Dan : Lol. Sorry on my next trip I'll make sure I have enough money for regular internet updates ;)