Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blue Mountain Boot Camp

Day 3: we were up early again, before sunrise, simply amazed at where we are. The sunrise is awesome, and we never want to miss it.

We ventured out of Sydney today, west to the Blue Mountains. On the journey, the first pit stop was at "pie in the sky" for mocha's, coffee and the most DELICIOUS sausage rolls EVER (according to Brent and Todd). So much for losing 20 pounds on this trip.

Our trip to the Blue Mountains was a bit spontaneous and unplanned, which as we found out, was not a great idea. Our navigational tools failed us epically, we ended up with no definitive plan and no idea where we were or what we should be doing. Its kinda like going to the banff gate, and randomly driving down the highway not knowing that the town and all its greatness is around you. So we stopped for fuel and found a local tour magazine and quickly figured out our days purpose. We headed to Evans lookout; this was our first experience at the Blue Mountains, and we were awed!

The reason they are the Blue Mountains has something to do with water particles and dirt in the air and your eyeballs transform them into a blue haze (or something like that); hence blue mountains. We got back into the car and headed down the Great Western Highway to Wentworth Falls. In the tourguide magazine, we saw a hike rated 5-6 hours with a difficulty of "hard". In true Donovan fashion we thought, "yes, we are ALL IN!" and away we went. This hike started with a moderate downhill walk to the upper falls.

Walked around the bend...

and then saw this...

And then we walked down a few sets of stairs.....

Actually, it was about 15 sets of stairs, at a 65 degree angle, carved by hand, in the 1860s to bring us down to the mid-basin of the falls.

After this beautiful falls, we expected that we had seen the Wentworth falls and all its greatness, and then we came upon a junction which allowed us to go back to the parking lot, OR take us down to the next set of falls, which said for experienced hikers only, and since we were experienced West Coast Trail Veterans, hey, we were up for the challenge! This is old hat for us.

When we finally got to the very bottom, the waterfall was not anything we had originally imagined.

From here, we weren't quite sure where to go, back up? Oh man, 1000 feet straight up did not sound like a good plan.
We were very uneducated about this hike and second guessed ourselves, but decided to follow the signs out through a different path. Every aspect of this trail reminded us of the West Coast Trail. Let me tell you, that the humidity in Australia is not something we are used to in dry Western Canada. Although it was only 22 C, the humidity was 87%, which made it feel like 40 C, we were definitely sweaty beasts.
Eventually, we started to gain altitude out of the valley, and FINALLY met other hikers coming from the other way, and we thought ok, we are headed in the right direction. Throughout the next 2 hours, we "ran" into about 10 more waterfalls, just as great as the first one, but we stopped taking pictures, and kinda thought, hmmmm, whatever, who cares! We were spoiled with the first set of falls, that it didn't matter anymore what we saw, it was so old news.
It was hell, let me tell you, hiking back out of this pit in the bottom of the earth, our legs, thighs, asses, and everything in between, on top of, or beside, ached and sweated like never before in our lives. It was super shitty,  but we sucked it up because we were in AUSTRALIA DAMMIT!

Eventually we made it back to the car, and we all concluded that despite the pain and agony, this was the most amazing waterfall and hike we had ever done. period. end of story.

And then we went to the mall. All sweaty, salty, sore, disgusting, to buy groceries and beach towels for the next adventure.

Day 4: Oh man, did our legs hurt today,and we are old and out of shape! Thought we should keep up with exercise and left early this morning to do the Bondi Beach Walk. Heading north from the condo, for magnificent ocean views....
And after a lovely walk, had to jump into the ocean to cool off, at 9 am. Again, 20 C and 87% humidity is hard to adjust too.
After showers and lunch, we headed downtown to the harbour tour, which was a tour of a bunch of wharfs in the Sydney Harbour area. (and holy cow, this is a very big harbour). We caught the boat at Darling Harbour (pronounced dah-lin-ah-bour) Here are a few of the fabulous sites...

It was worth it. Great to be on a boat, enjoying the sun, water and freedom.
That's it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - you guys sure aren't waisting any time! Love reading about all your crazy adventures!!! Did you see and strange creepy crawlies on your hike? Keep posting about your adventures! Julie