After surviving the night of torrential rain, we woke to discover that it was still raining a little.
Today was full of sight seeing and first stop was Govetts Leap lookout that we nearly made it to the previous night. It was an hour’s trek through a jungle…or, a 5-minute journey in the van. We chose the van today. The viewpoint was much higher up than where we had stopped previous and it was fantastic. It had great views of Bridal Veil Falls. Although it was raining on and off, the view was clear and it wasn’t cold so we decided to walk a 15-minute trail to get a better view of another waterfall. Every time we do a trail, we always make the same mistake – we never go prepared. It’s because we never intend to do a trek until it’s too late and we’re too far from the van to get the gear. This time around, I desperately needed a drink. They always say the return time on the signpost – but what they don’t tell you is that the “30-minute” return is a 5-minute downhill there, and a 25-minute up the mountain struggle on the way back. Too many times this has tricked us!
The next stop was Scenic World. It was £20 a person and well worth it. It was in the mountains and had four major attractions. The Scenic Skyway, Railway, Rainforest Walkway and Cable Car. It was raining a little so when we bought the tickets, the attendant told us to do the Skyway while the visibility was still good. We headed there and Stef’s fear of heights emerged. This place was all about heights so I knew Stef might have an issue but she soldiered on.
The Scenic Sky way is Australia’s highest Cable Car at 270 metres. It was well built and could hold about 40 people. It went from one mountain to another and slowed down in the middle so people could get photos etc. There was a great view of the Katoomba Falls Waterfall. One good thing about it was one section of the car had a glass floor. I didn’t see Stef walk on it. In the end, Stef was walking around the car and taking videos – it was hard for me to try and rock the thing as it was too big…but I did try. When we got to the other side, we all got off and walked around for a bit. Stef was fine as her feet were on land, however, her palms started to get clammy again as she soon realised that we had to go back as we were in the middle of nowhere!
As we got off, we grabbed a couple of cakes and coffees in the park cafe. It was a good job as well as the heavens opened and it chucked it down. Visibility went to zero as the clouds came in and surrounded us.
As the rain calmed down, we headed for the Scenic Railway. Donkey’s years ago, the whole place used to be a mining site. The train was to transport the workers and coal. It was possibly the weirdest “train” I have ever been on. First of all, it is the steepest in the world at 52 degrees – which is very steep. And secondly, when you get on it, you were practically laying back vertically in the seats. As I lay there, staring at the sky, I wondered what the hell was going on but then as it started to move, I realised. We travelled for about 10 meters when all of a sudden, the track dropped. It felt like we were on a very slow rollercoaster. We were now looking out normally, but instead of lying down, we were now sort of sitting up. But our bodies hadn’t moved it was just how steep it was! It didn’t last long and we were soon at the bottom-watching people return up in it. They were screaming like it was an actual coaster.
At the bottom of the train was the Scenic Walkway. It’s a wooden path suspended amongst the trees within a rain forest. There were three different walks you could do – a 10-minute, 50-minute or an hour. As the weather looked like it would turn bad at any moment, we chose the 10-minute walk. It’s the largest walkway of its type in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere at 2.4km and I wasn’t going to get stuck on it when it was chucking it down. The fact that they had storm shelters scattered all over the place didn’t build me with confidence. Being that the rides (our only way back up and out) shut down in storms, we did not want to spend the remainder of the trip in a little hut!
To return to the main building and to finish our experience at the park was the Cable Car. Again, with all the other attractions here, it had some sort of record. This Cable Car held the most amounts of people in any one car with a figure of 84. As we looked up whilst waiting, the cable disappeared into the mist. It was quite spooky and reminded me somewhat of Jurassic Park. I imagined some dinosaur on the other side getting ready to attack. I don’t know why. But I don’t think telling Stef my thoughts about being eaten helped with her fear of heights.
We saw a lot of stuff on this day so we returned back to the van so I could rest my aged eyes for the night.
The next morning, a gang of cockatoos that were next to our van rudely awoke us. That’s the problem with birds. As watch designers are yet to design a watch that will cater for their wings, they don’t know what the time is. Because of this, they think it’s earlier than it is.
We checked out of the camp and headed to the Three Sisters – a formation of rocks in one of the many mountains. I have no idea why they are called that. Stef probably told me after reading about it but I normal phase out or forget it within minutes. I’ve never seen any sisters that look like that. They looked more like teeth. But they were impressive nether the less. We saw the sisters the day before on the Skyway but today it wasn’t raining and we could see actual blue sky through gaps in the cloud. The views were so much better.
Before we left the Blue Mountains, we had to see Wentworth Falls. We had tried to the previous day but the view was just clouds as we were so high up and you could only see about a metre in front of you. It was another little trail and once again; we did not take any water. Now, I want to say that the view was nice, however, Stef has told me that I use that word all the time. So…
The view of the forest and mountains were absolutely stunning and it was a perfect end to the Blue Mountains experience.