A Travellerspoint blog

Bushwalking? it's got a reputation

Blue Mountains - Echo Point - Three Sisters - Katoomba

rain 14 °C

["Bushwalking" means walking through the Australian bush: other countries call it something else (hiking, tramping, trailing ...) because they do not have our "bush". Aspiring hard walkers may be interested to know that Australian bushwalkers do have a bit of a reputation - or at least our bush does. ]

Now I hope your mind understands that only Australia has the real "bush" and you must come here to experience!

Today was an excursion to the famous Blue Mountains - specifically to Echo Point at Katoomba to see the Three Sister mountain formation. It was about a three hour trip to Echo Point. By the time we arrived it was cold and windy with a rain storm on the way. Close parking to the visitor center was quite expensive. Once parked, we briefly toured the visitor center and then set on our way to go visit the Three Sisters and "The Giant Stairway". We were going to "bushwalk" down the stairs and around the base of the three sisters and then take the Incline Railway back to the top. The weather contributed to changing those plans. We partially descended down the Giant Stairway; we could see the pending rainstorm coming plus concern about completing in time to meet the Incline Railway; we decided to turn around and CLIMB back up the stairs to return to the visitor center. {The stairs are quite steep} We did take the platform that takes you behind one of the three sisters - if you look closely you can see the platform in pictures. We made a smart decision because it started pouring rain once we returned to the visitor center. We were able to view the Three Sisters from the visitor platform. This park reminds me a little of Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. It was a nice experience - next visit will go earlier and get in the full hike. Also would like to tour around the town of Katoomba. There are also other parts of the Blue Mountain such as the Wentworth Falls would like to visit on the next trip .

http://www.bluemts.com.au/tourist/thingstodo/threeSisters.asp

http://www.bluemts.com.au/tourist/towns/Katoomba.asp

http://www.infobluemountains.net.au/history/giant.htm

http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/

We stopped at the Aussie fast food chain called Red Rooster on our way to the Blue Mountain. The "chips" are flavoured with chicken salt which gives it a unique taste.

http://www.redrooster.com.au/about.htm

After returning from the Blue Mountain, we dined at the local Pizza Hut in Lake Haven . The dinner buffet was $14.95 a person - this typically cost about $5 or $6 back home at lunch time. Tastes pretty much like Pizza Hut back home.. imagine that!

The day is coming to an end watching a very popular Aussie show called Hey Hey It's Saturday!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hey_Hey_It%27s_Saturday

The show was presented live. Apparently I witnessed a little bit of history on the show as one of the skits was considered scandalous.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/6177776/jackson-jive-skit-forces-hey-hey-apology/

Ciao!

Posted by cyntiast 03:11 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Cindy in Sydney

{say that three times fast...}

semi-overcast 16 °C

Early departure this morning for the drive south to Sydney. Drove over the Sydney Harbour Bridge into the city and parked. Walked into Darling Harbour and across the bridge into the city. Did a bit of shopping at Supre {cool store} and finally got some Aussie money at the Commonwealth Bank. Then we went to the Sydney Tower (http://www.sydneytower.com.au/) and traveled to the top to experience the 360 degree view of the city. Once we departed there we went to a mall to have lunch at a food court at the Queen Victoria Building {http://www.qvb.com.au/store.amx}. There is one thing to be said- there is no lack of shopping or food in Sydney!

After lunch, we walked down to the Wharf and boarded the ferry. We traveled over to Manly Beach and walked around the boardwalk area and sat on the beach for a while. Anyone that knows me - knows I am a beach gal - so it was quite relaxing for me. The water was a pretty greenish blue. It was a little chilly still, but the sun helped to keep us warm. We enjoyed ice cream at the Royal Coppenhagen and walked back to the ferry for the return trip to Sydney. { http://www.manlyaustralia.com.au/information/what_to_do/beaches.asp} We had fine views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera house, and Lunar Park on the way back

We then proceeded to the Sydney Opera House to walk around outside. After that we took the long walk back to the car and made it back before the heavy rain arrived. We traversed streets such as George, Pitt, and York.

A slight wrong turn in Sydney gave us the opportunity for a "scenic tour" that made our trip home about 3 hours. It was all good though. A good day and can now say I've toured around Sydney! http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/

Sydney reminds me of New York, City but much cleaner and without bars on every door / window and the Baltimore Harbor. It is a very sprawling city as well.

Posted by cyntiast 03:28 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Where is Happy Cabby?

and the Entrance...

rain

Where is Happy Cabby with the missing luggage??? Our evening plans interrupted because supposedly Happy Cabby was bringing my luggage this evening. We're been waiting for hours with no word....

Today was pretty low-keyed. Provided ample time to adjust to the time difference (plus 15 hours here from ET zone). We had breakfast at McD's / McCafe. Love that they have "brekkie" sandwiches. Then we went to Lake Haven mall and walked around. Went back home to relax a bit before leaving to go to The Entrance. This is a popular tourist spot on the beach famous for their pelican feedings which we experienced. We walked around the boardwalk a little bit and snacked on fish and chips. Was going to go out to dinner this evening, but H.C. - where are you? We'll be touring Sydney on Tuesday so full day straight ahead!

Ciao!

9:30 p.m. Aussie time - Happy Cabby has arrived with the suitcase!! Woo Hoo!

Posted by cyntiast 01:20 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Australia - The Arrival

They let me in!!!

rain

I arrived safely in Sydney at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET Sat / 8:30 a.m. Sydney time (+10 GMT) Sunday. The Qantas flight was quite nice albeit crammed on the plane. They feed you well on Qantas.

Shari met me at the airport. God Bless her.... they lost my luggage so she had to wait extra long while I did a baggage claim. I was unable to get in touch with her to let her know what was going on. When I finally got thru customs, she was there waiting for me. Hooray!! We went out to her little yellow Mazda 2 and on our way to her house.. Zoom Zoom! We are here now in Blue Haven, NSW getting ready to eat some toast with vegemite and drink a cuppa which was delicious.

Enjoying the different bird sounds here.... the Kookaburra and Minor birds.... the Kookaburra sounds like a bunch of monkies. Really cool!

Shari took me for a ride to the beach. We went to Norah Head which is about ten minutes away from her house. This beach has very rocky formation on the actual beach. We walked across sand and the rocks around to the Norah Head Lighthouse. It was fun to climb the rocks and see the turquoise colored water splash high in the air. We climbed the stairs to the Norah Head lighthouse to a gorgeous view below. There was a wedding party setup close by; nice backdrop for this event.

http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Norah%20Head/Norah%20Head.htm

Gathered some seashells on the way back to car. There was small pieces of broken blue seashells along the beach; so on future trips will be looking for actual shells.

We then drove to meet Shari's parents in San Remo. Daddy Dave and Mummy June. Very nice people. We sat out on their patio for a cuppa and scone. I provided entertainment as I was amazed by birds flying around. They have these multi-colored birds called Lorikeet that are gorgeous. http://nrpg.org.au/userfiles/Rainbow-Lorikeet.jpg They also have a banana tree and Aussie fern tree in their back yard. It was also fun to hear the word "bloody" used in conversation.

We then went to the local grocery store called Cole's. I'd been warned that things were expensive in Australia and this visit was proof. Most cereal cost over $5 a box (I am more grateful for those 2 / $5 specials at home now). Frozen dinners were the same - most being $5 minimum. All the prices were much higher and the selection at this particular store a fraction of what is available in most stores in the state.

We then went back to Shari's where she prepared a very delicious pasta dish with baked cheddar cheese on top. The cheese was very sharp with great flavour. We just lounged around the house with myself barely able to stay awake. Trying to adjust to the 15 hour time difference. Awake right now at 3 am (Aussie time), but will get back to sleep soon so I can be on the Aussie schedule.

Hopefully my luggage will arrive on Monday. I had a bad feeling when they told me at Dulles they could get my luggage all the way thru to Sydney on my flight even though I explained I had a very long layover there. That intuition always serves me well if I were to only listen.... but if that is the worse to happen, then that is ok. At least I did think ahead to that scenario and packed some extra clothes in my carry on.

More later... just wanted to let folks know I am here ok. My cell phone does not work at ALL here; so no use to call or text it. Email is the best way to get in touch with me.

Posted by cyntiast 18:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Adventure Begins

The First Leg

The first leg of trip started with flight from Dulles to LAX via American Airlines. The flight was about an hour late departing. The flight was fine. Sat beside a very nice couple from Fairfax, VA. Struck up a great philosophical conversation with the lady. Obviously very intelligent woman who was retired from working from the State Department. She escaped the war in Vietnam as a young lady and is very appreciative of the opportunities she has had in the states. She is a firm believer of "Mindful" meditation and devotes several hours a day to meditating. She explained to me the two most important things in life is "Health" and "Wisdom". She also explained that the next very important thing is "tolerance". Everything she said made perfect sense; it was almost like getting a free therapy session! LOL we talked about living in the present.. not in the past.. not in the future.... Just relax and enjoy life in the present. It was a great experience to meet her and just the perfect boost to put some things in perspective for me.

My friend Cindy Stone (aka West Coast Cindy Stone) graciously picked me up from LAX airport upon my arrival. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the local Paco Taco restaurant. It was very nice to converse; she is a great gal and we get along quite well.

Cindy returned me to LAX and now I sit and await my flight to Sydney. I intentionally booked a long layover in case there was a problem with my flight from Dulles. All is well and now I just try to stay awake and get ready to board de plane for the next leg of my adventure....

Posted by cyntiast 21:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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