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Stepping Out

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

sunny 16 °C

Breakfast at Tara Guesthouse was a bit more of a sociable affair this morning, and we were able to chat to the two other guests (who were both in the area on business) as well as talking some more to Julian and Brom. They had kindly offered to take us to the airport to pick up our car, so after a bit of checking to clarify exactly where the car hire company were based and the last few bits of packing done, were soon on our way. When we arrived at Avis the guy who served us was very friendly although it all seemed a bit vague in terms if who was having what car. In the end we were given a bit of an upgrade and came away with an automatic Toyota Corolla so we were pretty happy. We had decided to leave the city on the motorway and with the sat-nav this turned out to be quite straight forward. We didn't have any maps for this leg of the journey so once we were right out if the city we stopped at a petrol station and brought a road atlas.

We continued in the motorway for a few more miles before the road turned into the Great Western Highway just after a town called Penrith. The road was very good, and quite fast if a little featureless. I searched in the map for somewhere were we could venture a little bit into the National Park, and also where we could perhaps get some lunch. In the end we pulled off the highway at a town called Wentworth Falls. I directed Nigel towards some lookouts (these would be termed as viewpoints in the UK) at a place called the Conservation Hut which was essentially a cafe and visitor centre. We went and had lunch of toasted sour bread sandwiches and coffee and then decided to go on one of the shorter walks graded as moderate. Initially this went to the Queen Victoria Lookout, down quite a steep and slightly muddy path.

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Beyond this it continued down to the Empress Lookout and further still to the Empress Falls. We didn't walk the whole way to the falls as it started to get very steep and hard going with a number of ladder sections.

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We went down a way and then decided to turn back which involved going back up the ladder sections and then the long incline up to the Conservation Hut. It was a long climb and I estimated that there were well over 500 steps, so by the time we got to the top we were both pretty tired.

Nigel then drove the short distance into Katoomba to our new bed and breakfast. We could see as we pulled up that the view was amazing and so after dropping our bags off we decided to go and have a look at the Three Sisters rocks over the road before settling in properly. We took in the amazing view of the rocks and the mountains beyond and took quite a few photographs.

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Perhaps rather rashly given the walk we had done previously we went to have a look at another lookout nearer to the Tree Sisters. Initially this was an easy walk of less than half a kilometre but there was then a short but steep stretch down to Honeymoon Bridge which connected the escarpment to the first 'sister'.

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This involved going down about 100 steps some of which were on a steep ladder section, hard going down and equally tiring coming back up. It was interesting to see the way some of the trees had their roots barely hanging on the the ground. Whilst we were walking back to the car park we also saw a number of small sculptures representing some of the local indigenous animals.

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Once back at the B&B we got settled in and had a cup of tea but both decided that we fancied another quiet night in and that we weren't really hungry enough to go out for a meal, and so we went with that.

Posted by Gill's Travels 03:42 Archived in Australia Tagged mountains trees animals australia katoomba blue_mountains

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