Monday, February 21, 2011

Exploring Jenlolan

While still in the Blue Mountains, Lance and I went to the Jenolan caves, which is about a 2 hour bus ride from Katoomba. The winding road leading down into the caves is quite interesting, and I'm not just talking about the view! It hugs the mountain with the outer edge usually ending in a sheer drop down the cliff.
The road is extremely narrow and if you're lucky enough to pass someone head on, one of you will need to back up to find a spot on the road wide enough to fit two vehicles.

If you are ever at the Jenolan Caves, I would highly recommend taking the river walk nearby, as it is so beautiful that I would name it one of my favorite spots on this trip so far. The water is such a rich teal colour and the surrounding jungle-like foliage is in various shades of lush green. It started to rain a bit about a quarter of the way through my hike, and while you may think this is a negative point, I would say the opposite. The cool humid air speckled with drops of moisture provided a sense of isolation from the outside world, it was just me and the surrounding nature. I found it quite rejuvenating. On the walk back toward the caves I received a glorious view of ascending tree covered mountains shrouded by a developing layer of fog, simply beautiful.

While my cousin took the basic walking tour of the show caves (which he loved) I decided to go a different route and try my hand at spelunking. With a pair of coveralls and a hard hat equipped with a headlamp our tour group climbed and squeezed our way up and back down the inside of the mountain. It was quite interesting and dirty, not recommended if you are claustrophobic.

In total I spent eight and a half days in Katoomba, five of which were cold, raining and covered in a dense fog, but it was a lovely place to finish recouperating from the jet lag and sickness. I was also able to take the opportunity to further prepare myself for multitude of new experiences that continue to smack me in the face each and every day. Ah, the joys of backpacker travel!


Judy said...

Really enjoy your posts and pictures, Jilene! Especially your smiles :)

devinschafers said...

u go sister! so the travel bug has bitten you, is it getting infected and spreading?
glad to see you getting into it! starting to see why i love that country so much?

Leah said...

Thanks Jilene for your updates! Very interesting and beautiful photos! Continue enjoying!