Thursday, February 17, 2011

Let's go hiking!

This past week I have been spending my time in gorgeous Katoomba, a town in the Blue Mountains, which is about a 2 and a half hour train ride West from Sydney. The way people usually visit the Blue Mountains is by taking a day trip. While it is a quick and easy way to say "I've been there" I can't imagine spending only a few hours and being satisfied. The view is
breathtaking, the people are very friendly and the hikes, while difficult, are well worth the effort. One of the first hikes my cousin Lance and I took on the first full day we were there was from Echo Point to the Three Sisters and then we made our 1000ft descent on the Giant Stairway. It's a good thing we went down this massive 900 step stairway instead of up. Not only was it a very long way down but it was also very steep. After we made it all the way to the bottom, we then walked the Federal Pass and up the Furbur Steps. I would recommend this trail over just going down the Giant Stairway and back up, as the Furbur steps seemed to be much easier to climb up than what I can imagine the Giant Stairway would be. I can't even begin to describe the breath taking view we experienced!

We walked the Federal Pass around sunset, and while we couldn't see very many colours in the sky like you can back home, the way the light hit the valley was just complete beauty. It was like walking through a rain forest with the heavy silence broken only by the the sound of running water and of birds' wings cutting through the air as they dove from the trees with sheer freedom. The songs of the birds here is also quite different than what I'm used to; it's so exotic and one particular bird song can sound so vastly different than the last.

 Perhaps the most tiring part of the whole hike was knowing that once we made our way to the top of the mountain, we still had an approximately half hour uphill hike to our awaiting beds (and showers!) at the hostel.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jilene!! U.Ken and I just watched the beginning of The Amazing Race and first
leg = Sydney of course!! So we looked for you!! But silly us, we see you're waaaaay up in the mountains!! :) Thank you for sharing your awesome journey with us Jilene, we miss you and send all our love with hugs from back
of bourke!~wink~ Have fun in Katoomba!!
xoxo Love Sue and Ken
P.S. At the moment it's minus 15/wind chill minus 24 - wise girl!!! Enjoy!!

Jilene said...

Thanks for the thoughts Sue! Glad I'm not back home *enjoying* the winter right now, I certainly don't envy you guys!