We got along well enough, so we decided to head to Katoomba the next day. Roy knew Katoomba a bit better than I did and introduced me to the Common Ground Cafe. They sell the best roast beef sandwich I have ever had and also have the most reasonable prices I've seen yet here. I highly recommend it for anyone who happens to be in Katoomba...
After a solid night's sleep back at the same hostel I saw the flyer in we caught a bus to the Jenolan caves which are at one end of the track. An overturned milk truck delayed the bus a couple hours on the way out, so we took only a quick look around Jenolan before heading down the trail.
|The cave/tunnel the road goes through entering Jenolan.|
|The first hydro-electric dam in Australia. The caves had electric lighting a year after the invention of the light bulb.|
|We climbed these stairs for a long time. The first couple of miles just kept going up and up.|
|Now this looks to be about six foot wide. Very creative naming system.|
|The first kangaroos! Or maybe they are Wallabies. It depends who I ask.|
|They were actually pretty comfortable with us.|
|My first ever southern hemisphere fire. It took me a couple tries to discover a good fire starter.|
After spending the day hiking through forests of different eucalyptus trees, listening to strange bird songs I couldn't even begin to identify, the reality of this trip finally sank in as looked up at that alien sky full of stars I've never known. A few people have asked over the last weeks if the trip felt real, but it never quite seemed to until then.
|If you have a high resolution screen you should be able to make out a number of stars.|
Thanks for the new camera departure gift guys. It's been great so far.
|Roy crossing the "swing bridge" over the Coxs river.|
|Heading onto the bridge.|
|Roy got a shot of me crossing from the far side. The bridge swayed way more than I expected. I guess it's well named.|
|What the heck is this doing out here? Yes, it's a prickly pear. No, I don't have a clue what it is doing in the Blue Mountains.|
|Sunset after 25 kilometeres.|
The third day was mostly steep climbing back up out of the valley floor; it wasn't a long day. It was only 10km back to town and few more in town, but it was a lot of climbing over those first 8km. I didn't take many pictures and just enjoyed challenging myself physically on the climb up.
|Celebrating the end of the trek.|