Last weekend was filled with failed attempts to go to the beach, but major SUCCESS when it came to getting to the mountains! THE BLUE MOUNTAINS OF AUSTRALIA! After a 2 hour train ride, we arrived in the early morning and went to a place called “Scenic World” in Katoomba. This is definiteily the most publicizsed part of the Blue Mountains. It offers the WORLDS STEEPEST TRAIN, Cableways across the valley, scenic skywalks, bus rides to places all around the mountains and views of the most popular 3 Sisters rock formation. ALL of this at cost though, don’t forget about that. BUT I ADVISE ANYONE AND EVERYONE TO NNOOOTTTT DO SCENIC WORLD! Yes although seeing 3 Sisters was cool, the “rides” LITERALLY take 2 min. They tell you longer bc THAT’S HOW LONG YOU STAND IN LINE. Also if you come later, TOURISTS ARE EVERYWHERE. The walks are not walks… they are a joke. I was expecting (from pictures) for Katoomba to be HUGE. If the area were squished flat I could literally run across it in 5 min. And the 3 Sisters look in pictures to be these GIGANTIC rock formations. In person, they were not big at all. I mean all in all it was good to say we did it, we got some good pics, but I would never go back or recommend anyone go to Katoomba, unless you like the typical touristy things.
But on to the GOOD STUFF! 🙂 After a disappointing morning at Katoomba, we went to a small town called Leura. This place was VERY interesting! There are some hikes stemming from that town, but we decided to save our legs and just wander the town/eat lunch then move on. By noon Iszy and I had already broke 2 WORLD RECORDS! haha We went on the Steepest Train in the World (in Katoomba) and in Leura there is a Tea Shop that has the MOST TEAPOTS IN THE WORLD. So we walked in there and were thoroughly freaked out by the sheer amount of teapots EVERYWHERE. We also went to this WEIRD candy store where I found a lot of interesting Australian candies… Also found that the candy store is where they sell the “sugary” American cereal. hahah From Leura we rode a train (free) to Wentworth, which literally took 4 min.
The whole week before, I had researched trails in the Blue Mountains (bc I was not messing around!) and decided NATIONAL PASS was what I wanted to do, so I drug poor Iszy along with me. haha (she had no idea what she was getting into) 🙂 NATIONAL PASS is one of the hardest, longest, and most rewarding of the Blue Mountain hikes, and I LOVE A CHALLENGE. From Wentworth we had to walk about an hour to get TO the trail, then the trail BEGAN! Immediately it went from tiny inclines to the LONGEST/STEEPEST staircases of rock I’ve ever seen. Handrails made of wire, mountain sides all around, the roar of distant waterfalls… I was in LOVE. We literally went DOWN an entire mountain, and then back UP the entire mountain. The views were SPECTACULAR, the waterfalls were BEAUTIFUL, and other words just CAN’T explain what that hike was like. PICTURE TIME!
THE NATIONAL PASS took us 3:10. There were moments of extreme energy and moments of utter exhaustion but we DID IT! 🙂 We hiked up and down an entire mountain side (me on a possible stress fracture), climbed roughly 1000 stairs, had an echo competition with a far off cliff dweller, did our own mountain Karaoke of all the Jungle Book songs, and almost fell down a mountainside at one point… but it was worth every second! AMAZING hike. I’m trying to go back to the mountains ASAP to do another challenging hike. Hiking in beautiful new places really fulfills me for some reason. But no one wants to come with me this time… so I need to find someone who likes exploring and hiking/climbing just as much as I do!
I have been JAM PACKED with school and assignments this week which STINKS because it’s been in the 80s almost every day and all I want to do is go to the BEACH. But hopefully this weekend it’ll stay nice and I can go beach it up with some friends! 🙂 While the weather is turning Fall like in the States, it’s turning into a summery-spring here. But Fall is by FAR my ALL TIME FAVORITE time of year! Everything about it, the leaves, colors, the cooler air, rain, CLOUDS, fog, MY BIRTHDAY, EVERYTHING PUMPKIN, football season, CROSS COUNTRY, bonfires, hot drinks, Halloween, and did I mention PUMPKIN EVERYTHING?! Ugh I’m sad I’ll be missing FALL this year. It’s weird to think that I will have had 3 winter-spring combinations in a row. But can’t complain because this “fall” I am living in across the world in the wonderful city of Sydney, and will soon be traveling the entire Eastern Coast of Australia with friends, island hopping, beach dwelling, and snorkeling on one of the 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD !!! 🙂 That’s right, our mid-semester break trip is officially FINALIZED AND BOOKED. I AM SO PUMPED! We’re exploring a Rainforest, Scuba Diving/snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, sailing around the Whitsunday Islands, surfing in Noosa, and exploring Brisbane on our 9 day vacation from school! I like that people here actually FOLLOW THROUGH with plans and ideas. This seems to be a gigantic problem in the US. (or maybe just people I know… haha) People always talk a big talk, but never actually take the leap and do it. Maybe because everyone here (on exchange) is a curious traveler like myself who wants to get out in the world and experience new places, people, and things! So many adventures to be had in this world! Is professional adventurist a job? If so, I’ll take it! (but would really prefer some company 🙂 )