31/01/2017 Solo exploring/getting perfectly lost in the Blue Mountains.
Today has been beautiful. Sheer bliss from beginning to end. I woke super early to catch the 7am train, from Sydney to Katoomba, for a day exploring in the Blue Mountains. Dora Explorer mode x 100!
When I finally reached Katoomba after two hours on the train, with the twinkly morning sun shining in on my notebook, I found the explorer bus instantly. The girl at the desk was enrichingly alert for 9am, as she sold me a day pass for the mountains and told me where to catch my double deckered chariot. Within a matter of minutes I was onboard the bus heading towards my first stop of choice, Katoomba Falls. With no idea what to expect, I followed the first trail that I found, down winding steps towards my first waterfall of the day. But little did I know what was in store for me later on!
I got chatting to an elderly guy who knows the trails like the back of his hand. He was so healthy for his age and I cannot help but aspire to be like him in my 70’s. Such a glowing trooper! He told me that I absolutely must follow my current path all the way to Echo Point for the best view of The Three Sisters, as this has always been his favourite. I was honoured to follow his favourite path, and so I stuck to his instructions precisely.
After walking this trail for around an hour, just like he said, there was only one thing between myself and a pretty spectacular view of The Three Sisters. They call this the GIANT stairway for a very good reason!
A sheer set of vertical steps took me about half an hour to climb, with a few breaks in between to catch my breath. But holy hell the views on the way to the top were insane! Rainforest and mountains as far as the eye could see, all dazzled in a stunning haze. Like a spell had been cast across this enchanting valley.
When I finally reached the top, I was relieved to find a slither of civilization, and treated myself to a coffee to go with my packed lunch. Perfectly on time, my bus arrived just after I finished the last bite of my apple, so I hopped onboard and decided in that moment where I wanted to go next. I rode the bus to Leura Cascades next, and the driver kindly handed me an ice cold bottle of water as I left.
The most popular of the Leura Cascades was incredible. An infinite number of steps, which the river danced its way down. However, this was not the main highlight for me. I was determined to find somewhere a little less ‘on the map’.
As I walked along past the cascades I found a sign pointing towards a lesser beaten track which read “Unstable path. Experienced walkers only.” That sounds like me! And so, off I went down the rickety old steps, over muddy puddles, jumping from stepping stone to log to stepping stone, until I began to hear the sound of rushing water grow louder once again. Meters below me was my very own waterfall. Away from the path of the average tourist this secluded beauty was magnificently peaceful. I took a seat right beside the beast and watched as the mist from the top created mini rainbows across the rocks. I sat here for a while and used the energy of my new sacred space to do some creative writing.
From here I was going to take the rickety steps back up to find the bus, but I discovered a pathway which led to Gordon Falls about an hour’s walk away, so decided to follow that instead. I barely came across another soul on this path.
Silent like a blonde ninja in Nike, I was able to see a tonne of wildlife that you’d never be quiet enough to see in a group or even a pair. Butterflies in a plethora of colours, tiny lizards, rare Lyrebirds, and these bizarre little creatures which looked like crickets but when they jumped they burst into vibrant yellow butterflies. With just a click of their heels they sprouted wings and vanished into the undergrowth.
Along this path, I must admit, I got a little lost. But I wasn’t worried in the slightest. I came across a viewpoint that allowed me to look out across the entire jungle beneath me. You know that ‘on top of the world’ feeling, well yeah! I felt so omniscient, yet so tiny at the same time.
Around 6pm I decided to call it day. As much as I know there is more to explore, a curious adventurer like me could spend an entire lifetime in the Blue Mountains and genuinely still discover something new everyday!
Lots of love,