OK ... I don't have a fantastic connection right now, so no photos. Really, they are coming. We only have about 300 to choose from! Anyway, backtracking a bit to last week.
After Mark and Alan finished delivering the Meals on Wheels meals, we loaded up the little Honda Accord with enough food to feed 10 people for at least a week. We had 6 adults and 2 kids for 2 days. The hour or two drive out of Sydney was painless (except for a minor detour in North Sydney), and we arrived at the rental in Leura in time to unload, eat a quick snack, and go for a short hike to see our first true views of the Blue Mountains.
The mountains reminded me a bit of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the States. They really are blue and spread our for miles (or should I say kilometers?). The difference is that we were on a ridge that just dropped off to an expansive eucalyptus forest below. Incredibly beautiful. But also very daunting. The forests looked impenetrable!
We went on two hikes in the mountains. That first day we took a pretty mellow one with the kids to see the view of the mountains and then down to what I think was called Gordon Cascade. The next day we rode the world's steepest train down into the heart of the forest. From there, we walked along an incredibly well-maintained boardwalk through the forest and read all about the different flora (mostly trees plus at least one poisonous vine). We parted ways with Molly and the kids, who rode the cable car up out of the valley. The rest of us trekked through the woods along the base of the cliffs, knowing full well that eventually we were going to have to make our way to the top to get out.
Indeed, after a beautiful, refreshing 2-hour hike, we climbed more than 1,225 steps (yes, I counted each and every one, if only to keep my mind off the interminable climb up up up).
That night we recovered over a delicious Rosh Hashanah dinner with WAY too much food (although we truly missed Anne's challah!). We then relaxed with a New Year soak in the hot tub, which was located right on the edge of the cliff overlooking the valley. Beautiful!
The next day was a little dreary, so we drove around, checked out a few more lookouts, and then played in the park with the kids while we dined on leftovers once the sun came out.
It was a brief trip in a beautiful spot and I would love to go back for more exploring, hiking, and maybe even some shopping in the cute little towns.
Check in again soon for photos and updates on our next adventure--Tasmania!
Have a g'day!
-Tara and Mark
2 days ago