Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!! What a cold night. And …………. we had some rain and wind, that coupled with Jamie rattling and rocking the van when disembarking to visit the loo made for a disturbed night. However, I must have had a fair bit of sleep as I woke up at around 9am when Jamie returned to ‘Shiela’ after had a walk to Katoombah Falls and observed the mist over the depths below. Normally I would have been annoyed that he went without me, but today I was grateful that he left me sleeping.
Breakfast was just a bowl of Muesli, we had used all our coffee sachets from the Arts Hotel so a warming drink was not to be had and unfortunately our fridge is very efficient and the milk was chilling.
After Jamie had his shower (mad), we set off to the Scenic World Centre visited yesterday. We bought an all day roamer ticket ($35) and boarded the train down the precipice, apparently it is the world’s steepest train, I can believe it as the video I took will testify. The ride through a myriad of Tree Ferns, Gum Trees and Turpentine Trees all wreathed in Llianas was something I have not experienced before and gave an impression of travelling back in time the further we descended. The base station was still only halfway down the cliff face so we had to join the other tourists on the board walk along and down the cliff. We passed the base station of the Cableway (we would return on that later) on our circular route. We had passed an ‘off piste’ track early on which led to some interesting mining features (coal) and we returned to this meandering and at times difficult track along the side of the escarpment. We planned to follow it for about half and hour, but in the end this was extended to over and hour as the “what’s around the bend’ scenario was so intriguing we couldn’t resist the temptation. Many photos were taken of some outstanding views. We saw one other person on the track, an authentic Australian girl who was heading the way we had come. I stopped briefly to have a chat with her. Reaching a spot where the path appeared to descent down further into the rainforest, we retraced our steps as it looked as if we were going to lose the views.
We returned to the top via the Cableway, had two large hot coffees in the cafe and then caught the Skyway over the falls themselves, The floor of the vehicle was glass and afforded a terrific view of the base of the Falls and the tops of the trees in the forest way, way below. Arriving at the other side we set off on the path that led to the ‘Three Sister’s ‘ rock formation. Again, very spectacular and the depth to which their cliff faces plunged was awe-inspiring.
The top of the canyon was quite chilly despite it being mostly sunny, strangely down in the canyon it had been warmer, or was it the exertion of getting down there that produced the heat?
We found another cafe and this time had hot chocolate. Mmmmmmmmmm………. warmth!
We returned to ‘Shiela’ via another path across the top. I then drove into Katoombah for provisions. Stocked up on fresh supplies we loaded them into our trusty steed, then walked into the town centre. Strangely, unlike Hanoi or Saigon, all you had to do was look at a zebra crossing and the cars stopped, weird feeling walking across without furtively glancing in all directions expecting ‘incoming’ at any moment. We passed a hairdressers and as Jamie was in desperate need of a haircut he sat in the hot seat while a sat and watched. Not surprising the lady was English, having moved their 30 years ago. We have on met 1 person that we thought was a true Australian and he was the guard on the Cableway, a very chatty guy, full of macho advice and had a strong desire to visit England. Definitely authentic! We had a nice chat with the hairdresser as she clipped Jamie’s locks and picked up some useful advice. We continued exploring the town, coming across a charity shop with bobble hats for sale for just $3, I bought a green Wallabies, and Jamie a yellow Australia one. We both donned them on leaving the shop as you could see your breath outside, we may never take them off!
We returned to the camp site in ‘Shiela’ as the dark descended, what lovely stars, oooooooooh chiiiillllllllly! While I sat in the front driver cabin and started this blog, Jamie made two excellent kangaroo burgers each, with cheese and onions! (maybe not a good idea in a small van), Very delicious.
We returned to Katoombah and found the Edge Cinema. Our choice of films was ‘Spy’ (my choice) or ‘Mad Max’ (Jamie’s choice). Much to the amusement of the cashier a game of rock, scissors, paper settled the decision. ‘Spy’ is probably the funniest film I have seen for many years, a definite must see for anybody with a sense of humour, a good plot too. The free WiFi in the cinema came in very useful.
Afterwards under clear chilly skies we returned to the site, keeping the engine running for a while to fend off cold. A warning on the radio alerted drivers on the M4 to a possibility of ice, hmmmm.
Hot coffee, then bed making.