The Blue Mountains, NSW

Between the capital Canberra and the supercity Sydney lie the beautiful Blue Mountains and we were headed for the small town of Katoomba to stay for a few days, enjoying nature. Even whilst driving we were confronted with nature as we were bombarded by thousands of flying locusts like this one. It was like being the weak link in paint balling.

Gotcha! You should have seen the front of the van!

It seemed to make sense to drive via the Jenolan Caves en route. Easy enough!? They are world famous and rightly so. Problem is that we had picked the difficult route down to the caves; the road from Edith. The one meant for cars and small vans. Signs told us that the road was unsuitable for caravans, trucks and buses but they failed to mention motorhomes so we were hopeful. There were numerous signs but we went for it anyway. Before we had started the dangerous descent I phoned the Caves Centre to ask about the road. They told us the Edith road we were on was the windier of the two and that we could drive back in a circle around the caves area and enter from the other southern road. This would have meant a round-trip of over an hour and we would have missed our super-expensive tour, so that clinched it. Big mistake. As you can see, we survived and the van is intact, but we could smell the brakes burn and Roddy got a bit stressed. Had we met a motorhome coming towards us we’d both have been f**ked. We did meet other cars, which was a challenge. Once a Landrover driven by a group of Chinese came towards us and there was no way they could pass us or we them. The driver looked terrified, so I went outside and navigated the oncoming car into the narrowest of lay-bys on the wrong side of the road. No way would we have fitted into that. I put on my best teacher face and they did as they were told without a squabble! Mind you, the lay-by was on the safe side of the road, the other bordered onto a ravine so I guess they were happy about that.

Jenolan Caves

The caves are amazing and well worth the trip but vastly over populated. Twenty-five people plus the tour guide were squashed onto the smallest of platforms, which meant that often some people could only hear the guide talk but not see the features she was talking about. I mentioned this to her without accusing her. She concurred, saying that she didn’t like it either and that originally the tours and the platforms had been designed for groups of eight…

The river Styx deep inside the cave

There are numerous types of tours here. We chose the River Tour as there is an underground river called Styx and we felt like a trip into the underworld. (In Greek mythology Styx is the name of the river that leads into the underworld) Plus, it reminded me of the group Styx and their famous song Boat on the Riverwhich I have always loved and I am sure I have their vinyl LP somewhere. If you don’t know it or if you suddenly think Oh man! Styx!, here is the link:

Styx were from Chicago and the song was a hit in the late 70s I think.

So onwards we drove to Katoomba to settle on our most perfect campsite with the best showers and the perfect location right next to the Scenic railway park and cable cars. The Three Sisters rock formation were virtually our neighbours. I will let the photo and their descriptions speak for themselves.

The three sisters
The Blue Mountains
The Orphan rock
The black dot is our cable car. Looks like broccoli but its the tops of huge trees.
The steepest railway in the world
Walking through the rainforest.
Rainforest fern trees
There used to be mines here so you find this random mining equipment everywhere.
Roddy sitting in an old miners’ hut. He spooked some tourists who thought he was an exhibit but then he moved!

Katoomba town itself is small but perfectly formed with lovely 20s and 30s buildings. Nearby Leura is the town that will stay in my memory for my visit to chiropractor#2. After the first treatment in Ballarat my neck had improved significantly but I felt a further adjustment could be a good thing. I chose Leanne Jenkins who suggested a spot of acupuncture to sort my neck. I was happy to try this out and it was fascinating. Leanne also saw that my lower back was “out” and meant my left leg was a little bit shorter than the right one. So she popped me on and it has made such a difference! I sit much more comfortably now. It was also interesting as her methods were really quite different from the chiro in Ballarat so that gives me a bit of calibration for the future. Here are a few more photos of Katoomba.

Friendly campsite sulphur crested cockatoos
Katoomba main street
Leura main street

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