Part 2 - The Charismatic Adventures Of Henry The Hiace
Georgie and Sebastian - Ruined Castle
Georgie - Ruined Castle
Sebastian - 3 Sisters
Georgie - Blue Mountains
Sydney - Mardi Gras
Sebastian and Georgie are two housemates who decided they'd leave the urban lifestyle of Melbourne behind them and explore the rest of Australia, in true Outdoor Addict fashion. We've loved receiving their emails and seeing the photos from their travels, and it's only week two.
Traveling up the East coast of Australia, in their camper-van that has been affectionately named Dr Henry Jones Jr, they're discovering that Georgie is a much more superior cook, how much they rely on electricity, and that there is much more to the Blue Mountains than just the colour blue.
Part 2 - The Charismatic Adventures Of Henry The Hiace
Okieeeee Dokieeeeee. Week nummer Zwei!
Week 2 was pretty much all about the Blue Mountains, NSW, and for those of you that haven’t been, it’s time to get your “Croajingal-on”, get out the door and go! We’re determined that this play on words shall survive the trip!!! So brace yourself.
We left off the last blog by hopping out of Kangaroo Valley and heading towards Wollongong. We arrived here fashionably late allowing us to pull into a caravan site and do nothing but be able to catch the failing light of the sun on the beach before testing out our new mega 15AMP rated power cord, giving Mr Jones something called elec…tric…ity. It was a cool thing and I hope they have this in other parts of Australia as it was a useful addition to modern technology, I predict one day for this to be all over the country and possible expanding the whole of Australasia by the end of the millennia... I’m still talking about electricity in case you got lost.
Firstly, and foremost, you may be sadden by the lack of “Blue” we saw in the mountains, but what it lacked in it’s Technicolor raincoat, it made up for with its gigantism and its innate ability to instantly turn you into a speck of salt moving in the ocean of humanity, A.K.A as you stand barefoot, and are grounded, you feel proportion in the place you stand. Ever seen that cartoon of the two ants staring at the stars, one saying to the other “Kind of makes you feel small, doesn’t it?”
Our first spot within the Blue Mountains was called “the camping spot on a mountain that came before the giant potholes in the road near a town named Katoomba”. This was cool. It was surrounded by mountains (surprisingly) and a view over “Ruined Castle” which was to be our planned hiking destination for the following morning. With an estimated hiking time of 5-6 hours, I made well sure I packed the… wait… wait… I made sure the much better than me cook Georgie packed the appropriate nourishment my body would need in order to make the climb, and with a good nights sleep we awaited the 6:47am sunrise.
6:47am came… as did the clouds… so unfortunately the light had no origin that morning, it just became bright. This didn’t stop us from sleeping in though! No. no, no! With an extra 3 hour delay we rolled out of bed at a comfortable 10am and began to pack my fathers yellow 70’s hiking bag with water, sandwiches, spare clothes, pocketknife, and an array of fruit based snacks. We endeavored on the trek, arriving at “Ruined Castle” within the described time, and while sitting on a rock consuming my lunch, I made friends with some highly intelligent crow style looking birds and the not so well popularized and understood Mr Lizard. Was incredible and I thoroughly enjoyed the company of these creatures who helped assisted in my development of understanding the trusting nature of wild animals for a human much larger and more threatening than they.
We got back to Henry at around 4pm and proceeded to go to our next camping spot “Ingar Campground” Planning to go via “Echo point” and “The 3 sisters” and then onto Wentworth Falls.
The 3 sisters is usually what you’ll see on all the Blue mountains postcards (at least on the postcards sold in the “3 sisters” information center), They’re kind of like a less apostley 12 apostles… and less great ocean roady… and more treey and mountainy. We pulled into the tourist section carpark and bolted from the van to have a quick view, trying to avoid the $4.80p/h parking! It’s called budget people! We waited for 5pm to roll over and parked in a free after 5pm spot then decided to go for a walk down the tip of the “Giant Staircase” (something like 900 steps that are steeeeeep, buns of steel anyone?) that leads you to a middle point on one of the actual sister rocks, where you can stand and take in everything, while making sounds like… oooooooooo and ahhhhhhh and oooahhhhh.
One of the legends of the “3 sisters” was something along the lines of….one sister (1 of the rocks) wanted to marry a man from a neighboring tribe, this was forbidden and a tribe war started, the father of the sisters turned them into stone to keep them safe with the intention to unfreeze them once the war was over, but they lost the war and to this day they were never able to be converted back.
We left here and got slightly lost and redirected to Wentworth Falls Lake, which we thought was the waterfalls. It wasn’t the falls, but it did amazingly have that thing I was talking about earlier, electricity! With 2 power plugs situated near the BBQ area. With all of our gear running on low we spent the next few hours charging everything and cooking dinner, Until leaving around 9ish to head to the Ingar campground campsite, which I would soon find out was located in the middle of a 160000000km dirt track !%$&*. After a hideous drive pacing around 8kmh, and stopping to see something that resembled a Tawny Frog Mouth owl, we set up camp and prepared for Wentworth falls in the morning.
We talked to a local at the Wentworth Fall-ien who said a good spot to do the walk was from the “Conservation Hut”. So we went there and started our 2 hour planned hike. Was super cool! And just FYI, stick to the track otherwise you slip and scrap your shin… maybe… so I hear… AHHH MY SHIN!!!!
From the Wentworth Falls we went onto Blackheath. Seeing “Govett’s Leap” and “Pulpit Rock”. If you’re going to go anywhere go here! Govett’s peak was pretty epic, with a rainbow situated in the middle of the “Bridesmaid Waterfall” BUT BUT BUTTTTTT (ha ha he said butt) “Pulpit Rock” was just intense! You drive down a road in which you think is just not the right one, then you walk 200m through some scrub, then hit this man made staircase leading onto a rock about 2.5m x 1.5m in size, In which as soon you step onto, the wind says “HEY YO! Are you a birthday candle? Cause blowwwwwwwwwwwww” you cling onto the rail for dear life, gather your footing and open your eyes to take in it all!
So lots of Blue Mountains stuff going on this week, with the last stop on the agenda being the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens…. Unfortunately we arrived a little later than expected and only had 45mins to wonder around the 252 hectare, 1000m above sea level garden, however we did manage to find the “Gondwana Forrest” with a layout that transforms you back 60-80 million years ago, and with the newly made Jurassic park film coming out soon it makes you concerned that you will be eaten by a Tyrannosaurs Rex or equally intimidating carnivore. However, as luck would have it we weren’t eaten or de-limbed, and after picking some deliciously crafted clothing from the naturally growing and highly prized Gondwana tree, we preceded to head onto the next campground located in “Bilpin”. In which I put on my caveman face and got in touch with my inner man by building a campfire, making me known by all those around me (Georgie) as “The Fire Lord”… Was awesome… toasted some marshmallows and went to bed.
We woke up and proceeded to head onto the contrasting urban mountains of Sydney city. With an opportunity to get back into “normal” life we had a quick stopover at the outdoor fitness station at Bondi Beach for a quick workout, before being privileged enough to be able to stay with some friends who were getting ready for the Mardi Gras parade. With a view over the main festivities on Oxford Street, in a 1 bedroom apartment, with a working refrigeration, I enjoyed the magnanimous event of the festival and appreciated the need for such importance in human equality to be hastily understood and widely accepted.
At the time of writing, I am in my much loved home (The Van) situated near a free hotspot, simultaneously typing in Brisbane into the GPS. Currently 731km North. Which will lead us into the next state of Queensland, where I hope to see some dolphins along the way and be able to pat one on the head and say…”hey there buddy, you’re kind of cool, want to go for a swim and protect me from sharks or something?” I hope it to respond with an “EEee EEee” and a high flipper five before performing a double back-flip somersault in which I will grade with its friends on a splash scale between one and ten. Hey! It could happen?!