The days in the mountains come and go like the seasons. I love that about them. Awake at about six every morning and the day starts with coffee and some basic exercise to wake up the body that has become bound by sleep. K continues to sleep in a little as sometimes her sleep patterns are a little irregular. We really don’t know why…….lots of processing going on I guess.
This morning we were keen to get out and do a decent walk through the bush somewhere and after a couple of good conversations with people and a look at a local guide book, we decided to do some of the Federal Pass. It looked stunning and we could do a loop from the bottom of the escarpment to the top again, ending up back at the car.
Parking in Katoomba a little ways away from the Echo Point lookout we wandered down to the lookout and headed left following the signs as we strolled along. Each view point is worth stopping at along the top of the cliff before you start to descend into the deep and lush eucalyptus forest.
Heading down the stairs is a really nice way to see the enormity of the valley and it gives the layperson just the right amount of exposure to feel a little overwhelmed and induce feelings of vertigo form time to time. The birds were noisy and we were welcomed to the lower valley by a very talkative Crimson Rosella. Gaan Gaan were screeching off in the distance and the sounds are quite Jurassic at times.
At the bottom of the stairs we turned right and briefly chatted to a local who said “There are a few reptiles about, so just be aware.” This sent Karine into mental overdrive as she has a very serious fear of snakes. Especially the Australian ones……..because they can all kill you! This is not entirely true.
As we walked through the track and took in the wildlife and the environment in became very apparent to me that, there was too much noise being made by humans. Most of the reptiles wouldn’t come near us in the first place. They are timid creatures and would hide in the undergrowth, completely obscured in the dappling light being cast from above.
Continuing towards the West, our destination was The Scenic Railway. I really wanted Karine to experience this as a bit of a touristy thing but to also see how they transported the coal and the miners up and down into the valley back in the old days. There is a venerable history here in the “Bluies” that is often missed by a lot of people who frequent this place.
As we reached the top of the cliff in our kid infested car, the screaming subsided and the teachers regained control over these terrified and excited new humans. We disembarked and headed to the cliff top walk to return to Echo Point. The vistas here are just sensational and you get a real sense of what its like to walk along the edge of the cliff.
K and I mucked about taking illy photos of each other standing as close to the edge as our little scared heads would allow and laughed at how seriously chicken shit we were. It was a great way to spend and early afternoon and we worth the effort. Round trip for us was about two hours and twenty minutes but we did walk a little faster through the undergrowth……..to deter any scary little critters along the way…….. 🙂