I woke up about 6am to exactly the same conditions as I went to sleep in, apart from the dull morning light in the fog. I decided I'd wait to mid day at the latest to see if the fog would burn off, and if not I'd head back to the coast. Wentworth Falls was the route I had wanted to do today, so I drove the 15 minutes it took to get there and decided to wait it out in 'bed' reading my book.
By some miracle the fog and cloud started to burn off about 9am! By 9:30am I had packed all the car up properly and went off to do the route I wanted to do, as I didn't know if the cloud would become thicker again like yesterday.
3 hours later I returned to the car park to sun and thin cloud, and generally a nice warm day, I couldn't believe it! Without particularly intending to, I had done one of the longest walks available;
Jamisons Lookout, Wentworth Falls track to the falls, Fletchers Lookout, National Path track, onto the Wentworth pass via the Slacks Stairs, Lodore Falls, Empress Falls, Empress Lookout, Queen Victoria Lookout, Overcliff Track, Den Fenella Lookout and back to the car park. All in all it was probably wasnt much more than 5/6km, but as your constantly going up and down steps and ladders you feel like you have done a fair distance at the end!
That walk gave some of the most amazing views I have seen in Australia, it was absolutely incredible. First there was the top of the falls them selves, then the cliff paths as you wind your way down the walls of the valley (which in places were scarily close to 100's of m vertical drop), then the view of the falls right from the base, then walking through the rainforest at the bottom of the valley and finally climbing back up the other side again.
From 'Wentworth Falls' area I decided I would go off and see as many of the different view points etc as possible, as while the weather was clear it made sense to make the most of it. If its clear tomorrow there is 1 walk I would like to do called the 'Ruined Castle', but if not I saw everything else I wanted to today so I'm happy.
First I went to 'Gordon Falls' lookout, which although gave a good view like many other lookouts, it was nothing special compared to the Wentworth Falls trails.
Then I went on to the most touristy and well known lookout of the lot called 'Echo Point', which was just mind blowing. I think that almost beats the view of Canarvon Gorge, I couldn't belive it. You can see so far down the valley between the mountains to the right hand side until they merged into a blue mist, and on the left there are 'The 3 Sisters' (3 stacks of rock protruding out from the surrounding cliffs). I hope a few of the heap of photos I took at least party show how amazing it was.
One thing that was quite funny about the Echo Point lookout was the sheer number of Japanese Tourists! I have never seen such a high destiny of iPhones, iPads and expensive cameras in one place in my life!
From Echo Point I did the short walk down the side of cliffs until you walk across a gangway onto the 1st of The 3 Sisters, where I sat for a bit to have a 2nd lunch and just generally admire the view.
Having finished at the Echo point area there was only 1 lookout left I wanted to visit called 'Eagle Hawk Lookout'. Here you get a good view of the 3 Sisters from a distance, and see some different parts of the valley.
By this time it was about 4:30pm and I was dying for a shower, so I decided I may aswell just fork out for another night at the YHA hostel in Katoomba as it was only 2 minutes up the road. That way I could take all the photos off my now full camera memory card to put on the laptop, and charge it up for the last couple of weeks (it will probably last that long anyway) before I go back up to Queensland.
Having booked in and and had a shower in the hostel I got changed and wandered up to the nice coffee shop I went to yesterday at the top of the street. Having used the free Internet for about an hour I was hungry, so headed back down to the hostel to cook some dinner.
Before I made it to the kitchen I was putting some stuff in my room when I met 2 of my room mates (im in an 6 bed dorm this time with 3 others I think). 1 of them was a German guy called Lucas who was also travelling before uni, and I got on with him really well pretty much instantly. The other was a slightly mad bloke in his 60s (?) who appears to live in the hostel.. he is nice enough and one of those 'oh when I was travelling in Europe back in 1978' types and he has Hagrid style long grey hair merging into a thick grey beard .. That's was best I can describe him anyway!
After chatting for ages both Lucas and I made our excuses about being starving, and went off to cook dinner. Turns out he has been learning to surf while travelling the coast with some friends in a van, but mostly via bus, so we had quite a lot in common to discuss while eating etc.
Later on I messed about on the laptop, sorted out my camera and wrote this blog until it was about 10pm and I was ready to sleep.
Today has unexpectedly been one of the best days of my travels I think, I have thoroughly enjoyed everything. I can't describe how glad I was to be able to actually do all the sight seeing and the Wentworth falls trail, especially as I had little hope of doing it at all due to weather forecast. It was also definitely a good idea to stay in the hostel tonight so I had some good company and didn't have to faf about looking for somewhere to stay in the car.
Im not really too worried what happens tomorrow now, I'm content with what I have seen up here, but there are a few more I will do to top of off it the weather is good. Otherwise I will head down to the coast about lunch time, and get back on the wave hunt!
(Photo - the view from Echo Lookout across the mountains).