Day 73 -Blue Mountains - Wednesday 28th December 2011
Today was the day for everything we touched to go wrong, but funny with it! The plan was simple, we would get up, Danny & Nikki would meet us at the hostel for some breakfast, we would get the train to the Blue Mountains, do the whole scenic tour and be home for 7pm so we could email Bricky & Sarah to wish them well for their big wedding day the next day… simple!
So come 9am we met Danny & Nikki at our hostel kitchen and had some vegemite on toast and a coffee. After breakfast we walked to Central Station, which is directly behind our hostel and once we'd bought our tickets, jumped on the 10.30am train - which took 2 hours to arrive at Katoomba station in the heart of the Blue Mountains. Nikki & Soph had heard about a trolley tour which was a hop on, hop off mini train that would take us all around the sights and to Scenic World where we could get a skywalk car across a gorge and then a cable car into the valley and finally get the worlds steepest train ride back to the top. So we hot footed it to the "Trolley Shoppie" and booked our tickets - $44 each. We then boarded an express bus to the Scenic World entrance and once there queued for about 30 minutes to get on the Skywalk - this lasted all of 3 minutes and was so packed you could hardly see anything; we questioned whether it was worth the wait. Anyway onto the next… We were told that as it's the festive period and very, very busy we should do the cable car down and train up as the other way round was an extra hour of queuing. After about an hour of queuing for the cable car, we reached the front only to be told that the cable car had lost all power, but not to panic, the power should be back in a couple of minutes… 1 hour later it was back up and running! So we jumped on. The ride was pretty awesome as its very steep and you kind of glide through the valley, down then up to the other side, however this too only lasted 3minutes and maybe wasn't quite worth the 2 hour wait?! Onto the other side we did a 10 minute walk and arrived at the train side… another hour and we got the train back to the top. So in summary, 4 hours gone and all we had done was a quick across, down then up!
We got back to the bus stop to now do our guided tour around the mountain (it was 5pm) only to find out that all the tours finished at 4.30pm! The girls were not in the best of moods and already thinking of the arguments for asking for our money back! We were all pretty hungry so we had a quick pie and drink only to turn around and see the last bus (which we thought we had missed as it said 4.30pm at the bus stop) pull in to the stop and then pull out… yep we missed it! We asked another bus driver how this could be; he said that because it was busy they put on one more round - so basically we were stuffed!! He took pity on us and said he would drop us back at the station -annoyed and gutted we took his offer. After about 10 mins we had somehow caught up with the trolley tour bus so we dived out and ran over; Danny and I pushed the girls to the front to explain what had happened. The driver was awesome, he said that he should now be finished and was on his way back, but would take just us on the whole tour!! So basically we had our own private tour, he pulled up at all the stops, told us about the snakes, spider and all the plants and let us get off to take pictures. We chatted the whole way through and he also added his own commentary into it - he picked us some tea tree leaves as he said they we great for sunburn and that if you put them in hot water you can drink them, he even told us about him and his mates going into the bush to eat magic mushrooms!! With the tour done, we dropped him a few dollars and he dropped us at the entrance for the Katoomba Falls, this is the biggest waterfall in the Blue Mountains. As it was late, the sun was going down and the clouds were an amazing blue, red, and orange colour and no one was around! The view was breath-taking; we all jumped over the safety barrier and sat on the edge of this huge mountain as the water fell beneath our feet! It felt like we were sitting on the edge of the earth. Check out the pictures!!
We were now so chuffed with what we had seen and we had it all to ourselves, so we headed back to the train station at 8.30pm only to find our train had gone and the next one was 10.55pm.
We wondered if anything else could go wrong……………we headed to a restaurant only to be told that they had run out of food!? Onto the next which thankfully had some food left, we eat a big meal and washed it down with our BYO alcohol of a couple of tinnies and wine for the girls. Food done, we legged it back to the station to get the last train to Central. After 20 minutes the broke down and we were stuck for about an hour and a half - making the journey nearly 3.5 hours! We finally got home to bed at 2.30am! By the way though the Blue Mountains are out of this world - but don't bother with the trolley!!X
PS. When we got home Soph checked her phone and she had a text from Maya (from yesterday - signals not great here!) to say James had proposed!!! We're so happy for them both!!
So far, we've missed 4 engagements (congrats Nic and Mitch, Will and Hannah, Maya and James and Si and Veronique), a pregnancy announcement (the Deeley's) and will miss 5 weddings! We are sad we're not there to share and celebrate the news with our friends but are thinking of them all!