Fruit bats hanging in the trees at Sydney Botanical Gardens. Called Flying Foxes by the locals because they're bloody huge
The Blue Mountains. Mmm... scenic.
The Three Sisters
Us in a train that travels at 52 degrees up a massive incline
Mark Williams: Backpacker, fop AND Wildlife photographer
Oooo, let's be all creative with the camera
Over the last couple of weeks I reckon I've been to the beach more times than in the last couple of years back home. So you'd be right to assume life's been tough recently. Laying about on a beach takes it out of you. And as if it weren't already easy enough to just jump on a bus and head to the beach, we have just moved to a hostel that looks out on to Bondi Beach. Although being the connoisseurs of all that is warm and sandy that we are, I prefer one that is round the corner from Bondi, called Tammarramma. Why, only today I have been body-boarding there, swallowing gallons of water every time a wave pulls me under instead of letting me glide gracefully over the top of it.
On weds, we a couple of hours West out of Sydney to a small town called Katoomba. There we saw the Blue Mountains. Very impressive. They are called the blue mountains because of the vast forest of gum trees below that release eucalyptus into the air and give it a distinctive blue haze. (See, contrary to the beliefs of many, I so sometimes pay attention to this stuff). Anyway, Katoomba is most visited because people want to see a rock formation called the Three Sisters. Them's the picture above of three big rocks next to each other. There's an old aboriginal story behind their name which is so good i can't be bothered to type it. Ask me in a pub some time and I'll regale you with it.
On Thursday, I trekked off to Wentworth falls, a 300m waterfall near Katoomba; a free train ride if you hop on and off without paying. (Not that I'd ever do something so dishonest...) Anyway, I had already walked a fair distance and was on an undercliff pathway that went further down into the falls. I was debating whether or not to go any further when two black and white parrots swooped past me in the direction i had been headed. So, like some cheesy adventure story, I took this as a sign to go on. Which was a pretty damn good decision when I got down to near the bottom of the falls and was paddling about in a large rock pool. On the way there I even met an Israeli guy we'd had dinner with the night before and his Korean friend. It was like the United Nations of waterfall exploring. I'm sure if George Bush and Bin Laden just took a trip to some scenic waterfalls together and messed about there for a bit, so much more could be resolved. Having said that, maybe it'd be better if Bush just chucked himself off the edge of the falls. Splat, job done, everybody's happy.
While the surrounding area's of Katoomba were impressive, the town itself had just a hint of backwater town/ my mother's my sister about it. The receptionist in the hostel we stayed at reminded me more than a little of the banjo playing hillbilly child at the start of Deliverance. I also saw a bearded woman. Not in a show or anything, it's OK if you put them in cages, just at a bus stop. All that was needed to complete the 'Deliverance' experience was a fat hillbilly telling me I have "a pretty mouth".
Also, we still haven't seen a Kangaroo. Our theory is that they are a fraud, a myth created by the Australian government in order to get people to visit Australia. The ones you see on TV are really men in Kangaroo suits. I mean come on, I've seen a bearded lady before I've seen one damn Kangaroo in a country that's meant to have millions of 'em. Suspicious? Yes. Don't believe the lies.
Oh yeah, and now i've set up a way to upload videos so check this out. The slight groan you hear at the end is the Korean guy going under the fall, nothing untoward, I know I spent a couple of weeks in Sydney's gay district but i'm still a pillar of heterosexuality. Nick on the other hand; it's touch and go sometimes...