World Travels by Casey

Blue mountains

Hello! I'm back! Sorry ive been a bit quite the past few weeks. Something always seems to come up that keeps me from getting a blog post out. But that's a good thing when you are traviling, right? Yes! The answer is yes!

My friend Corey who is from the west coast of the USA flew to Australia early last week. He didn't come to see me he just went out for another worldly adventure and happened to pick Australia. He travels a lot when he's not working and when he's working he's on a container ship sailing around the world based out of California.

I met him in 2012 during the big snowstorm in Portland, Oregon. We had a mutual friend and both happened to be at the same downtown condo one evening.  We got along really well, became Facebook friends and that was that. This last week on Thursday morning was the first time I have seen him since meeting him that first night. 

So last week on Thursday I went out into the public transportation world, alone and on a mission to meet up with Corey and his Australian friend Tegan who he was staying with.

This was my second day alone on public transportation and with the help of Google maps I was figuring it out pretty quick. 

The day before I had taken the bus to a shopping center that I had heard a lot about and was curious to see. But I also used the shopping center as an excuse to test my skills at navigating around by bus and train.

Before he flew into this country I had asked him if he and his friend were interested in hiking around the mountains with me. Because Teagan the Australian girl lived near the mountains they asked  me to meet them at a train station closer to them. 

So Thursday morning I skipped my F45 workout do that I could catch the bus at 6:45 AM in order to meet them by 830. We met at a car park next to the train station ingot off at in an area known as Penrith.

A train station on my way to the mountains. 

Inside the train. Kind of a 3 level/split train.

It felt pretty great to see a friend of mine from back home! Teagan was really cool and drove us to a beautiful look out with a cave like underneath, before we went to the mountains. 

The lookout that we were at was actually an overview of all of the mountain area and then some. I didn't realize just how big the blue mountains were. From this viewpoint it was basically as far as the eye could see of mountainous landscape and a river. 

It looked like this in both directions. Mostly eucalyptus trees.

Under the lookout area in the (sorta) cave. 

The weather was pretty good it was cool but overall warm out and the sky was a little bit gray. Perfect weather for hiking though. Teagan had planned out for a hike for us to do that was three hours and a loop instead of a down and back. When we arrived at the visitor center and café we pick up a map and set off on our adventure.

The entrance.

We did the national pass hike.

In my mind I had kind of pictured with this place would look like. Based off of everything people have been telling me I pictured something similar to Eastern Oregon and the three sisters, Bend area. I guess this was because the blue Mountains has an area called the three sisters. I guess it had it similarities but it didn't really look like I had imagined. It was still just as beautiful though.

Notice the blue haze? 

The BlueMountain this is dense with eucalyptus trees that put off and oil into the atmosphere. When this oil combines with dust particles and water vapor it is known to scatter short wave length rays of light that are mostly blue in color. This creates a blue haze across the mountains.  

There weren't a lot of people out hiking but we definitely passed a handful of travelers also exploring and likely it was their first time visiting as well. 

The emperess waterfall. 

There were lots of waterfalls, exposed rocky cliff sides, beautiful parrots flying overhead and 1,000 stairs worth of climbing. 

Corey taking the lead. 

I'm not really taller than him my rock was taller and I thought I was going to fall off during the photo opp.

Lots of rocky cliff sides.

Corey, Teagan and myself. 

About halfway through our hike it started sprinkling on us it wasn't too bad it was so warm out. So we continued on taking pictures of the scenery and pictures of ourselves and the rain grew heavier. Much happier! Soon we found ourselves pulling out our jackets and one small umbrella we had brought with us. While there were lots of rock overhangs that we had passed earlier we found ourselves completely exposed to the rain at this point. So stood close, the three of us huddled under one small umbrella for a good 10minutes before we decided to just make a run for it. And by run I really mean fast walk because as soon as we turned the corner to continue onto the trail we were confronted by more stairs and some of the steepest stairs I've seen.

We found a little tiny overhang after we put the umbrella away but it didn't help much so we moved on.

Halfway up the stairs the rain gave way and we were left a bit more soggy then when we had first started out. Wet socks squishing around in your shoes is never very comfortable feeling. And of course not long after the rain stopped we pass one rock shelter after another that would have made excellent hideouts.

The weather was changing fast but we were able to get a few more photos in.

Just as the clouds started moving in on us. 

As we were passing a lady on the trail we made small talk and found out that she was an American who is a librarian in Singapore. She was on holiday in Australia for two weeks. People like her strike me as the type who also got the travel bug but later in life. So the way they see it possible to travel is by relocating with work. I can't disagree with the situation but definitely makes sense and working for a while in one place really allows you to make friends. 

After the rain storm hit us, heavy clouds moved in on us. Our beautiful view was now completely covered in clouds. At least the first part of our hike had gorgeous views that seemed everlasting. We got back to the café/visitor center and had lunch. After lunch Teagan had to pick up her son at afterschool care and then she drove me to the train station to head back to Sam's house. Corey and I didn't talk much after the hike. The car was mostly filled with the chatter if Teagan as Corey and I really just wanted to take naps. 

It was a long train and bus ride home for me. I kept trying to fall asleep on the train but forcing myself to stay awake so I wouldn't miss the next stop that I would have to get off at. 

The last time I had been in Australia we Alicia, my travel buddy and I) attempted to go to the blue Mountains but had heard mixed reviews on going there. Some said it was worth it some said it wasn't. I probably only made a small dent during my one day there but I would definitely say it's worth going. The hikes were beautiful and there were a few things that I missed that I would've liked to of seen but with the amount of clouds that had rolled in I don't think it was quite the day to drive further to see anything else. 

I would've liked The three sisters, there's a chance I could've seen them but nobody pointed them out to me to tell me that's what they were. I also would've liked to of seen the steepest train in the world that takes you down drops you off and then you hike back up. It's a tourist thing that's for sure and you have to pay to get on it but it would've been cool though seen. I'll add that to the list for next time.

Corey and I. 

Nate KComment