Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blue Mountains ... What a lovely place!

Arrived yesterday on the noon train and settled in to Broomlea B&B... accommodations are lovely... short walk in to town for lunch and exploring followed by STRENUOUS hike in the afternoon. Divine dinner at Silks in Leura. Photo opportunities were minimal yesterday but here's one from today's hike along the Cliff Walk. The Three Sisters are famous rock formations in the Blue Mountains... here they are in a bit of an optical illusion... the Skyway ride does not run into the rocks but rather passes in front of them... The ride is a must if you ever find yourself in the Blue Mountains!
three sisters in the blue mountains with skyway ride

When visiting the Blue Mountains, one of the things to do is ride the cable car to the floor of the valley and do the scenic walkway, then ride the train back up... or vice versa (train down and cable car back up). Once on the floor of the valley, walking is quite easy since a beautiful boardwalk pathway was installed 8 to 10 years ago.

The sign at the beginning of the walkway cautions that the following things may happen to you while on the Walkway (am including only items 1 and 2 here)...
1- The Walkway may be slippery under the following conditions (paraphrased and shortened: cold weather (ice), wet weather (slippery), berry season makes for squashed berries on the walkway)
Solution: Take care when walking and use handrails if it looks wet, icy or there is vegetation/berries on the ground. Walk on carpet where provided.
2- A tree may fall over or a branch may fall from a tree.
Solution: If you hear a loud crack, run away ignoring point 1 above.

Fortunately, I didn't encounter any of the conditions that are cause for concern and quite enjoyed my walk through the valley rain forest. The photo of Cyathea australis included below is unusual in that it has a bifurcated trunk caused by a virus attacking the fern. This plant, commonly known as Rough Tree Fern, is native to New South Wales and Queensland in Australia and a few other parts of the world.
Rough Tree Fern

To close off this post... I leave you with a photo of the Broomlea B&B, heartily recommended if you find yourself in the Blue Mountains some day. This is the side of the house which is easier to photograph than the front due to the lovely gardens filling the front yard.
Broomlea B&B

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