|Our friend the Pied Kurrawong|
Katoomba is the largest and seemingly main town in the Blue Mountains. We checked into the charming 1920’s “Blue Hotel”. Our room faced a park-like area with big trees where Pied Kurrawongs kept us entertained and woke us in the mornings.
|Breakfast in the 1920's dining room|
|Bar/lounge area of Hotel Blue|
The Cliff Drive had us stopping several places for birding, walking and exploring. Along the way we met a couple from North England who were also birding and a typical birding conversation ensued. “Have you been to….? Have you seen….? Where is the best place to ….? “ always about birds and nature. Such fun to meet fellow travelers! The views in these mountains are spectacular with the vast expanses of forests.
|The Blue Mountains|
Katoomba (an Aboriginal word meaning “shining falling water” offers a variety of architecture and lots of art deco shops. We discovered a place to get fish and chips after 7 pm. Most shops close around 5 or 6pm and roll up the sidewalks! Any places that were open were very busy. We took our dinner back to the hotel and enjoyed a quiet evening.
Things I found interesting in the room – no stopper in the hotel sink, electric blankets under the sheets, great antique armoire to be used as a closet and windows that opened out from the bottom.
We learned to go for an early morning walk and return for breakfast. That way we avoided parking fees and inconvenient places to park with crowds of people at the lookouts. Discovering birds, plants and trees along the paths in the early mornings was wonderful as the sun came up. Looking out at the overlooks with the vast acres of forest was breathtaking.
|Picnic at Leural Falls (someone had to take the picture!)|
After a breakfast of sausages, toast, pancakes, eggs and coffee we were off to Woolworth’s for picnic food. I’m used to Woolworth’s being a sundry store but here they are modern grocery stores. We picnicked on a ham sandwich and fruit at Leural Falls under very tall Eucalyptus trees. The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and a Laughing Kookaburra joined us.
|Sulphur-crested Cockatoo - with his crest up!|
Often there were signs telling about the area including the legends. I loved reading those! The Three Sisters legend tells about three sisters who were in love with three brother warriors from the neighboring nation. Marriage was forbidden by tribal law. The brothers decided to take the sisters by force. Tribal war forced the leader of the sisters’ tribe to turn the sisters into stone until the danger passed and the war ended. Unfortunately the leader was killed in the war and to this day no one has figured out how to turn the stone back into the three sisters.
|The Three Sisters|
The tree fern forests fascinated me –seeing the patterns the sunlight made through fronds and then looking at the frond patterns from above. We spent the day exploring the Blue Mountains and of course checking out the towns, walking paths and lookouts. So many parrots and other birds!
Back to Woolworths for roast chicken, coleslaw, red pepper and avocado (dinner cost $22 plus a bottle of wine!). We were trying to keep the cost of meals down as well as finding out what things actually cost (not tourist prices). Fun to watch the local news too - no ads and the female reporters wore interesting big jewelry! The events were well presented with lots of background given. The big story was about the attempted beheading and increased security.
Next morning we after breakfast, we checked out and drove to Mt. Wilson for a picnic lunch with a Kurrawong and a Magpie! Then on the Mt. Tomah Botanical Gardens. What a treat!
|Love the Australian Magpie!|