I'm feeling very sore, yet satisfied after spending Sunday in Katoomba. Dean and I had visited the Blue Mountains in the spring of 2014, and had intended to complete the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, a 14km (9 mile) trail that runs from Echo Point to Leura and back, but I was suffering from a nasty case of bronchitis and had to put that plan on the back burner. We returned yesterday, with our roommate Morgan, intending to hike the route and catch some Pokemon on the way as well. After making the jam-packed, 90 minute train trip into the mountains, we strolled through the suburbs of Katoomba, admiring it's quaint, quiet streets and catching a record breaking amount of Eevees, before settling in at a picnic bench for a late breakfast. Click through to read more about our day out.
We began our descent down the Giant Stairway at Echo Point around 10am, and I'm not going to lie, it was harder than I expected! The steps were worn in, uneven, and incredibly steep - no wonder it's ranked as a grade 4 trail. When they call it the Giant Stairway, they're not exaggerating - at over 900 steps of varying angles and sizes, it took around 40 minutes to make it all the way down. Once at the bottom, we searched for a few Pokemon but found nothing worth catching, so we switched our phones off and wandered through the bush. After an hour or so, we stopped by Katoomba Falls for a light lunch and befriended a very fat and friendly magpie that was desperate for a bite of Morgan's sandwich (his request was denied!).
We continued on the trail until we arrived at the Furber Steps, the staircase leading back up the mountain. The idea of climbing 900+ stairs back up a mountain may sound daunting, but I actually found it much easier than the walk down - I didn't even break a sweat! The steps were equally steep, even ladder-like in some areas, but they were more stable feeling, so it was easier to maintain my footing. I did need a couple of stops on the way up - I had gotten quite wild on Friday night and stayed that way into Saturday, so I was still feeling the effects, but Morgan didn't want to lose his pace and pulled ahead quite quickly- we met back up with him half way and rested for around 20 minutes before completing our ascent. The last few meters were the most difficult for me, as I'd developed a terrible ache in the arch of my foot, and it was a relief to be back at the top of the mountain. I had a real sense of accomplishment when I looked back over at the Three Sisters rock formation and saw how far we had come. It was very refreshing. Though today I'm suffering from stiff hips and sore thighs that made completing my typical Monday chores difficult, I'm left feeling very motivated. One of my biggest goals is to see more of Australia. I'd barely left Pittsburgh even though I lived in the United States for most of my life, and I intend to break that pattern in my new home. I want to see everything Australia has to offer me! Next weekend Dean and I plan to take the Bondi to Bronte trail, and I hope to share a snippet of our journey. Until then, I hope to get a one or two beauty posts up!