Dec. 20 – Springwood and More Hiking

For Day Two of hiking around Springwood, we woke up early, ate a breakfast of beans, spaghetti sauce, and toast (it was all Byron could concoct given our pantry options) and took the train out to a town called Katoomba.

The town’s biggest draw is the Three Sisters, which are three rock formations within a canyon of the Blue Mountains. When we got to the viewing platform, the site was mobbed by massive tour busses and hundreds of pushy travelers trying to take their picture in front of the rocks. After also acting like tourists and getting our pictures, we ate our packed picnic lunch and started our hike along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk and the Grand Staircase (consisting of 800 stairs) going deep down into the canyon.

Our legs were burning by the time we got to the bottom and continued through Dardanelles Pass and Leura forest, but the view was totally worth it. Even the forest was great because it was so different from the coniferous woods back home in New England and instead had jungle vines and tropical trees. Unfortunately what goes down, must come back up, so we marched through another grueling set of stairs bringing us back out of the canyon past countless waterfalls and natural rock pools.

With an even greater burn in our legs, we walked to the next town, stopped for ice cream sandwiches again and were greeted by a man dressed in a kilt playing jingle bells on the bagpipe as we entered Woolworths. With 90 degree weather and no Christmas tree, that was the closest I came to feeling like it was the holiday season.

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