Day 17 of our adventure, fifteen of us are still together as a fairly large and happy group. We all set off for a two night stay at the YHA hostel in the town of Katoomba beside the Blue Mountains. Keen to explore we were told by the receptionist to hold off the walking until the following morning as it was due to rain.
Instead we opted for a takeaway and a quiet night in a local bar which a few of the lads had came across. However with it being Sunday we hadn’t realised how early they would close and ended up only managing a quick drink. Unfortunately the locals seemed deterred by our presence and weren’t overly friendly.
Katoomba in general seemed like a pretty strange town, the locals ranged from quirky, chill hippy to somewhat deranged. The streets were lined with shops full of knick knacks that nobody had any need for and the majority of residents sported fairly strange haircuts. The town definitely gave off the strange vibe and seemed a perfect setting for a horror movie set.
We woke early and after a quick discussion with the receptionist we had a map and a five hour trek through the Blue Mountains planned. For those more keen and with a larger budget there were plenty of companies around who offered activities such as canoeing and abseiling or longer more advanced hikes.
We were happy with a long walk that offered great views and wasn’t too demanding. Having said that after descending the 900 step stairway we realised our mistake in the fact that we would once again have to ascend. If you aren’t overly athletic you might want to skip it but really the views make the effort worth it.
We managed to see some beautiful waterfalls and having descended a small gorge we chilled in a rock pool for a while. At least until one of the girls spotted what looked like leeches and we made a quick get away out of there. They were probably harmless, maybe.
On our way back we visited echo point where there was a beautiful view that went on for miles. The disappointing thing is that you could have the most advanced camera in the world but you won’t be able to fully capture it. My pictures just don’t do it justice, it is a sight that needs to be seen with your own eyes.
That evening we had a BBQ at the hostel and enjoyed a relaxing evening in the TV room. Each YHA offers excellent facilities and members get 10% off. Slightly more expensive than other places but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
A great few days at the Blue Mountains and if you are in Australia it is definitely a must see. Small groups are probably best to trek around with and take plenty of time so you can get the full experience. Bring water and a pack lunch, you’ll need it.