07 August 2006


Last weekend, Heather and I went bushwalking, our first since the leech incident. We went to Katoomba, where we saw the Three Sisters (the first picture) and a lot of tourists (second). We were both reminded of the horse drawn carriage tour of Charleston where we saw old
homes, historic buildings, natural vegetation and a sidewalk chalk scrawled message reading "TOURISTS GO HOME". Once we got out on the actual trail, however, the tourist disappeared. Full of energy and excitement, we began our descent on the Giant Stairway, which is correctly named--over
800 steps. It weaves back and forth down the cliff face, hiding around edges and through the forest growth. At the bottom, we stopped for lunch. A couple tourists were right behind us (you could tell by their blue and pink Ugg boots). They spent a couple minutes catching their breath, then headed back up the stairs. Not sure why you would walk down 800 stairs and not enjoy the actual trails. We chose the Dardanelles Pass, named for the location in Turkey where the ANZACS fought during WWI.
You will notice in the next pictures how dense the canopy was by how dark it is--these pictures were taken in the middle of the afternoon an hour or so after the picture of the Three Sisters. The stairs back up traced a series of waterfalls coming down, and all of them were different. In the first falls
picture, you see me and a "standard" waterfall. The walking stick is Heather's. Be careful if you are ever walking up stairs on a trail behind Heather and her stick. She has a tendency to drop her hand to her side, thus bringing the business end of the stick very near your head. In the next picture is a beautiful, wide, trickling falls. The still photo just can't capture how it sparkled as it fell. Other than the falls, the way up was just like the way down: stairs, stairs, stairs. It didn't go up a cliff face, but at every
bend, there was another set. The last picture illustrates Heather's fallen spirits at a particularly long and daunting staircase with no sunlight in sight. When we finally broke through to the sun, she threw up her hands and yelled, "We made it!"


Heather said...

This is not the first time we went hiking since January. We went in April - on Lizard Island and Hinchinbrook Island. But I do remember making the conscious decision not to hike while the weather was warm and we could go to the beach...The whole leech thing was traumatic.

patrick said...

That's a lot of steps.