This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark, Hallmark serial number 95 HBM 80-1. Twenty-five years, and I don’t look a day older than one! Alas, I can’t say the same for my Travelling Companion. I spend most of my time inside a book (well, duh) while my TC sees the world. Read all about me and follow my blog posts to share my experiences as bookmark and travelling worm. I’ll keep it meaningful. Like a t-shirt.
Today’s travel notes
Yesterday I was at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. That’s about two hours’ drive west of Sydney.
How did I feel? Cocooned in magnificence.
In my last blog post, I confessed to being awestruck by Uluru, to the point of wordlessness. The Blue Mountains don’t do that to you. They’re beautiful, dizzying, breathtaking — but somehow cozy too.
Here are some words for the temperate rainforest: dripping; tinkly; enveloping; silvery; soaring.
Words for the precipitous train ride from the top of the gorge down to the forest floor: “Da-da-da-DAAA, da-da-Daaa”. For those philistines who don’t recognise it, that’s the Indiana Jones theme tune. They play it to you as the train sets off.
Words for the cliffs and gorges: floating; misty; dark and handsome; the strong silent type.
The Blue Mountains have something for everyone: ghost trees and ghost stories; misleading road signs and strong coffee; adventurous rides and ankle-turning hikes. You can even abseil off one of the Three Sisters, if she takes your fancy.
A traveller’s gripe
There are NO signs pointing the way to Scenic World, our destination in Katoomba. We went round and round the misty by-ways, asking directions of the locals. Some of the latter looked patiently amused. Others’ expressions implied, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”.
Eventually we found a sign at the top of a road and turned obediently. It was a very very short road, ending in a t-junction. What now, left or right? Not a hint. We guessed right. If we hadn’t, we would eventually have become just another ghostly collection of voices bouncing off Echo Point.
Don’t be a prisoner of your hair style.
The book I’m in
Season of the Witch, by Natasha Mostert.
Me looking down on the rain forest canopy:
Me in the rain forest:
Me and a ghost tree:
Scenic Railway track plunging into the gorge. Impressive wormhole:
The Scenic Railway train — brother worm emerging from his hole:
Looking out over the rain forest canopy:
In the depths of the rain forest, looking up at the silver shining wet bark of a tall tree:
Black wattles. I’ve dubbed them ghost trees. Their scientific name is Callicoma serratifolia, and they’re not a wattle at all. That’s the Ozzies for ya. Historical note: The first timbers used for the wattle and daub huts of the early settlers were cut from these trees: