One thing I’ve learned about traveling in a group is that is often better to do things by yourself. Alone, because if you depend on others’ indecisions and needs, you risk not doing it at all. For that reason, I took advantage of having woken up at 6AM on Christmas Eve to go and check out the Australian Blue Mountains.
I tried joining a tour group, but they were sold out so I just went on my own. It was better, as I spent less and did it how I like it. I like walking! And so I hiked for a total of 5 hours. I started at Wentworth Falls, walking the easy trail first, then the intermediate one before reaching the sign: ‘from this point on, just experienced hikers.’
Well, well. I guess I can say I’m an experienced hiker? I have, after all, walked four days to get to Machu Picchu; I have climbed an active volcano in Nicaragua; I went kloofing in Cape Town. I decided to go ahead. I was still looking for the waterfall! Climbing got quite vertical, but there were iron handrails to help out. It was worth: I found the perfect waterfall with its sand-bottom and crystalline natural pool. Not one person around. In a rush of adrenaline, I got naked, changed into my bikini, and got in the water. It was wonderful, but I am not as brave as I thought: the freezing water and the fear of the unknown made me quickly get off of there. Refreshed inside out, both from the crystalline waters and from the crazy feeling of being on the other side of the world and swimming on an Australian waterfall by myself.
I kept walking until it actually looked dangerous, and I turned back to avoid having a Macauley Culkin kind of Christmas.
Took the bus and headed to the next town, Katoomba, to check out the famous Three Sisters mountain. The legend says that three sisters fell in love with three brothers from another tribe, but the law prohibited this marriage. The in-love men were not to give up easy, and they vowed to capture the girls even if they had to start a war for that. To protect the sisters, the Indian shaman transformed them into these gorgeous, leafy and strong conjoined mountains. And he intended to get them back to normal after the war was done, but he ended up being killed himself and nobody could undo the spell. Bad luck, sis.
The story is nicer than the actual place. I mean, the place is magnificent and perfect for long walks, but too touristy for my taste. Although Queen Elizabeth has been there, so why wouldn’t YOU go?
A rollercoaster train ride and a hitchhike later, I made back to train station to get back to Sydney.