So there we were in our hostel, Blue Mountains, Katoomba YHA, buzzing from the day we’d had, but exhausted at the same time. Others from the BUNAC group had just arrived in the last hour, so we had a quick catch up with them before they headed off to do some exploring for themselves.
That afternoon and evening were spent having a quick explore of Katoomba, and then having a celebratory BBQ with everyone as it happened to be the birthday of one of the guys we were with! Katoomba was a lovely little town, with the Three Sisters about a 15-20 minute walk down the road, and then plenty of cafes, boutiques, pubs and gift shops lining the high street. Everyone we met there was incredibly friendly, and a lady with blue hair informed us we wouldn’t find a more accepting place anywhere else in Australia!
I won’t say too much about the hostel as I’ll leave that for my review in another post, but it was a great setting for celebrating a birthday. It was so warm we stayed outside until 10pm eating our BBQ and attempting to play the guitar! Many of the other guests were outdoors too, and rather than see us backpackers as a nuisance they only wished us well and gave us some tips on how to make the most out of our stay.
The next day, after a hearty breakfast in one of the local cafes, us girls decided a bush walk was in order. After a lot of indecision about the length of time we wanted to walk, how many steps we were prepared to climb up/down and assessing our own aches and pains from the walking the day before we decided the walk to a place called Euroka (via the Jellybean Pool) was the way to go. This had everything to do with the guaranteed kangaroo sightings the bush walk board in the hostel promised!
After a trip on the double decker train (I KNOW RIGHT!!!) to Glenbrook we got walking. Our first port of call was the toilets, which had some pretty cool steps just outside of them with all the names of the Blue Mountains towns and villages engraved onto them.
And so we then began our short walk – to the Jellybean Pool first, with the plan to progress to Euroka to see the guaranteed kangaroos.
This was all rather sedate, as we’d all agreed to go at our own pace, and didn’t involve much other than bush fire warnings, pleasant conversation between the seven of us and quite a lot of steps down the hill.
Unlike the day before, which had reached almost 40 degrees, it was quite cloudy and a bit cooler for which I was grateful – the prospect of climbing back up all those steps in scorching heat was not an appealing one! However, as a result I get the impression we didn’t see the Jellybean Pool in all its potential glory…
There were no jellybeans at the pool. It didn’t even resemble a jellybean in shape. And there was no sun to help me get my tan on. But I was prepared to forgive all this and look past it, because what it was instead was amazingly tranquil, and a lovely alternative to trekking it all the way to the beach for a paddle. With a car park nearby that a few families had taken advantage of it was apparent that this place provided a very easy way to while away the hours on a lazy Saturday with the family.
After chilling there for a while we decided to make our way back and progress on to Euroka. This had nothing to do with the fact that I was bursting for the toilet. Neither did me reaching the top of the steps first. 😉
After a bit of indecision about which way to go (and a quick toilet break!) we began to make our way down some rather steep hills leading to the beginning of the trail to Euroka. The trail as a whole was rather pleasant – we made sure to scare off any potential snake attacks by belting out Disney songs at the top of our voices. Never have the Blue Mountains been treated to such wonders I tell you 😉
After about half an hour we reached Euroka…it was all a little unremarkable besides the insane amount of cockatoos around!
Cockatoos aside, the blunt fact of the matter was that we had not seen any of the guaranteed kangaroos we had been promised by the board in the hostel. A very sad moment for all involved I think you’ll agree. So after pretending to be interested in the campsite we had found ourselves at we decided to head back the way we came. For one thing we were keen to get out of the woods before dark, but we’d also spotted three young men who had clearly spied unknown females in their vicinity and were approaching at quite an unwelcome pace! Time for us to scarper, and fast!
And then, when almost all hope was lost, we saw our first wild kangaroo! Complete with a joey in its pouch!
Two for one or what! It absolutely made my day, and made all the bug bites I’d gained along the way totally worth it!
After that we made our way back up the insanely steep hills, all in agreement a good stretching session was needed once we reached the top. So after a good 10 minute stretch we made our way back to the hostel ( feeling very limber, and via the pub to take advantage of their free WiFi to boast about our kangaroo sighting on all forms of social media) and crashed out on our beds with strawberry wine to keep us company!
All in all my weekend at the Blue Mountains was easily the best weekend I’d had here in Oz since my arrival. Like I said to you at the beginning, words or pictures don’t do justice to the whole experience, and so if you have reached the end of these two mammoth posts then I take my hat off to you! The thing is, even though I did so much in the space of two days I still want to go back because there is so much more to see.
So watch this space Blue Mountains, I’ll be back!