Travel: Australia (part two)

Going through my travel posts, mostly to reflect, I realized I didn't get to share our adventure in Australia.

Australia... have you been?

I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Sydney (click here to read part one: our time in Sydney), and one week in the Blue Mountains.

The World Traveler had a few day trips for work commitments, but I wasn't able to join him (puddle jumpers), so I explored via ferry, hiked, ran.  I loved everything about this place.

Sydney: I would move there in a minute, especially if we were able to live near the quay/Sydney Cove.

Our hotel was right under the bridge, giving us easy access to run across the Harbour Bridge every day, every day! There's a carnival just on the other side (you can't see it in this photo).  I would then cross back, around the cove and past the Opera House, and along the Royal Botanical Gardens on the left side of this photo.

Then I think back to our time there, I remember flying bats, cruise boats, the quay filled with people, and the energy of the city. The outdoor markets on the weekend are divine, VERY talented artists and crafty folk.

Blue Mountains: If you have the chance to visit, it's a must see destination. Think Grand Canyon with a rain forest within the canyon walls.

This photo represents the three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone.

Just behind the sisters is a giant stairway that brings you to the valley floor, where you can spend days exploring flora, drinking in the smell, listening to the wildlife and waterfalls.

We stayed at Lilianfels during our stay where the spa and facilities exceeded our expectations.  If you are looking to escape in luxury, this is your place.

Abseiling & Canyoning: We talk about this trip all the time, the day we learned to abseil.

After learning how to use the rope and clips from skilled climbers, we descended from the ridge down to the canyon.

This is me going over the ledge - the photo above shows you what we saw once the fog lifted. {breathtaking}

We changed into wetsuits after lunch and spent the afternoon in the water/canyoning, before abseiling a waterfall.

{photo: BMA website}
Our guides couldn't believe I had never abseiled before, I took to it without issue or nerves.

But I'm a different person in the water. It makes me uncomfortable and nervous.  At one point, we had to jump into a dark pool backwards with our dry packs strapped to our back. My husband jumped before me and later confessed that he didn't think I would jump.

The adventure ended with a waterfall descend.  The photo below is the waterfall we abseiled.

I was hoping to find comfort watching Bill go over the edge before me, but I should have gone first given my nerves.

He went over the edge, flipped upside down and hit his head on the rocks while water poured on him... the guides moved his rope out of the water so he could regroup. I remember the guide saying, "don't do that" with a smile.

I'm sure this happens all the time, and Bill wasn't in any danger (other than being surprised and an adrenaline rush).  He made it safely to the bottom.  I did scale down the waterfall, trying not to get wet.  Seeing this photo is empowering.

I can't believe I DID THAT!

We used Blue Mountain Adventures for our once in a lifetime experience.  Loved them, highly recommend the business.  Funny moment: when we dropped off the gear, the guides said "how peed in their wet suit"?  Two guys fessed up... did you know 'it' sits in the wetsuit with you and leaves an ammonia odor.  Remember that!


Thee Outback: After our adventure and exploring the rain forest, we packed up the car for a day trip to find kangaroo's.

Kangaroos are not easy to find, they are up at dawn and not usually along the highway (unless they are dead).

We didn't see any alive, jumping along but we did see hours of rolling land, like this photo (source: Visit Outback NSW)

The trip of a lifetime...