Friday, April 29, 2011

Camping days 3 and 4

walking on the beach
Unfortunately day 3 was a rough one for me. I was up first, as expected, because I’m a morning person. I went for a nice walk down the road, looking at all the beautiful trees in the national park. When I got back, Jenny was up and then we walked to the beach and it was finally getting warm outside. We got some nice pictures and then headed back to the campsite to wake up Jason and pack up.
I was quite hungry after walking around for nearly 3 hours and only had a granola bar. We stopped at a cafe and I got pancakes and pineapple juice. OMG that pineapple juice was amazing! The pancakes were also delicious and such a perfect brunch before we headed to our next location.
After driving for a bit over an hour, we met up with 2 other people that Jenny and Jason knew from their class and we headed to Stockton Beach, which is a large beach of mostly sand where you are allowed to do some 4 wheel driving with your car. Unfortunately for me, the up and down driving on sand dunes was not fun for my stomach, but I survived it. We drove up to the top of the largest sand dune and sand boarded down. The hardest part of sand boarding is walking back up, especially this sand dune as it was really steep. They need some lifts, like ski lifts. Then we had a jumping competition to see who could get the farthest down the sand dune by jumping from the top. I was scared at first so I did a practice jump and then I jumped again. I didn’t get as far as some of the guys, but it was tons of fun! It felt like I was flying for a moment. (credit to Jenny for these photos)

jumping off the sand dune

most fun of the day!

We then headed to a big open area among the sand dunes and tied a rope and handle to the car and sand boarded while holding on to the handle. Basically it’s tubing on the sand and a car instead of a boat. That was the most fun I had that day. I did get a face full of sand one time, but for the most part, I did pretty well even with the tire bumps. (pics)
Next we headed down to the water, got wet and went under a few times and then we went to find the exit from the sand dunes. Everywhere you turned there was sand and no clear signs of where the exit was, we just drove towards the way we came in and eventually found it.
By the time we left, it was already getting dark and I was quite tired. I was practically asleep and then we arrived at a grocery store to get food for the next day since it was Good Friday and everything would be closed for the holiday. It makes sense that stores are closed on Good Friday, but at home, stores are still open on Good Friday. I even have to attend school on Good Friday in Buffalo, because the only holiday we get off is Martin Luther King day in January in addition to our 1 week break. Aussies get their holidays though, including Easter Monday and since Anzac day (an Australian holiday) fell on the same day as Easter Monday, most stores gave employees Monday and Tuesday off or they had limited hours.
Anyway from the store we drove to our campsite, but no one was exactly sure where we were going and it was dark. I curled up in the backseat with all the stuff trying to sleep as we eventually got to Watagans National Park, but then we were driving on twisty turny dirt roads, so it was a rough ride and after an hour or so of it, I couldn’t really take much more. We stopped for a bit and I switched to the other guys car which was so much smoother. It was like going from bump after bump to almost driving on a road again. We continued to drive for another 15 minutes or so and then found a spot, finally!! The boys set up my tent first so that I could get some sleep and feel better. I was sad I couldn’t join the others around the camp fire, but I was just way too tired and not feeling well.

            The last day went better, In the morning I was up at 7 or so and looked at the beautiful view. I had no idea where we were and what part we were looking at, but it was still a great view. I was amazed how far we had gone as I was trying to sleep in the car last night. Jenny and Jason were still sleeping, but I hung out with the other 2 guys, Liam and Jim.
the view
            Jim started up a fire, which took a while because the leaves were a bit damp from the bit of rain we got overnight. I was snacking on all the food we had as I was hungry, since I also had skipped dinner last night. Jim cooked some sausages for breakfast.
As he was cooking, 2 people showed up to use another grill and then another car drove up, then another and another. Being Good Friday, it seemed that a family was having a nice picnic for the holiday. They had a sweet Boxer dog who was so adorable. He wanted the sausages we were making. He was so cute and well behaved and I really wanted to take him home.
            Eventually everyone was up and we ate and hung out by the fire for a bit and decided what to do before heading back to Sydney. We headed to see a dam in the national park. Jenny and Jason were crazy and jumped into the cold water.

on the bridge viewing the dam
            After that Jason and Liam had to be boys and drive around in mud puddles. I took pictures on the side and watched as I was not into the steep climbs and crazy driving. It was interesting to watch though.
            From there, we went on a journey to find the highway and exit the national park. I’m pretty sure that took over an hour as we had no idea where we were going really (seemed to be a pattern of the last 24 hours) and the GPS didn’t even give a real road for exiting. Eventually though we found the highway and repacked the cars and I moved back to Jason’s car with all the stuff. It only took a bit over an hour and I stayed at Jenny’s while she went to a dance class and when she returned we watched some tv and then headed to bed.
The next morning I went back to DLC for Easter weekend and back to reality with finishing assignments and studying for my busy 3 days of school I had that coming week.

Camping days 1 and 2

During my second week of break, I went camping with my friend Jenny and her friend Jason. There were supposed to be more people as well, but unfortunately they couldn’t make it. We did meet up with 2 other guys in the last night, which was nice, because I had become a third wheel on the trip, but I still had a good time. There were ups and downs, but it was a great adventure.
Jason arrived shortly after 11am to pick me and Jenny up. We finished packing our bags and then we had to figure out how to fit everything in Jason's 4WD vehicle. Since I was going to be sitting in the back, I got in first and Jenny and Jason packed stuff around me. It was pretty packed but I wasn't too uncomfortable. It was a bit over a 2 hr drive to Port Stephens and the bay area where we were going to camp. Not a far drive at all and we were jamming to music.
Once we arrived, we got some lunch. I tried a beef meat pie but wasn't a fan. Meat pies are a big thing in Australia, so it was essential that I at least try one before I left. I ate half of it and then let Jenny and Jason finish it off. I just didn't really like the gravy on the meat and the whole pie crust thing was weird as well.
We then drove to the camp site at Shoal Bay and set up our tent and dropped stuff off. Then we changed into our swimsuits and some shorts as it was warmer there than Sydney and headed to the beach and jumped into the water, as that was the easiest way to adjust to the cold temperature, but the water wasn't too bad. 
After a short swim, we started walking towards the gorgeous mountains ahead of us. We came to Tomaree national park and followed the steep pinkish brick path up the mountain. Then we came to some steel steps and climbed and climbed and climbed. Over 550m and 300 and something stairs later, we were there and it was beautiful! We also were there at the perfect time to watch the sun start to set.
            The walk down was much easier and faster. On the steep pink brick path Jenny and I would sing "follow the pinkish brick road, follow the pinkish brick road, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the pinkish brick road..." as we skipped down the path for a bit.
            After that workout, it was time for dinner and we had some delicious pizza. I actually think it has been the best pizza I have had since I’ve been here. We got the garlic cheese pizza and the BBQ pizza. Great dinner!
We then had the luxury of hot showers at this camping spot and then played a bunch of card games and laughed our heads off in the tent. That was probably the best night I've had in ages, just laughing and playing cards.

Around 5am, kookaburras woke all of us up and we tried to get back to sleep. Jenny and I got up shortly after 7 and wrote in our journals outside while Jason continued to sleep. It was so much warmer than Sydney, it was wonderful. We then had to pack up the tent and everything as we were heading to Mungo Bush to camp for our second night. First we stopped for some food and had a brunch picnic on some rocks on the beach. Then we drove to Mungo Bush which was approximately 120 km away even though it would have been a 15 minute ferry ride or so to get there from Shoal bay.
sand boarding

me in front of the sand dune, so that you can see just how big it is
That afternoon, we went sliding down sand dunes. Pretty fun! I was too scared to actually stand up, but on my butt it's heaps [Australian lingo] of fun! You could see the water in the distance along with tons of other sand dunes. At first though, you really feel like you are surrounded just by sand in the middle of no where. After getting covered in sand, we went to the water for a quick dunk and jumped some waves. Shortly after we made burgers on the grill at the campsite for dinner and then headed back to the tent and played Uno and chatted for a bit and then headed to bed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Backpacker for the Day

Well I slept until 8am and then got my stuff together and checked out at 8:30. I could have waited until 10 but I didn’t have anything to do anyway. I got a bus ticket to the airport for 12:30 since my flight was for 2:55. So I had 4 hrs to kill around town carrying my backpack and another bag.
            About an hour after I left my hostile, I got a text from JetStar saying my flight had been canceled for the day. Just my luck…I sat down my stuff on a bench and called the number. This call ended up costing me $2.70 too by the time I was done talking with the person. The next flight to Sydney was leaving at 7:10 tonight. I already checked out and booked my bus so I would now have 6 hrs at the airport before my flight and I would arrive in Sydney at 10pm, leaving me with 2 hrs to get back to Macquarie before the trains stop and it took me an hour and a half to get to the airport the other day. The whole reason I had originally booked the earlier flight so that I wouldn’t have to worry about missing the last trains. Well that was not a highlight of my morning…At the end of the call, the guy told me my new itinerary would be sent to my email soon, but I had no internet access either, but luckily I didn’t need it because I had the same booking number.
            After getting that settled, I headed to the lagoon which was a pool with a tiny strip of sand on one side. Since I had time and I was sweating walking around with all my stuff, I decided to change into my swimsuit and take a dip in the pool. I knew I would have plenty of time to dry off before I had to head back to Gilligan’s for my bus. The water felt very nice since it was 30 C (around 86 F) outside. Then I just sat on my towel in the sun for a while. I didn’t want to go too far from my stuff, since I had everything with me.
            After being at the lagoon for a bit over an hour, I changed and walked around taking more pictures of the scenery. Then I stopped in more souvenir shops. Everything is beginning to look similar just like when I went to Costa Rica. There were a couple stores with some good deals but I resisted spending too much money, plus I didn’t really have any room to carry more stuff back with me. 

As I was walking back towards Gilligan’s I passed a place with pancakes on the menu and at a decent price! I stopped there for brunch, getting pancakes and bacon. Their bacon here is like ham basically but for the price of $7.50, I thought it was delicious. I needed something to fill me before dinner at the airport.
            My last stop for the morning was the Cairns historical society museum. The tour guide was a really cool guy and he had me get my camera and hold a sawfish nose and a shark mouth or something and an alligator head and took pics for me.
holding 2 sawfish noses

I'm an alligator
            I’d say my morning was pretty fun compared to my afternoon, where I spent 6 hours at the airport and then my plane was delayed by a half hour, so it was closer to 6.5 hours sitting in the airport with nothing to do really.
On the plane I had the very first seat, seat 1A. I had never sat at the very front of the plane before. It wasn’t too bad as I at least had a window seat, but it was dark outside by 7pm. I’m so used to leaving from cities that once you take off, you see all the lights and in Cairns, there were clusters of lights, but very few lights compared to a city, since the roads are not lit up. When we finally landed in Sydney 3 hrs later, you could see the highway all lit up, but not too many light in the suburbs of the city. The highway looked like a golden road from the sky though, which was pretty neat.
As soon as we were able to get off the plane, I got my bags and was the first one off, which is the best part of being in the first row and I walked as fast as I could to the trains, because we had landed around 10:30, leaving me with exactly an hour and a half before the trains stopped running. I got a ticket and caught the first train just in time. It actually didn’t take as long to get to Wynyard this time because the train didn’t terminate earlier than it was supposed to. I only had to wait 5 minutes at Wynyard to get a train to Macquarie and then I finally felt relaxed as I knew I would make it back just around midnight.
I got off the train and walked up the hill. I guess they are doing some night construction on the road so there was some fresh tar on the road that I was guided around, but I made it. I was so happy to be back at my friend’s place. After a quick shower I headed right to bed. Traveling is tiring especially when you spend over 6 hrs in an airport, then 3 hrs on a plane, 1 hr on a train and walk up the top of a hill…yep that is the sum of my afternoon and evening but I made it back!!

Snorkeling Adventure

I left at 7am for the Reef tour and I knew I could take my time as I didn’t need to be there until 7:30 but I wanted to make sure I found everything and figured out where to go. I checked in and got my number for the day, number 25 (easy to remember).
            We started boarding shortly after 7:30 and had tiny muffins and tea. We departed around 8:30 and it was a 2 hr ride to the reef. I got a bit nauseous on the boat with all the up and down motion so I mostly hung out on the back and laid down inside until we had our intro to snorkeling. Then we got our wetsuits on (for an extra few dollars of course) and our snorkeling equipment. I started to feel slightly better once the boat stopped.        
me underwater. Don't I look awesome?!?
            Finally we arrived at place 1 to snorkel. The place we stopped was a little island, a bird sanctuary. We took the smaller, glass bottom boat over to the island and were ready to go. I put my glasses in their case in the dry container and then it was time to test out my camera in the water. It worked!! I took a bunch of pictures. At times my mask would fog a bit but I still got some amazing shots. I struggled at first though as I had to learn how to just breathe in and out of my mouth and not use my nose. I did a lot of going back and forth from the reef to sand bottom to readjust my mask and mouthpiece. Eventually I figured it out and got much better. We spent about an hour there and then headed back to the boat and had some lunch.

first snorkel stop

first snorkel spot

            Lunch was pretty good. I ate slowly as I did not want to feel sick. Actually I think after lunch went even better, because I finally had food in my stomach. It was only another half hour ride to Paradise Reef, our second stop to snorkel, where we just hopped off the boat into the deep water. I was a bit scared as I had so much trouble at the first site with my mask and breathing only through my mouth. I put on a floaty thing this time in case I had to readjust anything. We had to swim a bit before seeing anything. At first I wasn’t sure if I would see anything but eventually I found the reef and it was amazing. It was deeper than the first place we went to as the first place I could have touched the coral, I was so close. I again took my camera and took pictures of spots the best I could. I think I enjoyed the second place more because I had finally figured out the snorkeling. It was totally worth the money for the trip! It was my first time snorkeling and I got to go to the Great Barrier Reef so that was really cool!
Paradise Reef
            On the way back I took a nap for most of the way as I was tired out and tried to avoid feeling sick. I had a nice nap and then the last 20 min, Simon, one of the dive instructors did some neat magic tricks. They were actually quite impressive so that was very entertaining.
            At 5 pm, I was hungry, but I took my time getting back as it was actually light outside and I was able to get some pictures of the town. I got back to my hostile and met new roommates and got my free dinner of fish, potato and peas. I then ate a granola bar because I was still hungry.
Paradise Reef
            Then I went for a walk around town and at 8pm met up with Angie and Ariana (who live in my college with me), at WoolShed (where they were eating for dinner from their hostile). While I waited in line, I met a few guys and a girl. One of them, Mitch, apparently has family in Buffalo, NY. They had asked me where I was from. I told them how I was from Chicago and we discussed the fact that Chicago is known as “the windy city.” Then I mentioned I went to school in Buffalo. I also got my picture taken with them randomly, but it was interesting. Unofrtunately this picture was not taken with my camera so I don’t have it, but maybe they’ll put it on facebook and if anyone comes across the tag of “Chicago girl” (in case they don’t remember my name) just let me know lol. They were quite friendly and it’s always neat to meet people and make connections with them. 
            I found Angie and Ariana upstairs and we talked for a bit over an hour. They were also sitting with a girl named Megan whom they had just met and she was from Finland. It was so nice to meet up with DLC people and when we all return, hopefully we can exchange stories about our trips in between school work.

Train Adventure to the airport to go to Cairns

After going online for a few hours before I would not have access to internet for the next 3 days, I headed to the train station to go to the airport. I missed the train to Wynyard by a few minutes but I had plenty of time so it wasn’t a big deal.
            I arrived at Wynyard and transferred to the airport train. I only had to wait a couple minutes which was quite handy. I kept track of the stops so I wouldn’t get lost. Then the train decided to terminate at Central. Everyone got off the train and the platform became quite crowded and I had no idea which train I would be getting on next, but I had plenty of time and I was only 3 stops away from the airport. I only had to wait 8 minutes but that was still annoying because I just wanted to get to the airport. Of course once I arrived and easily followed the signs to the terminal I needed, I realized I was there 3 hrs before my flight and could not check in until 2 hrs before. Unfortunately I forgot a book to read so I sat there and wrote in my journal for a bit, but other than that didn’t have much to do.
            An hour passed and I was able to check in and get through security. Their security was not as strict as I was expecting. I took off my shoes and got all my electronics out and made sure I didn’t have any liquids or gels, but that didn’t seem to matter so much. When I printed my boarding pass, they asked if I had any dangerous goods to declare, which I didn’t so basically you are safe as long as you don’t have any dangerous goods. Well I had about 2 hrs of time to kill after getting through security so I walked into all the bookstores and walked by the food court where some of the food looked so delicious but was way too pricey. 1 donut at Krispy Kreme cost over $2, which is too much for a donut if you ask me. I really miss the cheaper American food these days as my money is disappearing so quickly.
            At one of the last book stores I went to I decided to buy a little sudoku book because I needed something to do. I finished 1 sudoku puzzle and then listened to my ipod for a bit before realizing there was only half a battery left even though I had thought it was fully charged, but it lasted for the time I needed.
            My plane got delayed by 20 minutes so that extended my time in the airport and I knew I’d be quite hungry for dinner once we landed so I was hoping for some good food once I arrived in Cairns.
I arrived at Gilligan’s (the hostile I stayed in) in Cairns safely. Taxi was a bit pricey to get there, but oh well. Luckily I didn’t have to buy dinner because it was included. Gilligan’s was like a party every night it seemed. Definitely intended for young backpackers. When I arrived, I met one girl, Adele, who was just traveling Australia. We had dinner together which was nice since I didn’t know anyone. After dinner I went walking around. I found the grocery store and some bakeries around the area. Then I headed back and got some sleep since I had to wake up at 6:30am to get ready for the reef tour I was going on. 


1,438 stairs and a bit over a mile walked on the Sydney Harbour Bridge!! I have now done the climb of my life and it was so much fun. I wasn’t going to leave here without climbing, because I totally would have regretted that. I went with my friend Sarah and her mom. Wish I could have shared the experience with more people that I knew, but I definitely enjoyed it and learned more about the bridge, like how the arch weights 30,000 tons, but the bridge can actually hold 80,000 tons. Back when they built the bridge, they always doubled the reinforcement, which I believe is a good thing, because look at how many cars drive over it and everything everyday and this bridge is going to last. There are many “pimples” which are actually rivets and all of them are original. Even the stairs of steel (British Steel) are original. The main thing added was the cable to clip onto, which was really cool. We walked and climbed and it slid along.
            So now that I’ve talked about my wonderful time I had, I’d like to go through what we did. First we were in a room and filled out a form and took a breathalyzer test. Then we learned each other’s names and why they were doing the bridge climb. Then we got our suits to put on. Mine was super baggy, but it wasn’t uncomfortable, either. I felt like I was wearing baggy pj bottoms. Oh and it looked super funny when the wind blew through my pants. It looked like I was wearing some inflatable suit.
            Once we got changed, we got our hats and glasses clipped to our suit. Then we met our leader, Richard. He brought us to another room where we put on our harnesses and once we got that on, we felt a little lop sided because of the weight being mostly on our left of what would attach to the cable. Then we each got a handkerchief that we tied around our wrists (just in case we got emotional once we were at the top). Then we put on sunscreen as the weather was just beautiful today for the bridge climb. I really lucked out on that as the last few days it said it was going to rain today. From there we did a practice climb for the ladders and learning how to connect to the cable. Next, we proceeded to get our radios so that we could hear our leader talk about the bridge and tell stories as we climbed. After that we got the all clear and were ready to go…that only took 45 minutes to get prepared.
            We walked through a tunnel (which cost a quarter of a million dollars to drill for bridge climb) and then stepped onto the bridge, starting below the street. Richard talked about the strength of the bridge and the work that is being done on it. They are currently removing the lead paint from the bridge and repainting it, section by section. Today they were not working because the workers get every second Monday off. They had covers around the area because when they sand blast the lead paint, they vacuum it up so that it doesn’t blow into the harbour, because that would be bad for the environment. Next he talked about the pylons and how they are made from granite. Everything in Sydney is sandstone and so in order to get the granite, workers had to go 300km from Sydney. Another interesting fact is that the granite pylons don’t support the bridge at all. If they were removed the bridge would still be standing. They are purely there to look at.
            Continuing around the bridge and up and down a few steps, we then got to the major part of the climb, 4 sets of ladders. I’d say this would be the scary part. I was honestly so concentrated on where my feet were and making sure I was holding on to the railings and bars in front of me. The steps on the ladders were so close together that when I climbed, I skipped a step in between because my feet could not move such a little distance to climb. When we got to the top of the last ladder, our leader took pictures of us. I didn’t buy that one because I didn’t like it very much. The rest of the way was steps that were fairly flat so it wasn’t too bad and we stopped along the way as Richard talked about the Harbour and pointed out a few places.
            When we made it to the top, we took more pictures!! So I have one with me and the Opera house. I did take another one where the Opera house was between my 2 hands but I could only choose 2 photos because I didn't want to spend too much money on photos.  My second photo was my favorite actually from all of them as it showed my whole body and parts of the bridge, so I’m really glad I got that one. 
            While we were at the top, Richard told us stories of celebrities that he has led to the top. He has been working with Bridge Climb since they opened in 1998. I guess bridge climb signed a 20 year lease so I have no idea what happens after 2018, but with how much money they make from tourists climbing, I'm sure they will continue with it. They had a 100 yr old climb the bridge. She was able to take a lift up most of the way as she was not in the condition to climb the ladders. Last, he told the story about Oprah and we got to walk where she stood as he explained how Oprah was not very impressed after they all got to the top and the helicopter ran out of fuel and it took 26 minutes for the helicopter to return and take their photo. When I watched it on the show, I thought that was so funny. However I would not have wanted to sit and wait for 26 minutes at the top of the bridge. It just seems so long to have to wait.
            Then it was time for the trip down. One thing that was pointed out on the way down was a bird’s nest from ravens. 2 ravens made a nest on the Harbour bridge 3 springs ago and the first spring, there were 3 eggs laid. 2 of the 3 babies survived, the other was crushed by a car below. The next spring, the raven laid 2 eggs and neither of the babies survived. Last spring, 3 eggs were laid and the raven’s built their next up a bit higher on the bridge. On a very windy day (60-80kph winds), the birds held on tight to the nest and all the babies survived and the nest is still there. Richard calls that “great engineering.”
It was a short trip down and before I knew it, we were back inside and off the bridge. Those 3.5 hours passed by so quickly. We then took our clips off, cleaned our headphones and washed our hands. The paper towels went down this green chute which was so cool and the suits got their own chute, which was red. It was time to get undress and dress into our own clothes again and fill out a short survey on our time and then we got our photos and I resisted buying a t-shirt at the store, however I still want it and if I do have money left in June, I’m going back there to buy that shirt.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coogee Beach - April 10, 2011

Sunday morning I headed to Coogee Beach with my friend and a couple of her friends. We left at 9:30 and caught the train just in time. We took the train to Town Hall and then walked a few blocks to the bus stop and took the bus to the beach. When we first got on the bus, we were stuck in traffic for a while and hardly moved 1 block in 10 minutes, which was annoying and I was hungry but I wanted to wait to eat my sandwich as I knew that it would be my only food until dinner time.
            Eventually we made it to the beach and it was almost noon. I ate my sandwich right when we arrived and it was nice and sunny and 27 C (about 80F). For a while we laid on the beach, then I headed into the water with Leah and Antonio. I was rather comfortable just sitting on the beach, but I didn’t want to go to the beach and not go in the water. The water was cold at first, but I adjusted once I went under and swam around a bit. The waves were fun to jump over and it got deep rather quickly. I wasn’t too far from the shore and I couldn’t even touch the bottom, especially with the waves constantly coming.
I was cold when I got out as it had cooled down a bit and the sun was covered by clouds. I went for a walk up to these rocks and a park area next to the beach because it looked really cool and who knows whether I’ll be back to that beach. I took a bunch of pictures as I was up there and the view of the houses and the beach was beautiful. It was definitely a perfect place to bring a book and sit on the nice green grass to read.

Within 3 hours the weather changed from sunny to very cloudy, dark and dropped down to 17 C (about 62 F).
beach when we arrived at noon

beach around 2:30pm when it started to rain and we left

Then a few rain drops fell and we watched as the dark clouds were moving directly over us. When it started to rain, we huddled up under a shelter spot and got ready to leave. We didn’t have to wait too long until the bus came luckily and it was handy that we had towels to keep us warm and dry from the rain. It was supposed to be sunny until this evening, but I guess the rain showed up a few hrs early.
It takes at least an hour and a half to get back from the beach. The bus ride always seems the longest as you have to stop at really long traffic lights. The trains are so much quicker, but unfortunately do not bring you everywhere. When we got back, I stopped at the grocery store finally so that I could have some food while I’m staying at my friend’s place for the week.  

21st Birthday at the Blue Mountains (Part 2)

We took the cableway up to where we got off for the skyway and then caught a bus to the chocolate company from there. Jenny bought me a delicious slice of chocolate cake that we split for my birthday.

gotta keep doing my bridge around Australia

the place where Jenny bought me a slice of chocolate cake for my birthday

Then we walked down the hill a bit and went to see the Three sisters, which are the most famous rocks at the Blue Mountains. It was beautiful! So many pictures at this area. I absolutely loved the scenic view!!
Me and the Three Sisters in the background

The Three Sisters

 Three sisters myth…."The most reported Aboriginal legend explains the story of three sisters; Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, who fell in love with three brothers from a neighboring Aboriginal tribe. It was forbidden by tribal law for the three sisters to marry the Nepean tribe brothers, which led to the tragic story of The Three Sisters. The Nepean brothers did not take the tribal marriage restrictions well and they decided to start a tribal war. The Aboriginal witch doctor of the Katoomba tribe feared for the lives of the three sisters and cast a spell to temporarily turn them to stone to protect them. During the battle, the witch doctor was killed, leaving the three sisters forever frozen in their stone form. Today, the legend is still passed down to explain the beautiful natural wonder of The Three Sisters rock formation in Katoomba" (
After taking many photos of the view of the mountains and Three Sisters, we walked down 100 or so steps to see the viewpoint at the Three Sisters and did a few poses. 

            Then we walked back up the steps, which wasn’t too terrible and stopped at a souvenir store where I found another deck of cards to add to my collection. Then we caught the bus and got off at Leura Cascades. We walked down to see the waterfall and took a bunch of pictures with the scenic background. While taking pictures though, I totally slipped, but just fell on my butt and had to go home with a wet butt.

my wet butt cause I slipped when taking photos on the waterfall area

            We took the train back and the 2 hrs passed much more quickly on the way back as we were talking the whole way and eventually I made it back to my friend’s place where I am staying for the week. It was a fun adventure at the Blue Mountains today for my birthday and it was absolutely beautiful weather for it too!!