Merry Kwansakah to all. I am spending Xmas eve here in Katoomba in the Blue Mountain Range about two hrs west of Sydney. Due to operator error, I did not book my hostel in Sydney till xmas day, and when I realized my mistake, everywhere I checked was booked. But thats ok. I guess another day in the mountains will have to do.
The past 3 days, I have taken some wonderful hikes. First was a 7hr epic (for me) climb up Mt Solitary. I cant remember the last time I did anything so hard. What a great view, and a pretty nice accomplishment if I do say so myself. The past two days my hiking has been much slower due to the crazy soreness in my legs. Oh well, I’ll get over it.
I did cross the Sydney Harbor Bridge and view the Opera House last Tues when I came into Sydney from Newcastle. Of course I never left the transit center since I was headed for Katoomba. I’ll get plenty of opportunity to see Sydney between xmas and Jan 9th, when I leave for New Zealand.
Newcastle was fun. I was staying with my friend Cathy who I met back in Oct in Adelaide, so I was given an insiders look. A Karin Catt photo exhibit at the museum, a couple of local cafes, a place called Wicked Chocolate where they made wickedly delicious chocolate, two days on three different local beaches, and a good bit of just walking and driving around.
Prior to that I spent a week in Byron Bay and a couple days each in Nimbin and Murwillumbah up in the hills. Climbing Mt Warning-the highest pt on the east coast- was a good hike in Murwillumbah. Nimbin is a little hippie town with a great vibe, and Byron Bay is famous for its beaches and crazy scene. The surf on the east coast of Aus is so much stronger than anything I am used to seeing on the NC, NJ, or FL shorelines back in the States. 8-10 ft swells are pretty routine in this part of the world, and the surfers and bodyboarders love it. I did a bit of bodyboarding, but my little surf lesson back in Agnes Water did not leave me in any condition to try it in these waves.
So thats the current update from the road. I hope everyone reading this will have a fun, safe and exciting holiday season. Cheers