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There's another 'Grand Canyon'...

Sunday 12 April 2009

And you can find it in Blackheath a small town just west of Katoomba. The lady of the visitor information centre warned me about the potential masses of tourists that I will encounter in the popular places today. Therefore she suggested walking the Neates Glen - Grand Canyon - Evans Lookout track. Most of the walkers will do it the other way around, but she explained that this was the better way: “you will end up with the best views, instead of starting with them”. She was very convincing and I don’t know anything about this place, so let’s find this big gap in the ground.

The weather was a bit strange today. It’s unclear whether it’s going to rain or not. The good thing about the clouds is that it will keep the sun away. The potential not so good thing: it may get wet…

When I got to the parking area, I noticed that there were already a lot of cars. Hence there must be quite a few people walking around here. But initially I saw nobody. The start of the walk wasn’t that exciting. Along some steep steps downwards and through a rather boring valley.

But then things become more interesting. The views got better and the path more exciting as well. And there were some other people here as well. Most of them “going the wrong way around”.

It’s almost impossible to show the size of things in pictures. So just to make it clear: everything is big in this place. The trees are very tall, the rocks are big and the way down is long enough to make sure that you don’t go there.

By the time I got to the river that runs though the valley, I stumbled upon a group that was going in the “right direction” as well. And it was good to have them in front of me, because at some points the track was not as clearly visible as before. Especially when we had to cross the river.

The valley and the river were for sure the most beautiful part of the track.

And then there was the hard part: getting up again along a long long step way. But the views from the top were good as well. And guess why they call it the Blue Mountains…

One more try to show the size of this place. Look at the trees…

After a short break, my legs informed me that two walks like this after so little (= no) training were perhaps a bit demanding, it was time to see where all the tourists were. Well a good place to find them should be “Scenic World”. And yes, there they were: truck loads of them. It was interesting to see that most of them were from Asia and India. And they were here on a organized tour: the tour leader showed them clearly when to take a picture and when to get on the “Scenic Skyway”, “Scenic Cableway”, “Scenic Railway” or walk the “Scenic Walkway”.

So what’s here? Well this:

By the time I took these pictures, it was getting dark and it was time to find my new room for the night. As I explained in my previous post: I will move on to a nicer and cheaper place tonight. It was a bit difficult to find in the dark, but it is correct: it is much nicer. And Greg (he runs the “Bethany Manor” bed and breakfast together with his wife Jill) welcomed me and showed me around. Very nice this personal touch and hospitality.

That’s it for today. Nothing more interesting happened. More to do and see tomorrow.

The track of today:

Sunday 12 April 2009

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