I woke up earlier than the others again - so I got ready for our hike and then explored the Blue Mountains YHA. They offer supplies to make breakfast for a pretty cheap price - but I already have oatmeal with me so that's what I made.
We drove over to the very accessible visitor center at the Three Sisters and took some pics and then started down the 800 steps of the Giant Stairway to the valley floor and were completely surround by about 20 other people heading down and up. It was a little overwhelming...the people that is. The views were as well. WOW. I understand why there are so many people here. Once we got about a quarter of the way down though - most of the people were heading back up. We only passed about 6 others that went all the way down or around. It is such a beautiful area and the air is crisp and their are birds calling all around us. We watched the Katoomba waterfall for awhile and then continued down the trail over to the worlds steepest Scenic Railway. Which I would have loved to pass up BUT Candis and AJ made me ride it up. It wasn't actually too bad. I am glad that we rode it up and not down. It was crazy steep. No really...it was quick too. So it was like a rollercoaster ride but just up.
There were some gentlemen from Japan that wanted Candis and me to get into a picture with them...so we did and they were on the railway in front of us - laughing and taking lots of pics. It was fun to watch.
Then we grabbed lunch at a cafe at the top and decided to drive about 40 kilometers over to the Jenolan Caves. We got there right after 3:00 p.m. so we were only able to join the 4:00 p.m. tour of the Temple of Baal Cave. We got some drinks and waited...there were these beautiful birds - that you can tell get fed a lot by people because of how comfortable they were with us right there - that I played with and chased.
Then the caves. This particular cave was found in 1904 and it has two chambers...our guide told us that two of the first people to tour the cave were Methodist Ministers. Most of the names of each of the formations had some sort of biblical reference. It was gorgeous. Our guide, Barry, has lived in the area for the past 40 years and truly loves what he does. He asked if any of us sing when we were in the larger chamber and no one stepped up to sing. So after everyone started leaving to go back to the first chamber - I waited behind(I was pretty nervous for some reason) and sang the first few lines of "Think of Me" from Phantom. It is so cool to sing in that kind of space. Barry wanted me to sing again later - but I didn't. He was pretty funny -
Candis took a pic of us. She will be posting those in a couple of days.
From there we drove back to Katoomba and ate dinner at a Thai restaurant. Both Candis and I are craving Thai Beef salad...so we had hoped to have it there. But they didn't have it.
I spent most of the evening trying to work on details of my trip to New Zealand. It's crazy how different it is from what I originally thought it would be. I am planning on sticking with the YHA - Hostels in New Zealand. They keep an eye on you and have lots of good and cheap info about what to do in the area.
Heading back to Sydney tomorrow! AJ will hang around Sydney and Candis will be going back to Memphis on Saturday. And I will head to New Zealand! I am super excited! And a little nervous to be on my own. But I am ready to process and pray and walk and see.