Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Boomers Go Bushwalking And Other Such Things

On our last night in Sydney I indulged myself with a photo taking "tour".  Canon was sponsoring  the activity and the cost was reasonable.  The crowd at Vivid was unbearably large though.  Every street near the Sydney Harbor looked like the most crowded day of the state fair times four.  We still managed to find a couple of quieter spots for picture taking.   I was loaned an EOS camera to use which is a step up in quality from my dinosaur.  It was filled with the latest doodads and gadgetry so was quite humbling. I felt stupider than normal trying to figure out the various buttons. But learning while doing is my preferred approach and it resulted in a few good photos on an SD card I got to keep and a big print of my favorite.

On Monday we bid Sydney a temporary goodbye and hit the road.  It was an uneventful but still stressful drive though it had its moments of levity. I can't help but chuckle every time hubby turns on the windshield wiper rather than the turn signal.  And the "we're checking your speedo" traffic sign was good for a laugh.  Not sure if that was the work of vandals or a bored transportation worker.  We were careful to watch for wildlife as the signs indicated they were around.  We also learned to be careful of slippery roads when  "frosted".  

En route we stopped at a wildlife park called Featherdale. With that name it would fit right in to the Minneapolis shopping scene. It was a rather sad little place but we could get up close to the Koalas and the Kangaroos.  And we got a better look at a Tazmanian Devil though he didn't look to devilish as he was napping. 

We've got a nice little apartment for our stay in the Blue Mountains with a fireplace and a whirlpool tub.  It's chilly, in the 40's so it feels good to have both.  

Tuesday we decided to forgo our first hike of the Blue Mountains because of high winds and visited the Jenolan Caves instead.   It was a windy, curvy road leading to the caves.  Combine that with driving on the left and you can imagine how relieved hubby was to get there.  We did get to see several kangaroo along the side of the road.  One unfortunately was already roadkill.  Kangaroos are like deer in Minnesota except the Aussies put them in zoos.  I don't think I've ever seen deer in a U.S. zoo. 

It was well worth the drive. The Jenolan Caves turned out to be a pleasant surprise.   I took many photos with both my phone and my expensive camera. I am always amazed at what good photos the phone will take.  We opted for the Orient Cave tour which had some spectacular formations. Unlike Mammoth Cave the crystals are intact and white in these caves.  The caves have been a vacation spot since electricity first came to New South Wales. We were told that the caves got electricity before Sydney and that itself became a big tourist draw.   

Today the wind was gone so we trekked through the Blue Mountains. The day started nice but then the fog and rain moved in.  The park reminds me of Shenandoah National Park. It's paths are close to roadways and there are plenty of little waterfalls.  Not much in the way of wildlife so far. I'm hoping to see a koala in the wild!  What you do see around here are birds.  The birds Aussies consider a nuisance are quite beautiful, like cockatoos and red birds that watched us eat our sandwiches.  I'll figure out their name later! 

Tomorrow we will do the Wentwirth Falls area. Hoping for better weather!

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