Wow! Where has the time gone?! I feel like we’ve seen so much in such a short span of country. It has been good to be out of the city and into the camping life. Kendall & I both really enjoy that side of things. Last time we spoke we were getting our bearings in the streets of Sydney, Since then we have graduated to the beautiful cliffs & waterfalls of the Blue Mountains, rolling hillsides of Lithgow, and the deep caverns of the Jenolan Caves. Let’s start with the Blue Mountains. We were so excited to officially head out on the real travel adventure with our newly aquired PJ the Pajero. We found a campground to park at for free for two nights….We quickly realized the reasons it was free….20 minute drive on the bumpiest one lane gravel/rock road to a grove of trees and one little potty shack. Thoughts running through my mind, “ Um weren’t we supposed to ease into this ‘roughin’ it’ camping? No shower?! I wonder how many hairy spiders are waiting in that shack for me. I think I can hold it for two days. Yep!”
Oh, & did I mention that it poured rain the whole first night. My poor husband had a grumpy wife. Ok, I survived just fine and it was actually in a beautiful location, but by all means I was ready for that steaming hot shower almost 72 hours later.
We spent one day hiking around the famous Three Sisters. We also did not ease into the hiking side of things. Since I am traveling with 3 Cross-Fitters, I knew I would need to be prepared, but a couple thousand stairs later my metal screw filled knees were feeling it. Oh how it was worth the hike though! Rugged Cliffs, Mountain Views, and Stunning Waterfalls. Australia is the sort of place that you can go on a 3-4 hour hike and feel like you’ll never make it to the end, but the minute it’s over you want to do it again. The day after the Three Sisters hike, we trekked to 3 waterfalls. The Empire Falls…Wentworth Falls….& Minnehaha Falls. Our jaws were dropping a bit that day. Kendall & I have both seen some beautiful things on multiple trips out West, but I think those hikes made it to the top of our mental picture, soak it all in lists.
From Katoomba & the Blue Mountains, we made our way to the beautiful and serene Lake Lyell outside of the quaint town of Lithgow. I personally loved those few days the most so far. It made me feel at home to see rolling hills filled with livestock and I could imagine my dad out riding those hills rounding up cattle. We drove to the Jenolan Caves during our time in the area, and they did not disappoint. Landon & Jess took the River Cave tour, while Kendall & I opted for the Lucas Cave tour. My only complaint was that we did not have time to visit all of the caves. The Jenolan are some of the oldest dated caves known in the world.
That evening, after visiting the caves, we stopped for pizza at PapaDino’s Pizza in downtown Lithgow. Props to my husband for finding this jewel of a place. The older couple who ran the shop were so hospitable and blessed us with great conversation and the best pizza I may have ever had. If you are ever in the area, you must visit their shop! Our last day at the lake we hung around in hammocks, fished, and tracked kangaroos. Ok, only I did that last one. I have a slight Kanga obsession and after scaring up a mob of them the first day at the lake, I was so excited to see them again.
After packing up at the lake and hitting the road again, we stopped in Kiama at the Hungry Monkey for supper last evening. The food over here has so far been, on point. (side note: we made kangaroo burgers one evening. Not bad flavor at all, but I had a hard time choking it down knowing what I was eating.) We are camping in Kangaroo Valley right now, and as we made the drive up the mountain, I just had to smile. To my right were gorgeous mountain like hills, picture the Man from Snowy River, to my left were rolling hills merging into cliffs that gave way to beautiful beaches. Australia. The land where palm trees and pine trees co-exist side by side and cattle graze in fields that lead right up to white sandy beaches. The best of all my favorite worlds.
We are looking forward to heading to Jervis Bay for some quality Beach Time and Photographic Moments in the next few days. So far, no regrets. 🙂 I am so happy to have a husband who pushed me out of my comfort zone to make this trip happen…and hopefully my tent setting up skills are improving for him.
On a side note, y’all…the BIRDS here are strange & beautiful all at once. I’m about to sound like an old lady, but I grew up bird watching with my grandparents during after school snack and I am destined to be one of those little old ladies with 7 bird feeders and 20 bird books. So let’s start with the Cockatoos, those pretty white birds who talk in those parrot shows (at Jungle Gardens in Sarasota, of course), well I will never again watch one of those shows and think, ‘ Aww how cute, how pretty.’ Those things are the most annoying, loud, obnoxious squawkers I have encountered. They have parrots of all colors, that are as common as robins and sparrows over here, and yet, not one Australian bird has a pretty song. They all sound like children in distress or like they are dying. I was so thrilled when I saw all of the parrots and brightly colored birds flying everywhere, but then one night I tried to fall asleep, and quickly my feelings about them changed. Anyways….that last paragraph was just for funzies & to blow off some bird team.
Moral of this Excerpt:
We love Camping. We love Pizza. We love Hiking. We love Waterfalls. We love Australia. We do not love Australia’s Birds.
Best wishes friends & family!
We would love to hear from y’all. Feel free to email us at Wagler.Wanderings14@gmail.com to stay in touch.
Kendall & Karmen