COVID-19, it sure has changed the way we live. No taking it for granted that we can go away anywhere, anytime. Borders close, hot spots start up and group numbers change.
9 of us were lucky to be able to go to The Blue Mountains for a weekend. Our initial plan was to climb Mt Solitary but that trail is closed due to the summer fires (so much has happened in 2020).
Two days after we returned from this weekend there was a landslide in the area of the old Landslide and Golden Stairs area.
We flowed with the new world and changed our trek and called it “The Quintessential Blue Mountains trek”
The weather forecast for the week leading up to our weekend had been for rain but like it is on most Fittrek adventures the sun shone on us!!
Blue skies and sunshine on a winter’s day.
We met in Katoomba late afternoon. We didn’t want to miss any of nature’s magic so headed straight to The 3 Sisters to watch a stunning sunset while sipping a glass of bubbles. Delicious in so many ways.
We then headed to a quirky restaurant called Avalon right in town. It is great to be able to support local businesses when away.
“Located on main St Katoomba, Avalon lies hidden behind an unassuming entrance. Enter the 1930’s Savoy Theatre foyer, make your way past the ticket booth and venture upstairs to find a unique, spacious and highly atmospheric venue, offering a decor of quirky retro finds, eclectic artwork.
Tasty, hearty food and classic cocktails made this a great find.”
Our accommodation was at The YHA located right in town. We often stay here and it is always clean and friendly. We headed to bed relatively early as now, in the days of covid, we had an early seating at Avalon for 90 minutes. Perfect for a good night’s sleep before our big day trek.
We woke early to be up and ready at first light. Our trek started at The 3 Sisters so we wanted to be there for sunrise. The weather gods were on our side and it was shaping up to be a perfect morning. NO RAIN!
After a couple of pics of our sunrise we headed off down the 998 steps of The Giant Stairway to the valley floor. We then headed through the rain forests of Dardenelle’s Pass and through Leura Forest and Fern Bower with beautiful waterfalls and cascades as our backdrop.
We climbed to the top (no-one counted the stairs but let me tell you there were a lot!) and then headed back down Federal Pass and along the valley floor again to The Scenic Railway to turn off to “The Landslide”
‘The Landslide’ is a large rockfall going into the valley approximately 100m. There is a good vantage point for the landslide from under the cliffs to the east, and a great but more distant view from Narrow Neck lookout. The landslide occurred in 1931 after a few days of rumbling. There has been much debate as to whether this event was helped along by erosion and coal mining in the area at the time.
From The Landslide we headed towards The Golden Stairs. Up we climbed, all 800m of heart pumping work with the most stunning views, when we took our eyes off the stairs. At the top we turned to the left and onto Narrow Neck with views over the more rural Megalong Valley. Here we scrambled down to the cliff edge for lunch with exquisite views of the Megalong Valley. We sat amongst the burnt out, black scrub from the summer fires and marvelled at the regeneration of our Aussie bush.
After lunch we then headed back along the road to Katoomba feeling “good” tired and exhilarated to have been able to spend the day in the mountains. With all the crazy stuff that is happening in our world during Covid-19 it is so wonderful to leave it all behind and feel the nurture of nature.
What a day out, we trekked 24kms, gained 1074m in elevation and climbed 100s of steps.
To finish off the day we went for dinner at the Station Bar Woodfire Pizza.
“Station Bar is conveniently located at the top of the main street in the heart of the blue mountains. Their stylish, intimate and multi purpose venue offers amazing woodfired pizzas both classic and contemporary.
Station Bar is a great place to relax and enjoy their extensive wine list, delicious cocktails and boutique beers - Established in 2010, Station Bar is a unique Katoomba experience, one not to be missed. “
We look forward to our next adventure not sure when, not sure where.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
Rozzie Warne - Fittrek Director