Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sydney 2006 - Day 3 (010706)

Today is the day of Blue Mountain tours. We rised early in the morning, hoping it would not rain. While in the lobby, we saw a coach waiting outside. Could this be for us?

After making some enquiries, K came back to report on the cutthroat business that is tourism. We had made bookings with Sydney Wilderness Tours but the coach was from another company. Our tour was $99 while this other company's tour was $95. I sense some price competition. Chill, chill.

Personally, I prefer to tour with small groups. Less likely to meet people who just had to take that last 1,000 pictures or wait until the last minute to go into souvenir shops. As it turned out, ours was a small group with a pair of Taiwanese mother and son, and 3 French. Our guide, Rae, stayed in Katoomba that is part of the Blue Mountains (I think). Great to have a local show us around, and Rae certainly did not beat around the bush while narrating some of the changes Blue Mountains have seen because of tourism. A*!

Before we climbed the mountain in our cute Mercedes mini-bus, we went to Sydney Olympic Park.

Can you imagine this place teaming with people just 6 years ago? Center of the world's attention.

While I was doing a research paper last semester on event management, I came across an article about the depression some of those involved in the Sydney Olympics fell into post-Games. That must be quite a big fall back into reality: one minute everyone is here, the next they are gone.

These poles are engraved with the names of the volunteers. Cannot find my name. I thought my name rather common. :( But found 4 of JL's. +_+

Got packed into the mini-bus after our morning tea at the Olympic Park. As mountain road goes, it was kind of winding. Poor P had to either shit or vomit so she can relieve her motion sickness. Hmm.. Maybe this is too much info. :P I highly recommend bringing some sour plums/orange peel to suck along the way. Ease the queasy stomach.

I think Rae felt our group should have a certain level of fitness because she brought us on walks to more remote parts of Blue Mountains to access the less-touristy lookout points. Love those places where you don't hear people screaming others out of their way. You can really enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mountains and be awed by how small you really are next to nature.

Can you spot the microscopic me next to this majestic creation of nature? Of course you can't. Because I'm not in the picture. Muahahahahahahahaha!!!

Included in our tour package are the tickets for Railway down to see the Three Sisters (see picture below), and for the Skyway back. Worth $16! Quite worth it to get on this trip for just $99.

Inside the "steepest incline Railway of the world"!

The railway is a very, very short ride, so get your cameras ready before you miss the shots.

At the end of the ride, you will find this view.

The Three Sisters! See those sharp pointy things?

We had some time before we were due back at the station for our lunch. We chose to embark on one of the walks around Blue Mountains that would take 20 minutes. We saw artefacts depicting how miners used to work in the good ol' days.

This is what a coal mine and overexposure looks like.

The rainforest is not a good place to start learning how to fly. Too many trees = difficult manoeuvres.

I wonder what miners did when they are not working. Other than gesture to one another?

Inside the Skyway, you get closer to the Three Sisters, the sun, and thus, insanity.

For some strange reason, we were always the last group to reach the bus, although we were (almost) never late. Hmmm... Maybe Taiwanese and French get to see mountains all the time.

Rae took us to Heritage Restaurant to have lunch. My shitty focacia bread did not have cheese. I pointed it out to the waiter who insisted it was inside. There was a drop of cheese and I was prepared to let it go, but the most grating thing he said was 'well, if you want, we can always add an additional slice for you.' HELLO! Can't you tell that mine was severly undercheesed? Pui!

Never mind, I shall take picture with Koala.

Big, flat koala looks like he's crying. It's not that bad to be hugged by me, right? )~:

Echo Point offered a close-up view of Three Sisters. Being the tourists we were, we cannot miss it!

Watch my hair try to catch the Three Sisters! Muahahaha!!! I am Medusa!!!

I sense the paparazzi is around.

Am I looking at you or am I not?

Next, we were brought to the town center, Leura, where they had small shops and lots of cafes. Ahh... The effects of tourism.

Although I have been in Australia for almost a year now, I haven't seen a kangaroo or a koala. Featherdale Wildlife Park satisfied my desire to see a live wombat! Woohoo!!!

No, this is not a wombat. Zzzzz... Wombats are nocturnal. So nothing was satisfied.

Because I am a wildlife lover who wanted to help the Park and because I had a 5% off discount voucher from the souvenir shop, I bought a stuffed wombat toy. Which I named Woolloomooloo, after a place in Sydney.

I don't think I should let Woolloo drink tea.

Being the very havoc people we are, we went back to the hotel, washed off the day's grime, and proceeded to go clubbing! Saturday night leh. Must have some life. But, firstly, must eat the recommended ice-cream at Harbourside.

JY and I at PassionFlower for ice-cream.

I ordered macadamia on waffle.

One scope mine, the other was P's with her white chocolate ice-cream.

Hmm... I didn't think the macadamia ice-cream was way better than others. It's good but not fantastic. Rating: 3.5/5. Maybe the more popular flavours are those like lychee and sticky rice?

We were told that Home club at Cockle Bay Wharf is one of the top 10 clubs in the world and wanted to take a look. But the entrance was a frikking $35! We are but poor students. And our trip to Star City casino earlier did not win us lots of money except for someone who won $1.50 and had to go to the cashier to collect it. :x

Can only go the Home Bar for $15. No drinks included. We were there too early I think. Sat outside, not drinking much because I don't have the stomach for it. The R&B area only opens at 12am. Wasting time sia! But the music was not bad later though the place was really small. MOS is bigger definitely. Eh! I realise the icon for MOS and Home are similar!

We are in da club! With fading makeup! Muahahaha!!

I realise in Australia, their clubs are brighter, except for those more sleazy ones. And the guys in the clubs are usually more willing to take pictures. In fact, I saw three hunks *drools* aiming their cameras at themselves while sitting at the bar. Woohoo!!!

Back in Room 237, I refused to let anyone go shower without a picture of the $15 stamps!

Check out the resigned hand at the bottom right of the picture. Tut tut...

It really was time to sleep for tomorrow is yet another long, walking day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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