Blue mountains

my friend dave from work organised a camping expedition to kanagra-boyd national park this weekend, so we left the bustle of sydney behind for our night together in a tent! unfortunately is was drizzling intermittently the whole weekend, plus it was rather chilly up in the mountains, but we still made the most of it by huddling around the fire and goofing around. the park is in the middle of the blue mountains, and the campsite is right in the middle of it. the whole area is forested with eucalyptus trees which make the air smell so nice. its always a treat to be taking great big lungfuls of fresh mountain air after being in our urban center!

nayou enjoyed digging around in the leaves and playing with the campfire. he was in good spirits the whole time, despite missing his naps on both days and being surrounded by a bunch of adults he had never met before. he slept like a log in the tent too which was great. actually all three of us did thanks to the most amazing air mattress that a friend of ours lent us. if we can find one of those, we’ll be sleeping in luxury anywhere!

it was nice to hang out with some colleagues outside of work too. much of the socialising in sydney centers around drinking, which i have been less and less interested in as time goes on. plus i’m more inclined to spend what little free time i have hanging out with brenda and nayou, so this was a good opportunity to shoot the breeze with them. i think there were ten of us in total, including nayou. jesse – who had me laughing so hard i had to leave the room the first time i met him – decided to blaze brave new paths in outdoor fashion when he couldn’t stand the cold anymore.

i would love to say that we went on long hikes and marvelled at the scenery, but we actually ended up just chilling out around the fire. there are some nice looking trails around, but the wet and the cold didn’t make it exciting enough to venture out. it cleared up on sunday and brenda got a nice morning walk in while nayou and i snored away, so at least one of us got out 🙂

the drive was quite long – about four hours each way due to traffic and road works! nayou was a trooper despite his eyelids being very heavy, although this was aided in a large part by brenda’s amazing entertainment skills. one of the funniest games was when brenda pretended to be nayou and nayou pretended to be brenda. i wish i had taken video of it, but i had to drive. i did get some shooting-blindly-over-the-shoulder shots though! we got home around 4 and nayou was asleep at 7 (normally he goes to sleep around 10pm)!

and now for something completely different – here is a photo and a video that i shot last thursday at our favourite cafe, room 10. nayou’s wearing a super cute shirt that brenda made and the smashing necktie from his grandma. super styleee! oh, there is a funny story about those blue shoes he is wearing. there was this really small stream next to our campground and nayou slipped into it within a few hours of us getting there. brenda put his shoes on a stick and dried them over the fire, but accidentally burned all the velcro off them as well! we’ve been duct taping them shut all weekend. hehehehe. oh well, they were on their last legs anyway!


this weekend we left the bustle of sydney behind and went up to the blue mountains. katoomba is the main town in the area, about a two hour train ride from sydney. its always been a tourist town, developed to lure the weary sydney dwellers away from some r&r. there also used to be a fair bit of mning back in the day but not anymore. i remember going up there when i was living here oh so long ago so it was cool to revisit with fresh adult eyes!

the weather was a bit iffy on the way up, but it cleared by the time we arrived. taking the train is definitely the way to go. it costs about $15 round trip each, which is probably cheaper and less hassle than driving! plus you can snack and play freely.

brenda organised a room for us at the katoomba yha, which was totally awesome. they are very family friendly, with big open spaces, a kid’s corner with toys and a huge kitchen. the rooms were simple but clean and comfortable. we’ll be staying there every time we go up, methinks!

i like the literal art in our room:

we spent saturday afternoon at scenic world, which is an area with all sorts of rides from which you can take in the views. they have a gondola with a see through floor,

the world’s steepest fernicular (52 degree incline!),

and a gorgeous walk through the surrounding rainforest.

here are some family portraits that we took on the fernicular. i was holding the camera at arm’s length so they are all a bit out of focus and weird, but i think they are cool. brenda is wearing a dress that she made just the day before. it looks like a designer dress… well, it is a designer dress but you know what i mean!

one of the most famous things about katoomba are the three sisters. the three sisters are a rock formation that looks like this:

aboriginal legend has it that an elder turned them into stone to protect them from a war between their tribe and another. unfortunately the elder was killed in the fighting and they haven’t been turned back. they had sculptures of the sisters and the elder outside scenic world, so brenda and nayou thought they should re-enact the whole thing… which i duly caught on camera. i love nayou’s leg lifts!

on sunday we took the hop-on-hop-off trolley to see the rest of what katoomba has to offer.

it was a pretty cruisy sort of a day, being that we were tired from a lot of walking and nayou was on his second day of no siesta. we ended up checking out the sights, having a bit of a play in a park and then catching the train back to sydney. it was really nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and be in some nature again. the air is so much fresher up there and the general pace of life suits us all much better. we’ll definitely be going back up there soon!