The first that almost became the worst.
14.06.2009 4 °C
I have heard of the butterfly affect many a times before, but never have I been able to observe it so closely.
Thursday, June 11th was the day due for departure. Finally we were to leave Sydney behind and get a proper prospective of Australia. We were to wake up at crack of dawn, gather up our belongings, give a final clean of our rented space, pick up our van and be on our merry little way. That was the proposed plan anyway.
Of course we left packing to the very last minute, but in our defence we have very little gear as it is. The night/ day before was dedicated to packing and organizing. I realized some things couldn’t be done until the very last minute, i.e. the washing of the bedding and the towels we were still using. But, no problem... I’ll just throw them in the second I jump outta bed, giving plenty of time for them to finish while I do the final cleaning and Rob picks up and packs the van. I ask my roommate if we could have the washing machine in the morning to do exactly so. All was set to plan. We went to bed and awoke precisely as said, but one thing, when I went to throw in the washing, there was a cycle running. And this machine forbids you to interrupt it mid cycle. Inconviently, the washing would keep us from being able to just load up and go when Rob got back with the rented van. Instead, he came back, and the washing had only just been switched over to be dried.
The recycling had to be brought down stairs, so I went and did so. Walking up, I noticed a car dangerously close to our van, trying uneventfully to Parallel Park behind us. I kept trying to convince myself that it was fine, they knew what they were doing, and I managed to convince myself there was nothing to worry about, until…. I heard the crunch and saw the van being pushed forward. NOOO way is that happening! I ran to the car to see a confused chinese man looking like a wallaby in headlights. I told him to stay put turn the car off as he was properly lodge between us and the curb and any further movement would have ripped off the bumper or punctured his tire. I rang up to Rob “You’re never going to believe this! Just get your keys and get down here!
After Rob nearly put the man to tears, the man who couldn’t speak a word of English, we finally got the situation sorted. It was a nightmare that lasted nearly two hours, but eventually insurance information was exchanged and paperwork was completed. They took 1990 bucks from Rob’s credit card to hold until Jucy gets the money from the insurance company. Not the kind of morning we had expected.
All that set aside, we were on our way. I did have a bit of good news to share with Rob, however. We had, well... damaged the keyboard that was left in the room we were renting. I had lit a tea candle and placed it by the bed, on the only sturdy surface nearby, which happened to be the back of the key board. Well, let’s just say the candle wanted a permanent spot there, and melted its self a centimetre or two deep. Of course, we have this apartment for 3 months and don’t ruin anything, leave it to the last few days and we destroy probably the most expensive thing in the room! Anyways, Rob and I were fretting explaining the situation to the landlord, but after explaining our morning first, he stressed to me not to stress it. He wanted a new one anyway. PHEW! That would have been a hefty bill to pick up. Lesson learned.
Now we’re on our way! woohoo! Us, our purple and green juicy van, and our cowboy hats. Ok... so the hats... We made a rule, that the ENTIRE trip we wear these Australian cowboy hats we had picked up at the market. They are our driving hats, and they are to be worn at all times when on the road, no exceptions! I’m looking forward to it.
First stop was the Blue Mountains. We were staying in Katoomba, pretty much the centre of it all. It’s about a two hour drive from Sydney, but an entirely different world! Blue Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful and well worth the visit. While trying to find our campsite, we stumbled upon Echo Point at sunset. Wow, talk about perfect timing! The lighting was phenomenal. As for the butterfly affect I was mentioning before, this was the end consequence. If the washing machine was left free, the washing would have been ready and we would have left before chang woo decided to stuff himself behind us like pork in a Chinese dumpling, and we would have got to the Blue Mountains too early and would have missed the gorgeous sunset. So in the end, it all worked out ok.
That night we stayed at Katoomba Falls Caravan Park. A very clean park with great extra clean facilities! They scored extra points with me for having fresh flowers in the bathrooms, and with Rob for playing 80’s music in the bathrooms. Pretty much, we enjoyed going to the toilet. AND, they have a pet Cockatiel, Agro. He was brilliant! Only said hello, but would do a dance and shake his tail feathers for ya. There was also a cut out in the cage where he would get infront of and turn so you could pet him. Ohh, I miss him already!
The Mountains were FREEZING, so we wore extra layers of clothing at night. We stayed in the Blue Mountains for 2 nights. Taking a full day to hike to the 3 sisters and all around Scenic World. Scenic world is just a tourist attraction in the blue mountains with lots of trails to walk, the worlds steepest railway ( which we did of course) a skywalk ( which is just a cable car with a small portion of glass floor that takes you about 300m over the valley. Don’t waste your money on that one. Get the same view from the original cable car, just look down!) They offer different ticket options. We opted for the train down cable car up combo. However, we ended up walking up the mountain instead. Ahh the Great steps. 900 steps up the side of the 3 sisters. OUCH. We ended up walking back down just to get our money’s worth taking the cable ride back up. A nice cup of soup and some hot pasta ended the night, in bed by 8, huddling for warmth and looking forward to moving onwards tomorrow.