Three days in the Blue Mountains - Days 1 & 2

Day 1

I arrived at my campsite at Katoomba Falls Caravan Park in the warm afternoon of the 27th February 2010. I quickly put up my tent. By this time I was exhausted and struggling to stay awake. It wasn't from putting up a tent, but from spending the last 2 days helping a friend move house lifting heavy furniture, fridges Et cetera. I had a workmate to meet me shortly who was going to walk with me the next day, so to get myself energised again I decided to go for a short walk.

Without a map I just followed the nearby creek which flowed behind the caravan park. I then crossed the road going into a nice park full of picnickers. Going down some stairs I arrived at the Kedumba cascades. Kedumba is the Aboriginal word 'Kedumba' meaning 'shiny, falling waters' and so they were. Crossing the stream on steping stones the walk soon comes to a nice lookout with views across the Jamison valley and the scenic skyway above. The walk follows the Prince Henry walk which starts at Echo point. I then visited a number of scenic lookouts including the Plateau Lookout and Tunnel Lookout. From these lookouts there are views across the Jamison valley to Mt Solitary, the Three Sisters, the Ruined Castle and Orphan Rock. I then followed the track until it reached Scenicworld. After a look around there I went back to a intersection, then down some metal stairs to small lookout with a great views back across to Kedumba Falls. I then retraced my steps back via the top of Furber Steps which would be the start of my walk on day 3. The walk then finished at the Katoomba Falls Kiosk.

I then met my workmate. After the walk and a pizza I was energised and ready for the next day of walking.

Day 2

After a nights rest we went across the road and did some of the walk mentioned above. We then drove to the Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls. We had a hearty (as in bad for the heart) breakfast there. But this was soon to be burnt off. We followed these track notes. We walked down the hill until we reached a metal staircase and into the valley of waters. We then passed Empress and Lodore Falls. A new layer of sandstone was revealed since the last time I visited these falls last year. The powerful force of water had removed the sandstone when 112ml's of rain had fallen in less than 2 hours on the 6th of February.

The track then comes to the  intersection of Wentworth pass, which is followed for a little while. We then came to the Vera fall track, which we followed. After going through rainforest for a while and scaring a bush turkey, we had to cross valley of waters creek. This proved quite difficult as the only way of crossing was by going over large boulders that were very slippery and covered in moss.  Not long after this we came to an intersection, where we stopped for a break. There was a small track here that we thought went nowhere. So we continued. It turned out that this track did go to Vera Falls! So this is a walk that will have to be revisited sometime.

Heading further down the hill we could hear lots of running water, so we went down a little used track. Here the valley of waters creek and Jamison creek's meet. There is a small waterhole here. My workmate then sent the local wildlife scattering off in all directions by going skinny dipping here.

We then walked up hill on a track that in parts was hard to locate. The Jamison creek was to our left for next kilometre. With a steep walk we reached the Hippocrene Falls. These falls are quite large and have a large waterhole at the bottom of them. Not happy with his prevous efforts, my workmate also went skinny dipping here also.

The track notes have you returning here, instead we headed towards the National Pass. This added another kilometre or so to the walk. Going pass the falls uphill on a rough track my strap on my pack decided to break. Using our bush mechanic skills we repaired it using a piece of string. I then sewed it up when I got back to the tent later that day. We left the intersection of the Wentworth pass to our left and continue on. Then we arrived at the bottom falls, of Wentworth falls. A young family was having their lunch here. Maybe this stopped my workmate from having a third swim? Then we started going up Slack Stairs. The stairs start by climbing a rope, and then are followed by going up a series of metal ladders, some with a cage on the outside. There were great views of the valley while climbing. You wouldn't want to be afraid of heights here.

After reaching the top of the stairs we went to the middle falls, of Wentworth Falls. Then back to conservation hut along the National Pass route. I had walked and blogged about the National Pass last year. Along this section we went pass Empress Falls again. Here we stopped to watch a group abseiling down the falls.

Then it was back up the hill and to the hut and cars. The five hours of walking finally caught up to me, I really struggled to walk up the last 50 or so steps. As I got into my car it started to rain. It got me thinking, what would the weather be like tomorrow and would my body hold out for the 11 hours of walking? You will find out when I blog about it soon.

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