Second Choice: Prince Henry Cliff Walk
Katoomba Travel Blog› entry 44 of 45 › view all entries
November 21st, 2009 – by: Connie
I had never visited the town of Katoomba before and I thought it was the perfect place for a short getaway from the city. Clearly banking off the tourism from the Blue Mountains, the town still managed to retain that great, small town feel with its yummy bakeries and large selection of welcoming cafes.
Being cash poor, as usual, we opted to walk from the station to the Echo Point Info Kiosk, the start of the trail we planned to walk. It was a 20 minute walk to the info center and the sun was already beating down hard. I always manage to start these walks with, well, lots of walking! "Are we there yet?" comes to mind. I often find myself cursing these long, hot walks just to get to the START of the walking trail. My lazy side is always rallying against my cheap side....
But before long we ended up at Echo Point, a very popular destination for bus-loving tourists.
After checking out the view, we stopped in the Info Center. To our disappointment, we discovered that the Blue Mountains valley walks were all closed due to the threat of bushfires. Apparently, there had been a lot of dry lightening in the past 24 hours making it dangerous for people to be down in the valley in case a fire suddenly broke out. What terrible luck! Of course, it was our fault for not calling the park ahead of time to find out important info such as that, but at least all was not lost. The cliff side walks were still open. So, although we couldn't go down into the heart of the beautiful forest area, we could at least view them from high above.
We left the info center and took the Prince Henry Cliff Walk east. There were indeed many stunning views and we even had a close encounter with a gorgeous bird with red and blue feathers. No clue what species it was though. The trail was still surrounded with greenery and offered at least a passing perception of being close to nature. At least, only when we didn't hear the occasional car drive past along the road not far through the trees. The trail highlight was the Leura Cascades, a stream of water rushing along a steep incline of smooth rocks. I'm not sure if it could be called a waterfall since the water wasn't actually falling all that much. Cascade would definitely be the most appropriate word. We found a shaded, peaceful spot under a rock overhang near the bottom of the Leura Cascades and basked in the joy of soaking our hot, stinky feet in the cool, refreshing water.
When we were tired of walking, we headed back up to the road and managed to hitch a ride back into town. Before getting back on the train for the 2 hour trip back to the city, we stopped at a cafe to enjoy a few rounds of ice cream and coffee based cold drinks. My short forays into nature alway remind me that I'm just a city girl at heart.
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