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Kim’s Travel Diary

Friday, 16 Mar 2007

MapWell, talk about an early start. The trip leaves various city pickup points and we have to be there for 7.40. Cathernie very kindly took us to the freeway bus pickup point and we arrived with time to spare. Trips are a wonderful way to see things but they do leave early.

Today was off the see the Blue Mountians with additional stops on the way. I have to say at this point that the traffic in Sydney is terrible and as the working day seems to start from 6.30am onwards, rush hour can be long. Eventually we made it out of the city and onto the freeway heading towards the mountains. First stop, what is really a city zoo but does not call itself that. Plenty to see and to touch - Koala's really are funny little things and shy with huge claws and the wallabies are cute. Was really taken with the flying foxes - amazing animal and much bigger than I had ever thought they were.

Further into the bush and we start climbing up. All around Sydney and this area are patches of bush that have been preserved as green areas - It is no wonder that people get twitchy with bush fires as some of these areas are just feet away from houses. The Blue Mountains get their name from the rain falling on the gum trees and as it washes off, the gum residue, so the droplets turn blue. As you can see from the photgraphs, this is a really pretty area and brings in many tourists during the year, only trouble is that in turn brings in many coaches and therefore air quality is affected - not the crisp clear air of New Zealand but a warmer muggy kind.

The final stop of the day was at the ravine high up with wonderful views across the valley floor and walks down into the rain forest. Sandra was brave and went out on the skywalk to view ( it had a glass floor too in places), I stayed with both my feet firmly placed on solid ground, yes I am a total coward but at least can admit that!!

Back towards Sydney and a quick visit to the Olympic area which is used today by everyone from sports to conventions. It must have been incrediable to have been here during the games and to have taken some of the atmosphere in. They have added some clever touches to the area such as the poles that contain the names of the people who took part and when the flame container was moved outside of the main arena, all the names of the medal winners were inscribed on the base of the fountain that it was converted into.

Sydney did not only make use of its railway system for the games but also the water and we arrived back into Sydney harbour on the ferry, passing the Opera House and the bridge. It was a wonderful finish to a long day ( 12 hours of sightseeing). Back to the house, children, homework and noise - nice to be part of that again