We are running a little behind in keeping the blog up to date, so this was last Monday (Karens' birthday). The drive to Katoomba was relatively uneventful, save for the spectacular scenery of the Wollemi National Park and the western side of the Blue Mountains. In Katoomba, we stopped at Cahill's Lookout and at Echo Point, where you can see panoramic views of the Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters.
Karen doesn’t do heights well, and the sight off her children leaning up against the fences, with the sheer cliffs on the other side, was enough to make her feel nauseous. As shown in the last photo.
We then headed down the range for the Jenolan caves. If Karen doesn’t do heights well, then the drive down the side of a mountain, with a sheer cliff face on the left side of the road, signs that declared “No caravans past this point,” was enough to completely do her in. This little birthday surprise that Daniel had planned was heading south rapidly as Karen was completely freaked out just on the drive in.The road at the bottom goes through the Grand Archway and on to the carpark. Then Karens fear of enclosed spaces sealed the deal – this may not have been such a good idea after all. TIP: When someone is afraid of heights and small spaces, DON’T take them to the Jenolan Caves (and especially not on their birthday).
Daniel and the kids thought the caves were fantastic and wandered happily among the huge caverns. Karen faced her fears and even managed a short video recording in one cave. The main caverns we visited were enormous and that is almost impossible to gauge from these photos.
After a quick calming coffee and browse around the tourist shop, Karen was in a fit state to consider the drive back up the mountain. I think she may have done that with her eyes mostly closed.
We then decided to drive directly to Canberra, which meant we would arrive 1 1/2 days behind schedule. About 100km north of Goulburn, in the middle of nowhere, we suddenly heard a weird grinding noise from the front of the vehicle. It only went away when we engaged 4 wheel drive mode. We know that driving for a long time on the highway with 4 wheel drive engaged is generally a bad idea, but we had no options and less choices available. So we slowed down even more, and arrived in Canberra at 11:45pm after almost 15 hours on the road.
Will post more about our time in Canberra over the next few days.