Adventuring in Australia with Tackless II
Tackless II is a CSY 44' sailboat in its tenth year cruising the world.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
March 27, Katoomba and the Blue Mountains by IMAX
Rain began in the middle of the night, and the next day dawned foggy and drippy. It was too wet for the long hike we'd planned, so we opted to start the day with a couple of loads of laundry. Dawdling over our hot breakfast, we talked more with Elton and Patty (ending up buying their cooler) and decided to follow their recommendation to go see the Blue Mountains IMAX film at the Edge, a multi-theater complex in town.

The movie was awesome, showing us not simply the Blue Mountains at their best, but views of the park we would never otherwise see. The film divided itself between male rock climbers ascending cliff faces and female climbers belaying down waterfalls into subterranean gorges and pools, all supplemented with lots of aerial shots. Plus, there was a side story about a hidden gorge with the last remaining stand of a prehistoric tree, 4-storeys tall, dating from the dinosaur era.

In the lobby after the film, we noticed a poster for a live Aboriginal performance in one of the other theaters due to start in minutes. The day still being overcast, Don and I spontaneously decided to nip into this show despite all promises of it being a touristy production. Mike and Kathleen demurred, since they had seen much of the real thing in their travels in North Queensland, but we hadn’t and most probably wouldn’t, and I do love the didgeridoo! It turned out we were the only people in the audience.

It was a very short show for the price, but we enjoyed it none-the-less. Called Goomblar’s Dreaming, the show was a mélange of didgeridoo, dance and narration. Of the two main performers, one looked very traditionally Abo while the younger one looked nearly white! The troupe fairly successfully cast the spell, taking in their dance the character of various animals important to Aboriginal traditions, and the didgeridoo accompaniment was haunting. At the end, the actors pulled me onto the stage to join the dance! Afterwards they made themselves very accessible, and Mike came in to take our picture with them.

Outside, the cloud cover was beginning to break up. The air would go hot, cold, hot, cold as the sun came and went. The 2.5 hour hike we’d wanted to do seemed unwise in the remaining daylight, so we instead we walked via the Prince Henry Cliffwalk to the Three Sisters, a famous set of pillars projecting from the cliff face. Although there are handrails and steps, it was still quite a descent to the bridge that crosses to the nearest “sister,” and once out there you feel quite exposed. It is an impressive spot, but it is the kind of thing that, guard rails or no, turns my innards to liquid and my knees to jelly. It was hard work to climb back up!

When the cooking hall was overtaken by rowdy young campers, we decided to cook our marinated pork chop dinner at our site on the camp stove using our “smokeless grill” – a funky US product shaped like a donut with a griddle plate on top we’d brought along from the boat. Mike rigged a tarp to the awning to cut the chill breeze, and that, good food and a hot toddy finally warmed us up. Over dishes, we meet yet another travelling couple, this time young Americans from Iowa just back to Sydney after travelling on a 1 month rail pass to Darwin. Like I said, we have always loved crossing paths with young world travelers like this.

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