Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blue Mountains

Today, we picked up our rental car and drove west to start our trip toward Melbourne. Once some mild trepidations regarding driving in Australia were overcome, we were on our way (after a stop at Hungry Jack's the Aussie Burger King equivalent). 

The Blue Mountains are about 2 hours west of Sydney. These mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range separating the east coast from the interior. They get their name from the refraction of light through the eucalyptus oil in the air.

Our hotel is the 3 Sisters Motel in Katoomba.

The motel gets its name from the 3 Sisters, a geologic formation just outside Katoomba and only a few blocks from our hotel.

According to aboriginal folklore, the three sisters once lived with the Gundungurra people in the nearby Jamison Valley. These ladies were in love with three brothers from the Dharruk people. Unfortunately, marriage was forbidden between the two peoples. The brothers were warriors who decided they would take the women by force. The impending tribal war forced the Gundungurra people's clever man, Kuradjurri, to turn the sisters into stone. Kuradjurri planned to restore the sisters after the danger had passed. Unfortunately, he died in battle and to this day the sisters remain trapped in stone. (Ben's still working on a cure). 

Nearby, there are several good bushwalks to explore the mountains and the rainforest around the sisters, including the Katoomba falls.

I also made a new friend:

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