Blue Mountains – November 2007

Fourteen of us gathered at “The Carrington” in Katoomba for a weekend of good company, catching up with each other’s news, wining, dining, pampering, sightseeing, golfing and other outdoor pursuits. It was a great success.

We assembled on Friday evening for a meal and after-dinner drinks and billiards. On Saturday morning most of the group decided on a hike at Wentworth Falls. It was very foggy, but fortunately views were not essential to the enjoyment of the outing! The group split in two, one half to descend deeper and deeper to the valley floor (and therefore, to have to climb all the way back up afterwards!) while the other group took a less vertical but nonetheless challenging and enjoyable nature walk through swathes of rain-soaked bush, past creeks and cliffs and gullies back to Point A. A few members of the party guarded the fort or began their pampering regime the while.

A quiet afternoon was had after this strenuous effort (Pete and Kath went and checked out the spectacular Rhododendron garden at Blackheath) and little was seen of anyone before we gathered for pre-dinner drinks, in one of the luxurious sitting rooms downstairs. Out into the foggy cold night to be transported by taxi to “Silks” Brasserie at Leura. A beautiful meal followed, accompanied by wines, animated conversation and a thunderstorm of major proportions outside. Taxis back to the Carrington, where some of the group played billiards and others sensibly went to bed.

Breakfast the next morning was followed by golf for a few, a walk to Echo Point and back for a few more, some more serious pampering for the pamperees and a visit to the Rhododendron garden for the rest of the group. We reunited at “The Hattery” for coffee and goodbyes (and the buying of an inordinate number of hats, between us!) and headed off in our various directions, via interesting detours. Geoff and Jen enjoyed the Norman Lindsay Gallery and gardens at Faulconbridge, and chanced upon Fred and Judith there for lunch.

Pete and Kath stayed an extra day, visiting some gardens at Mt. Wilson in the afternoon before coming down a notch or five in the accommodation and food stakes that evening. Alas, Monday’s weather was appalling, so we headed home quite early to a wet Canberra and a half-full rainwater tank !

Many thanks go the organisers, Simon, Lenore, Andrew and Joanie for a memorable weekend.

photo Photos

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Setting off on our first hike, Saturday morning. Some of the "boys". Lovely fresh wet colours. What goes down must come back up, alas! The first of many waterfalls. The boys and Mandy "journeyed to the Centre of the Earth" to quote Geoff. Cascades all the way down. The other half of the group did the nature walk, crossing this lovely creek... ...and passing under this beetling cliff... We climbed "Edinburgh Castle" but there was not much of a view ! Lovely eroded sandstone. Finally up through a perilous canyon and back to the carpark. Grevillea. Waratah at the Rhododendron Gardens, Blackheath. Beautiful  rhododendrons, Blackheath. Rhododendrons, laburnum and deciduous azaleas. What a display! Rhododendron and eucalyptus trees,a  beautiful combination. Collapsing railings near the Hydro Majestic, Medlow Bath. Clear view to the west! The Carrington Hotel at Katoomba, where we stayed - very atmospheric!  Very eerie! Our table at Silks Brasserie, Leura - great company, lovely food! Part of the group. ...and down the other end... Longitudinal shot. Between courses. Lively discussion at this end! Hang on - where did Geoff's hair come from?? Thanks to Jen for these photos. The Three Sisters on Sunday morning (Kathy and Joanie walked there and back!) View from Echo Point westwards. The hotel in rather better weather! Beautiful stained glass windows. Waiting...waiting...the ladies are all ready! We may as well sit down while the menfolk dither. Wisteria at "Nooroo", Mt. Wilson. Kalmia - amazingly intricate flower. Stunning bark - not sure what the tree is, but we want one! View northeast from Govett's Leap. Fountain in the Norman Lindsay gardens (Geoff and Jen visited on the way home.) Katoomba Cascades. Katoomba Falls, during a short break in the fog and rain !

Posted on November 11th, 2007, tagged with events

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