Sunday, October 29, 2006

What a Difference a Day or Two Can Make

There have been times in the past that I've benefitted greatly from a mini-break - from escaping the city and enjoying nature. Most notably, my two trips to the Isle of Arran in Scotland. Well, my trip to the Blue Mountains this weekend was just as fruitful and refreshin - so much so that I really didn't want to leave and considered calling in 'too happy to come to work', but alas, it was not in the cards. Luckily I live a two minute walk from the train station in Syndye nad from there it's a quick and cheap journey back to the bliss of the Blue Mountains.

So the adventure began on Friday evening after a super hectic day at work. I met Shannon at my house and we quickly packed up and took off in his little Frenchmobile for Destination Relaxation. We were both badly in need of some R&R after stressful, long weeks at work. I had booked us into The Flying Fox hostel, as per Beth's recommendation. It looked lovely and cosy - the perfect hostel for my virgin-hostel friend, Shannon.

We arrived and checked into the hostel. The owner, Ross, innocently asked which of us was Shannon Courtney to which we both replied 'we both are'.Um..nope we're not married and no we're not related. The look on his face was priceless - absolutely priceless. And then he said 'that has got to be the weirdest thing ever', which, coming from a guy who owns and runs a hostel is pretty impressive. Hehe. Getting a lot of mileage out of my name twin :)

Spent the evening relaxing in the lovely living room, with the wod stove roaring away and the good conversation of some Dutch and Danish travellers. Up Saturday morning and off to Echo Point, famed for the Three Sisteres - a rock formation. The view was breathtaking - mountains and more mountains and canyon and rainforest. I really can't describe it. I was telling Shannon how I wouldn't go in the cable car because I am afriad ofcertain heights,and then as an afterthought mentioned my fear of stairs ..just as we approached a long, long, steep steep set of stairs that basically led us down the face of the cliff ot het rainforest at the bottom. Oh boy was that fun.

Once at the bottom we wandered around and made our way to the Scenic Railway. whichw as really a coal-mining railcar. It just happened to be the steepest incline railway in the world- picture the incline on a rollercoaster at the begining. Yah - I was happy when we got to the top.... after a quick stop at a chocolate shop for some free samples, we were off to Wentworth to check out a festival that we'd been told about by the Dutch people. It turned out to be a family type affair, but the setting was lovely so just laid out on the grass and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine. The evening was enjoyed at the hostel and then out with some fellow hostellers to check out the local bar scene, which was stellar. Ahem. Cough cough.

Today we toured around more in the car and checked out a load of lookout points. And it was some time when I was looking out at the unending beauty of the Blue Mountains, that I found some clarity. And that is exactly what I needed. I can't quite put my finger on what it is about mountains and islands, but they seem to hold the answers for me and they are extraordinary places where, sometimes, extraordinary things can happen. If you just let them...

Here are some of the things I learned this weekend:

- Chook is Aussie for chicken.
- Blue Mountains are so called because the gum trees that populate the mountains emmenate a blue haze
- Discussing both religion and politics with your friend , who also happens ot be your name twin, can be slightly hazardous to your mental health
- Hostels RULE (knew this already, but was reinforced)
- There are some things that are just not worth stressing about
- I am too hard on myself
- Barramundi (fish) is yummy
- I don't know much about anything (it's all relative, but I happened to be in the company of a guy with and IQ of 156)
- Daylight savings time is brilliant, but it also sucks. So we get more daylight here in Australia, as summer looms, but it is now 15 hours time difference between here and PEI, which means I will rarely catch anyone on messenger and phone calls will be even more difficult...not that I get many/any. Ahem cough cough.

OK, that's all she wrote for this space for more philisophical discussions in the future...

OK, I'm off to bed I have a lot to think about now. Will sleep on it.


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