“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
We had to order packed breakfasts. No time to sit and savor. At 7:30 AM, three full buses left the Intercontinental Sydney heading toward the Blue Mountains.
From Sydney, the Blue Mountains are the way to the Outback. They are 10,000 square kilometers of vegetation, cliffs, and canyons. The peak, Mount Werong, stands at 1215 meters above sea level.
This tour is a welcome change from the rock, steel, and bitumen of the city. It takes 8 to 10 hours to enjoy what the adventure has to offer: the Three Sisters, Scenic World, Wentworth Falls, Jenolan Caves, Katoomba, Leura, Featherdale, etc.
The temperature was around 50*F, with an intermittent drizzle. We made a couple of scenic stops before reaching Featherdale Wildlife Refuge. It was the opportunity to admire, photograph, feed, and take pictures with kangaroos, emus, wallabies, and koalas. Other creatures were also there to admire: huge serpents and crocodiles, multiple birds, and dingos, the dogs that do not bark.
After an hour befriending the wildlife creatures, we left for souvenir shopping in Katoomba. Waratah is located on the first floor of a two-level commercial complex. It is the cross between a Starbucks and a souvenir shop.
After Katoomba, we drove to Leura for lunchtime. Main Street in Leura teems with restaurants. Not far from Wazygoose Café and next to Trump’s Boutique, Leura Chinese Restaurant is a good place to eat. The food is stunningly cheap (and palatable) in a country where food is very expensive.
We returned to Sydney on time to have a 2.5 hour educational (CME-CEU) introductory session.
Thirty-two volunteers registered for the 16-hour course on “Fluids, Electrolytes, and Acid-Base”.
We had our last meal of the day at Harvest Restaurant, in Pyrmont, 20-minute away from InterContinental Sydney. It was an all-you can eat dining experience. Quality paired with abundance. It resulted in a counterproductive situation: the crowd was too sedate to go clubbing. At least, for the first time in five days, we will have the latitude to sleep 7 hours in a comfortable bed.
(Odler Robert Jeanlouie, Thursday, October 4, 2018, Sydney, Capital of New South Wales.)
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