I've had enough. Enough of people, noise, crowds, lonliness, smells. I've had enough. I need a break. So I went away for a weekend. Hightailed it to the mountains.
Straight after work on Friday (yes, I had to work new years day) I headed out to the mountains. I stopped at Katoomba for lunch. Well, I tried to anyway. The place I stopped at had none of the staff turn up, and they were only doing breakfast. After a 25 minute wait for service, I left and stopped further up the road, at Mount Victoria, then headed further afield to my stay at Hampton.
I arrived around 3pm, settled in to read magazines and call people. The room wasn't much. But for $50 a night, it was better than I expected. 2 beds , a bar fridge, a TV, a kettle, a shower and a toilet. And only a very few cockroaches. I picked the bed that was about 2 inches higher, and up against the window. It was like sleeping on a wooden board, and I didn't realise until the morning that I left that the other was softer. Still, it was quiet, and the bed was up against the window, so sleeping was ok.
I spent about an hour on the phone, calling family. Just for a chat. Made myself a coffee and just chilled out.
I went up to the bar for dinner that first night. Selected the seafood basket, with salad instead of chips. I got deep fried calamari rings, a battered and fried crab stick, crumbed and fried prawn cocktails, and fish nuggets (that resembled peni)... you guessed it, Fried. And the salad was simply chopped up iceberg lettuce, toomato and cucumber. Ah well, country food.
I did strike up a conversation with some of the locals, and got some good pointers on places to go to get photos. Which led to this particular beauty the next day.
I spent the night watching TV and doping puzzles in magazines. I had nothing to do, so I did a full body moisturise after my shower. I never do that! I never have the time. And I did face moisturising both morning and night too. Something else I never get to do.
The next day (Saturday) I headed out to the Jenolan Caves. I love this place, but think I've had enough of it to last me a while. I parked up on the furthest car park and went for a walk up the mountain. 5 steps in and I'm huffing and puffing. But I quickly warmed up, and it was so worth it.
Then had to trek all the way back down. Halfway, I got distracted, and went up these.
Which, as it turned out, led over the great gaping maw you saw earlier. You can see the lookout where the photo was taken in this?
Can't see it? Here's a zoomed shot...
Half an hour later I arrived at the bottom of the trek. Sweaty and puffing. Headed into the ticket office and went to purchase my passes for the cave tours. Only to be told that the tour I really, really wanted to do was sold out. *sigh* So I decided to head out to Oberon at the end of the day instead.
This in mind, I did 2 tours of some rather stunning caves, a little bushwalking, had a sandwich, and just chilled out. trust me when I say, this was difficult to limit myself to puttin up just 5 photos here. If you want to check out more, they're on farcebook.
I jumped in the car mid-afternoon and headed out in the direction (I prayed) of Oberon. And, my what a hick town that was. I love country people. Headed to a cafe for a cappuccino in a chipped mug. Did some more puzzles. Went for a wander up the main street, and back down. Went into both supermarkets, bought some chocolate. Walked up the main street, and back down again. Checked out the menu's at the pub and the pizza joint. Walked up the main street, and back down again. Rang my sister. Got her to google restaurants in Oberon, and discovered that the RSL was a little further down the road. The menu there was much better. I ended up picking the lamb cutlets with tomato and onion gravy and seasonal vegetables.
What I got was 2 lamb cutlets, crumbed and deep fried, with a random rasher of bacon draped across them, dropped on top of bacon/cheese mashed potato, and smothered in gravy. The vegetables were peas, carrot and cauliflower, with the tiniest spoonful of gluggy cheese sauce. With a little effort, that could have been an awesome meal! What is it with country people and their need to deep fry shit?
That night I headed back to the motel, settled in with my magazine and watched tv.
Next morning was check out time. Packed my shit, said goodbye to the guys at the hotel, and hit the road. Normally a 2 and a half hour drive, I took 5 and a half to get home. I stopped everywhere I'd ever wanted to. Every place I'd ever gone 'that could be interesting' but kept going past, this time I stopped.
I visited several historic sights, went to a few lookouts of the mountains, had coffee and cake at Katoomba and stopped for lunch at Hazelbrook. At each stop I pulled out my magazine and sat there for at least half an hour after I'd finished eating. On my trawl through Katoomba, I managed to get some really nice shots of the gardens in the rain.
It was lovely, but altogether too short. Now I'm tired, and my soul hurts again.