Country over Cosmo?

Congratulations Hannah!
Our September blog winner

Blue Mountains - Australian wilderness
just out the back of Sydney.
 

Hannah Davies found the wilds of the Blue Mountains, just outside of Sydney, to be an adventurous day out - but not without some need for a recovery session in Manly.

So this week I found the "adventurer within"- temporarily switching my stiletoes for hiking gear to trek into the Blue Mountains.

Awake at 6am (first time since 1989), layered up to the extent that I resembled the lovechild of Michelle McManus and the Michelin Man, more sarnies than one person would ever need for one day packed - and I'm ready for my first non-city based Aussie experience.

I have visions of "Challenge Annika" as we descend into the Grand Canyon, setting off on a four hour trek, that is apparently classed as a "hard" walk (I know, what was I thinking right? And there was me imagining a "nature trail" style stroll, like the kind you get in Welsh country parks...)

A river crossing, a crawl through a cove, and a short motivational humming of the Rocky theme tune whilst climbing many, many steps later, we reached Evans Lookout. Spectacular. Especially when accompanied by a cheese and pickle sandwich. Observation; a country walk in Wales is a timid stroll compared to an exhilarating Aussie bush trek.

Now I already felt very Bear Grylls having
faced the perils of the rainforest during the morning,
but as we boarded the vertical railway to take us down
the mountain and the theme tune from Indiana Jones
started playing (honest!),
I became Hannah Davies "danger seeker".

Upon our return to the car, realising it was only 1.30pm (most productive morning ever!) we decided to take a trip to Katoomba.

Now I already felt very Bear Grylls having faced the perils of the rainforest during the morning, but as we boarded the vertical railway to take us down the mountain and the theme tune from Indiana Jones started playing (honest!), I became Hannah Davies "danger seeker" (ie. Kate Adie crossed with Ellen MacArthur and Angelina Jolie as Tomb Raider).

It wasn't long until I was back in my more familiar habitat however- the Hollywood blockbuster (where I would star as a female Crocodile Dundee) would have to wait.

A night out in Manly was in store with a couple friends from Wales. We found ourselves in Sugar Lounge, a lovely little bar on the seafront; drank wine, met a Frenchman whose idea of flirtation was winking numerous times (didn't know whether he was attempting to catch my attention or was merely nervous twitching), and danced to a live band playing Stevie Wonder classics.

Aside from my friend managing to tumble, legs akimbo, into the band- landing in a heap at the feet of the lead singer, it was a pretty great night. Conclusion; stiletoes and dancing can be traded in for walking boots and bush adventures ONCE a month only - as awesome as the views are, one can only muster a certain amount of motivation from chanting "buns-of-steel" repeatedly whilst hiking up a mountain. Wiggling to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" whilst sipping a glass of Chardonnay however, is a purely pleasurable experience (minus the twitchy Frenchman of course...).

Quote of the week; "Don't you find possums really camp - you know, how they just mince across the power lines". According to my Welsh friend, who has recently arrived in Sydney, the possum is the most interesting of the nocturnal Australian creatures...

- Get up to 50 per cent off Blue Mountains tours and heaps of great freebies with your Visa Bureau Australian Working Holiday Visa.