Saturday, 8 July 2017

Stevie goes exploring: Katoomba

Bloody hell, it's been a while since I've written anything! I'll start with the obvious: I'm not dead. I am one hundred percent still amongst the living. I'm sure some of you have been having your doubts. So, I hear you ask, what have I been doing instead of keeping you updated on my numerous adventures? Well, I've been . . . having adventures. Which is really the subject of this post - my week in Katoomba.

Nestled up in the Blue Mountains, about two hours by train from Sydney, Katoomba's been on my radar for a while - mainly because it was the biggest dot on the map when I looked up "towns in the Blue Mountains". Now, I was of course, a little nervous to start with - I mean, isolated community up in the mountains, with relatively high separation from the rest of society? I've seen Twin Peaks, I know how this shit usually goes down.

Happily, there were no murders during my time there, but I did see a couple of ambulances - though given that Katoomba is home to the Blue Mountains medical centre, that's probably not something to be surprised about.

So what's there to do in such a tiny town? A fair bit, as it turns out.

For a starter, there's the mountains themselves. Positively riddled with walking tracks, hiking trails, and climbing routes, it's pretty hard to find yourself bored. Even a lazy fucker like me was kept entertained, spending around four hours just wandering around the pathways at Katoomba Falls.

Of course, if you're of a more pedestrian nature, there's plenty to check out - the main street is bristling with cafes and restaurants, and plenty of delightful shops - heck, even heading out more towards the suburbs you'll find something nice; I managed to track down a particularly nice chippie pretty far off the beaten track. There's a few supermarkets, a pretty good place for musical instruments, quite a few hippie shops, and a rather quirky little steampunk boardgame shop which I will most definitely try and visit again. The town also has a pretty nice cinema that seems to be straight out of 1996 - the arcade machines certainly were.

In terms of accomodation, I spent my week there at The Flying Fox, a cosy little hostel near the train station. Honestly, I cannot fault that place. Between six and nine, electronic devices aren't permitted in the common areas - but there's a small mountain of books, musical instruments, and board games, so you'll not be short of things to do; and no-one else'll be be playing with their phones either, so there'll always be someone to play with. Barbecues are regular, and the manager Ross usually makes cheap meals a few nights a week. Any kind of event imaginable is celebrated - I was woken on my second day there to be invited to join in with Canada Day celebrations, and the 4th of July came around a few days later; any excuse to party . . .

So far, Katoomba's been my favourite place to visit in Australia, and I can't wait to head back there once the summer comes. Hopefully then it won't be so bloody freezing . . .

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful view of the sun streaming in xD