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18 February 2022

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Monday

...morning started with two Trusted Travel guides meeting two old friends who had worked together for many years before finally getting away on a holiday together. After bus pickups near Campbelltown and in Parramatta, we arrived in the Blue Mountains later that afternoon, an emerging group of six new friends.

We settled in and started unpacking into our cabins and were excited to know we were only a few hundred meters away from Scenic World and only about 1km from the Three Sisters.

After unloading our gear we went out to get some supplies for our cabin and had our first dinner together at the awesome Katoomba RSL. After a fabulous feed, great conversation and fun, by the end of it we knew not only would we be great friends, but this would be a trip to remember!

Tuesday

...was a big day. After an energy-supplying breakfast we went headfirst into the action at the gravity defying, indoor skydiving, iFly at Penrith. Not one for the fainthearted many of our group braved the skydiving tube and we were all in awe when one of our group fearlessly launched straight from his wheelchair and flew round the tube for the first time but looked like he'd been doing it for years!

We needed to catch our breath and refuel, the perfect place was right next door at the enormous and fabulous Panthers Club. So many meals to choose from that left everyone satisfied.

Re-invigorated, we set off to our next adventure, exploring the incredible machines and informative displays at the Museum of Fire! It's always a great day there exploring and learning, and with all the old fire trucks, uniforms, hoses and steel helmets it also felt a little bit like a set on an old steampunk movie!

Exhausted, we returned to our cabins and ate a barbeque dinner before calling it a night.

Wednesday

We woke up on Wednesday and started visiting some of the many lookouts and trails nearby, getting photos of waterfalls, bridges, cliffs and each other. After warming up our hiking and camera skills, we were ready to go to one of the most scenic views in Australia, the Three Sisters.

The Three Sisters never disappoints and with some in our group that really enjoy their photography we had enormous fun and got some incredible shots while we were there.

After exploring the shops and buying a bunch of souvenirs we went to one of the local Katoomba pie shops for lunch and enjoyed their homemade goodness.

While we took some time to relax at our cabins we discovered that a lot of our group loved to sing, and we enjoyed some time singing some classic songs together. We then headed back to the Three Sisters for more incredible shots at sunset, an absolute highlight for one of our mad keen photographers. While the rest of the group weren't as mad keen on photography, they used the opportunity to create some hilarious music videos with the Three Sisters as backdrop. John Denver and Country Road have never been sung quite the same way before, and likely never will be again!

Our final part of a great day was to enjoy some local Chinese food. Everyone selected different dishes but we all found the food henhao chi! Chinese for delicious or very good eat!

Thursday

...was another big highlight of the trip, just around the corner at Scenic World!

Scenic world showcases exciting rides like the iconic Skyway which flies high over the massive Katoomba waterfalls, and to add to the excitement features a glass floor you can stand on if you are brave enough! If that's not enough you also have the Cableway, another high in the sky adventure that is also the steepest aerial cable car in the southern hemisphere! To cap off the rides you also have the worlds steepest railway, a 310 meter journey down a cliff and through a cliff tunnel at a 128% incline! If you don't know how steep that is all we can say is the word steep isn't good enough to explain how steep it really is. So from now on we think it should be called arduous, precipitous or sheer... if you don't know what those words mean it means really, really, really hold-your-hat-on steep!

Best of all, you can go on any of the rides as many times as you like, as some of our group know very, very well.

But that's not all! Scenic World is owned by a local Australian family that love dinosaurs. They love dinosaurs so much, there are dozens and dozens of them spread around scenic world, they are in the gift shops, they are above the railway, they are all around the walkways where you see them and learn all about them, and they make noises all over the place. It's great fun!

Scenic world is also a great place to have lunch with many choices on offer so that's exactly what we did.

We went back to our cabins late afternoon to catch our breath, and after relaxing for a bit were ready for some more action.

A few of our guys thought they were pretty good shots, so everyone was keen when we went to a nearby oval to have an archery competition. We played a variety of games for accuracy and distance and it was no surprise our wheelchair friend with great arm strength shot way further than anyone else. Our two old friends showed how accurate and competitive they are by both getting bulls eyes, and our other friend was the best all rounder. We played until nearly dark.

Another exhausting day so a home dinner and then bed.

Friday

...was our final day so it was both exciting and a bit disappointing our adventure would soon be over. One of our two old friends had told us he really wanted to go swimming, as he hadn't been swimming for years. As Trusted Travel of course we made this happen, and visited the local aquatic center where he and his old friend had a great time. Our other two friends didn't feel like a swim so while the other two were at the aquatic centre we explored the local area.

To our surprise, we found Katoomba has a deep and rich cultural history, and went on a local walk to find out all about the local Gundungarra people. We also found a lake full of friendly ducks, and that the walk was based around a disused car racetrack called Catalina Park. It's possibly true our wheelchair friend recorded the fastest time around the track this year as the race track was only open from 1961 to 2001 but to be honest we aren't really convinced.

We met up after our swim and walk and had lunch at the not to be missed Gingerbread house in Katoomba, set in a restored 100-year-old church. We all loved it.

Sadly that was our last event, and it was time to head home, but we can't wait till next time!

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