By going to bed so early, we woke up at 5. I had an idea to watch
the sunrise over the nearby Grose Valley, so we quickly got ready.
We hopped in the car and drove to the end of Evans Lookout Road.
The remainder of the road was under repairs, so we had to park off to the
side and walk from there. While hiking on the trail, we could see
the red clouds of dawn on the horizon through the trees. We quickened
our pace until we broke through the trees, and we came upon a scenic overview
of Grose Valley. The sky was cloudy overhead, which made it very
dark. But the sun's golden rays illuminated our side of the valley.
What a sight. We stayed until the sun rose up into the clouds, then
returned to our car.
At 8:30, we met with the other guests in the center of the cabins.
The owner was there, holding a bowl of birdseed. People grabbed handfuls
and stood with their hands extended, cupping the seed. Soon, many
wild crimson parrots converged on the area. Some swooped down and
landed on people's arms, eating out of their hands. Daria and I had
several birds land and take off from our arms. There were a variety
of parrots: one with a red body and blue wings; red body and green wings;
green head and wings. It was an incredible experience! We took
probably too many pictures of the event. [We also noticed that the
majority of the guests were American.]
We ate a continental breakfast in the lodge and watched the sun scare the
clouds away. Then we checked out and drove over to Wentworth Falls
Lookout. A trail led from the parking lot to the falls; there were
lookout points available along the way, but none offered a good view.
We finally arrived at the last lookout where we saw the full height of
the falls. The pictures we had seen earlier in the visitor's center
showed more water rushing down - they must have been taken during the rainy
season. Nevertheless, the sight was still impressive. We made
our way down onto the top of the falls. Stepping stones prevented
our feet from being soaked. After taking in the view, we headed back
to the car, noticing a few more parrots along the way.
We returned the car to Thrifty at 11 am. The driver dropped us off in Leura at a restarant he recommended: Gracie's on the Mall. We wanted lunch, but they were still selling breakfast. We compromised by ordering a croissant filled with ham and cheese. I had a mango smoothie - a milk shake that was as creamy as butter and just about as thick.
The rest of the day was uneventful. We caught the train back to
Sydney Central Station, where we reclaimed our luggage. Then we took
a taxi (whose driver was in quite a hurry) to the airport, and we flew
to Cairns with a layover in Brisbane. We ended the day by checking
in to the Flying Horseshoe Motel. We signed up for a train/skyrail
tour tomorrow of the nearby Kurundu Rain Forest.
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