27 May 1999


Feeding Wild Parrots

  • Daria and the sunrise over Grose Valley
  • Tobin and the sunrise
  • 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.


  • A parrot on Daria
  • Tobin feeds a parrot
  • How children reacted to the parrots
  • 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.]



    Wentworth Falls

  • On the way to Wentworth Falls
  • A view of Wentworth Falls
  • Standing at the top of the falls, looking in
  • Looking over the edge of the falls
  • Tobin in the sunshine on the trail
  • 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.


  • View of Sydney Harbour from airplane
  • 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.

    Random thoughts:

    • We debated whether the moon seems upside down in the southern hemisphere.  It looks different, at the very least.
    • People are wearing a lot of black here.  Don't know if it is because of the late fall season.
    • Daria spotted Crunchie candy bars at the station.  I hadn't had one since visiting Scotland 10 years ago, and so I bought us a couple.  They still tasted as good as I remembered them to be.
    • I really like fresh passion fruits, which were available for breakfast at the Jemby-Rinjah Lodge and other places.
    • There was a passenger on our flight who was of Aborigine descent.  I had not seen very many in Sydney.  Will there be more in Alice Springs?  And how do the Australians and the Aborigines get along?
    • We've encountered quite a variety of toilets. Some feature two flushing methods: full and half.  The toilets at the Jemby-Rinjah Lodge were "eco-toilets": compost heaps with no flushing water.  A fan kept the smell from wafting into the cabin.

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