I said that that I would follow up with a post on part 2 of “Tripping to Blue Mountains”. Well, I’ve been busy the past few days with orientation, the student party (which was completely rad) and a BBQ lunch.
With all these activities going on, I was either busy or too damn tired to write anything.
Classes starts on tomorrow. Its something I’m not looking forward too. I do look forward to making friends but not the hassles of buying textbooks, trying to settle down in lectures and just trying to find what the hell is expected from me during my courses.
I was talking to one of my friend last night and I told him that after 3 years out of the academia, I prefer working. Why? First, you just do your job and get paid. Not so with being a student. Second, you don’t have to bring back any ‘homework’ unless you’re a workaholic. Of course, having a degree improved your chances of getting a job in the market but with the economy like this, well….
Ah, screw it.
Back to the Blue Mountains trip. Before H and I turned in for the night, we promised that we would wake up at 9:30am so that H can bring me to a popular cafe for breakfast. Well, after all the shenanigans that took place last night, we were completely tired. Furthermore, we all slept at 3am.
So it was not surprising that we both overslept. H shook me awake from my comfortable cocoon that I wrapped around myself. After groggily grumbling and rolling around in bed, I got up and enquired H about the time.
It was 11am.
Well, to be fair, H washed up and was already dressed, so it means he woke up half hour earlier. It was cold when I got out of bed, so I shivered all the way to the toilet in H’s bedroom. After taking a hot shower, changing and packing up my duffel bag, H and I were on our way to the cafe.
The cafe was on Leura’s main street, just walking distance from H’s apartment. It’s called “The Red Door Cafe”, so-called because it does has a bright fire-engine red front door. It was a very quaint little cafe, like those you find in England. Sadly, I did not take any photos.
It was crowded when we got there, so in the end, we sat by the bay windows near the front door. I didn’t mind as we could do people-watching. I was at lost at what to order when looking through the menu. Not that the menu had a lot of choices (there was only a page) but it was that all the food descriptions sounded so good. So when the friendly waitress came to take our order, I just followed H’s order.
Here’s what we order:
1) Two slices of baked baguettes.
2) Sauteed mushrooms
3) Roasted tomatoes
4) 2 sunny sunny side ups.
6) Slices of pink bacon.
We didn’t order drinks cause H was going to bring me to another cafe for mocha. When the food came, it came in BIG portions. I didn’t mind cause I was starving and it was the first time in a very long time that I had a full, oily, proper sinful western breakfast.
Gosh… the mushrooms was fantastic. It had a slight buttery taste and was crunchy and kind of melted in your mouth. The baguettes were excellent too. It was not those large sized loaves. It was slightly larger than medium size and it was damn fluffy, fresh and buttery. Same goes for the tomatoes, perfectly wrinkled skin, not too dry and not too ‘wet’. Just right, nice, warm and juicy. But top marks goes to the pink bacon. Most of the bacons I tried before at hotels during ‘western’ breakfast were either too oily or too dry. But this was the best. The bacon was soft, not too oily or crunchy, and was extremely chewy and tasty. Sure, there were fats on the bacon, but who gives a damn when you’re eating such good food?
Between scoffing food in our mouths and drinking the water provided to us, H and I just stare out at the windows, taking note of the people and just enjoying the quiet chatter in the restaurant and the bustle around Main Street. I noticed there were a lot of dogs around and H mentioned that most people keep dogs because it could get really, really boring up here.
So after demolishing our breakfast (we both didn’t manage to finish the bread), H went off to the bank to settle some stuff while I stayed behind to enjoy the view and to pay up. H gave me explicit warning not to disappear like I did last night. The story was that at the pub last night, I went to the toilet without telling H. So when H noticed that I disappeared and he spent the next 3 minutes searching the pub for me, only to realized that I was in the toilet.
While waiting for the bill, H’s housemates walked past the cafe. They saw me and mouthed out the question asking where was H. I mouthed back telling them that H was at the bank. Its a bit random, I know, this mouthing back and forth. The bill came and the price for breakfast was 44 dollars altogether. Damn….. anyway I paid up and by then H was crossing the road and walking back to the cafe.
We met up with both H’s housemates and proceeded to this shop called “The Christmas Shop”. On the way, H asked me how much was breakfast and when he learned of the price, his eyes, well, widened.
“The Christmas Shop” was a very small shop and it was very, very cosy. Every nook and cranny was filled with the most exquisite toys. I don’t mean toys as in those you see in “Toys R Us” or in departmental stores. I mean toys as in those old school and centuries ago toys. Furthermore, Christmas decorations dangled down from the ceiling. It was certainly a sight that it’s not available in Singapore.
As the shop was small and the walls were filled with selves, we could only walk and stand in single file. After H and his housemates signed some contract with the owner (a very homely woman), we left the shop and stood outside on the street while H and his two housemates started discussing about housing stuff.
H mentioned to me earlier in the morning that he was moving to a bigger place next month. So that whole discussion taking place was just that. Furthermore, it turned out that the owner of the Christmas shop was also the owner of the current apartment where H and his two housemates were staying and the other house where they were moving too. No wonder they signed a contract. I thought they were going to work there.
After the discussion, we split up and H and I proceeded to another cafe to have mocha. It was similar to the other cafe we came from previously but slightly bigger. It was filled with customers but not PACKED with people as it is so often seen in Singapore. After ordering our mochas (H’s treat!), we got a table in a corner near the window, where the sun was shining brightly (to keep us warm) and proceeded to wait.
I told H that back at our air base, we could get mocha at the canteen. H was incredulous and wondered how was that possible. It was possible, I told him, first you add half cup of milo, then you add half cup of coffee and ta-da, you get mocha! I told him that Sergeant Fong, a air force technician usually treated me to this drink.
Anyway, our mochas came and after regretting of not taking any photos of the Red-Door Cafe and the Christmas Shop, I started snapping away like crazy:
FYI, the cup is not brown, its covered in melted chocolate. So we have to scrap the chocolate off and mix it with the coffee. And look at all the bubbles at the top! It was very enjoyable slurping the mocha with H. H explained that he would come here sometimes and just have a mocha and enjoy/daydream his time here. That’s why, H said, he doesn’t really go down to Sydney because Blue Mountains is just too peaceful.
After our mocha, we made a detour to H’s apartment before taking a cab to Scenic World and the national parks. On the way there, I asked H if there was any public transport around here to which H replied not much. The only way to get around was by cab or car. We got to Scenic World in doubly quick time because the cab driver speeded his way there. (H paid for cab fare).
We headed in to pay for the entrance tickets and our ride tickets which came up to 56 dollars total. Both of us paid our share. It’s not that expensive. For 56 dollars, we can take all the rides (cableway, skyway and railway) and explore half the national park. Here’s a picture:
Not sure what the word “spawn” means.
As I was visibly excited by then, we decided to take the first route. Taking an elevator, we headed up two floors and queued in line to take the skyway. The skyway is something like a mini-bus on cable. After boarding the skyway and listening to the very hilarious tour guide: “Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls….” and his humourous description of the parks in his loud, booming voice, we all went to the busy of snapping photos. Luckily, it was not crowded so that were enough space.
H looks constipated here. He’s afraid of heights and this is his first time on the Skyway even though he been to Scenic World 5 times. I’m assuming he hasn’t been on the Cableway yet.
I blame H for taking such a horrible picture. And the epic of the day is…………
Yep, the famous rock formation called the Three Sisters.
We got off the Skyway after a 5 minutes ride. On the way, I asked H why the Blue Mountains were called Blue Mountains. With theatrical flair, H bought me to a look-out point and told me to look ahead and asked me why I saw.
I saw blue Blue Mountains.
H went on to explain that the mountains appear blue because of the light reflecting off from the vapours of the eucalypt (gum tree) leaves. Well, I think he was wrong cause I went to wiki to research it and apparently this is what wiki explained:
“… is derived from the blue tinge the range takes on when viewed from a distance. The tinge is caused by mie scattering which occurs when incoming ultraviolet radiation is scattered by particles within the atmosphere creating a blue-greyish colour to any distant objects, including mountains and clouds.”
I catch no ball. I think the explanation H provided was easier to understand, though not correct.
After walking around and taking some random pictures of gum trees like these:
There was really nothing much except for following the trail to the Katoomba Falls. Since H and I (mostly me) didn’t fancy getting our shoes wet (to have wet sock in winter is like freezing your feet), we decided to head back to the Skyway to take a ride back to the main centre.
On the glass floor on the Skyway. We’re about 230 metres above the ground. It took a bit of coaxing for H to come up and stand there. My feet is the black shoes while H is the brown shoes.
Part 3 coming up tomorrow.