Friday, January 05, 2007
Blue Mtns Christmas (4) - "Snow" and "stars"
We spent yet another morning slothing (I suppose that is what holidays are all about..).. Marc and the girls went into Katoomba to return the hired lilo (which we tried to do twice the day before). He had suggested that he, Cait and I could get up and do Wollongambe canyon (an easier one) - but the weather forecast was a tad dubious (and I think it was raining in the morning), and frankly, I didn't have the energy left with this damned cough to get psyched up for it.
On his return from the shops he said "I've got a great idea! - let's go to the Glow Worm Tunnel" Ah, nostalgia. We went there once before with a group of friends.. about 21 years ago.. and it was in fact on the weekend we 'got together'. However I am not allowed to go all mushy and nostalgic, so I'll say no more about it in those terms!
It was actually a good idea. Something 'safe' Alison could do with an injured hand, and not too long a walk to risk weather-wise. We had lunch, then as we trundled out to the car we heard an ominous rumble. Bugger... thunder. Oh well.. you never know.. storms can be a bit hit and miss. We set off.
A couple of kms down the road the rain started and we jumped at a few spectacular forks of lightning; we reached the Zig Zag Railway turnoff, and decided to keep going anyway. This particular forestry road is doable in a 2-wheel drive (and we've been along it many other times to some of the other canyons that we do..) It mostly follows the former railway line, so the gradient is pretty mild.
But then as the rain got harder, we realised it had in fact turned to hail! (Marc: "I was just thinking I didn't remember this road having white pebbles") The picture below is blurry, but it's to prove it was there. It was quite deep in parts.. hence my White Christmas analogy. The hail stones got bigger, and we tried to shelter a bit under some trees, thinking it would be a bloody pain to get hail damage just as we have acquired this 4WD that we have spent more on than any other car. They were going 'splat' on the windscreen, so we figured they were reasonably soft... and so we continued, with me muttering "I'm bloody glad we are doing this in a 4WD." It did look a bit like it had snowed. Seriously!
This was an accidental photo when I was sort of attempting to take an mpeg on Marc's camera!... hmmm.
Anyway, lucky for Marc's insistence that we continue, because by the time we got to the parking spot for the tunnel, it was dry.. And it was an easy stroll to the entrance of the tunnel.
The last time we did it we didn't have a torch! - but fumbled our way through with our hands on the wall. Marc produced a 2 x AAA torchlight out of his first aid kit, and that proved to be more than sufficient to illuminate our way as we shuffled through the tunnel.. With the light off, several times, we were treated to the magical sight of glowworms twinkling. Like stars indeed, as glow worms tend to be.
And the glow worm tunnel, as we predicted, was worth a visit. The kids enjoyed it. Pretty cool.