It was decided that we needed a weekend away. Together. The three of us. As opposed to us all doing our separate thing. Our beloved 4WD is off the road at the moment, having a heart transplant, so the whole outback adventure thing seemed out of reach. As a child, my parents once took me to Jenolan Caves, and I vaguely remembered it being a nice spot. We haven’t visited that region as a family, so off we trotted.
Saturday morning dawned wet and miserable- perfect weather for driving nearly 300km. We decided to take the scenic route, so naturally, instead of taking 3 hours, it took closer to 5. By the time we arrived, we were a bit manic. The guesthouse was undergoing renovations (naturally), so there was some confusion as to where we were meant to park/check in. Darren parked where he could, and I hiked 500m down a vertical incline in the
sleet drizzle, to see if I could get my bearings.
It was all good. Yes, we were in the right place. Yes, we did have a reservation. Where did sir park? Up the 500m vertical incline? Perhaps sir would like to bring the car round to unload the luggage? So, back up the 500m vertical incline we hiked. Undaunted, and determined to enjoy this, our first break for 2008, we carried our
shitload of belongings inside. It was agreed that Mollie and I would act as pack horses, whilst Darren returned the vehicle to its parking spot and revisited the hike. This seemed fair.
Until we realised that the lift was out of order and we were on the third floor.
After allowing a few moments to calm down, we decided perhaps an alcoholic beverage would be in order. Fortunately, we came prepared. Have esky, will travel. Unfortunately, there was no bar fridge in the room. We
guzzled what we could had a couple of refreshing, rejuvenating bevvies, then ventured outside for a walk.
The scenery was amazing. It was eerily silent. Just on dusk, the tourists were leaving and the overnight guests were settling in by the fire. We had the place to ourself, and it was….hard to describe. It was like we were the only people on earth. The only sounds were from the waterfall and the slight drizzle. We walked towards the magnificent archway that dwarfed us, heads thrown back, looking up, mouths hanging open in awe. It was so worth the trip and all the hassles.
Here are a few glimpses of our first few moments.
The time of day made it difficult to capture what we were after with our camera. I’ll say here that any photos that Mollie is not appearing in have been taken by her. In my opinion, she has quite a good eye!
The next morning, we set off to book our tour. We chose the Imperial Cave. It was absolutely awe-inspiring. Here are a few of the more spectacular shots the kid captured.
She took hundreds, and they are fascinating to us, but probably not to anyone else!
The rest of our time was spent poking around in the bush, climbing up and down stairs, and straining our necks as we looked up and around at the different formations.
Did I mention the food? Always of particular interest to me. Dinner was served in the formal dining room of the guesthouse. Lah-di-dah! There were real, linen tablecloths and napkins! No Pizza Hut for us, no sir-ree! The first night I dined on Atlantic salmon. Very nice. Darren enjoyed a chicken breast stuffed with some kind of sundried tomato/cream cheese concoction, wrapped in prosciutto and served on mashed potato. The kid selected from the kids buffet: nothing much to report there! The second night, I went the chook, and Daz had the soup, followed by the spinach ravioli. All lipsmackingly good, and not one bit of room for dessert Naturally, the alcohol flowed quite freely and a good time was had by all.
After dinner on the second night, we decided to go for a bushwalk in the dark. Despite the fact that all the paths are well lit and signposted, we were the only buggers out and about. I can’t understand it: it was a fantastic time to have a look around. We walked through the spine-chillingly named Devil’s Coachhouse, and took a seat. We gazed in fascination at the many and varied formations. We sang, yip-yapped and yahooed to hear our echoes, and generally acted like a bunch of gooses! We headed off around the aptly named Blue Lake, where we enjoyed a close encounter with a foraging wombat. He’s either never been disturbed before, or is disturbed so often that he doesn’t care! He glanced briefly at us and continued going about his business. We must have watched him for 15 minutes!
It was a really pleasant way to spend a couple of days. Due to the location, we had no mobile reception. There were no televisions. We walked, we chatted, we sat by the fire reading our books. After the kid went to bed, Daz and I sat and talked our hearts out. I think we had more conversation this weekend than we’ve had in the past 3 months! We thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was totally worthwhile.
To finish off, here are a few more photos. I’m sure the kid will put some on her blog as well. Eventually. When I let her get near the ‘puter! Happy days!