Day 3

Jen's Account of the Day

We had an 8 AM car reservation for our trip to the Blue Mountains. It was about a 20 minute walk to the Hertz, but we made it on time. There was some discussion as to whether the car should be booked through tomorrow as originally planned or returned today. Since the rental car office closed at 5:30, we decided not to risk the possibility of getting back to town too late and decided to take the car overnight.

Matt managed to get the car out of the parking garage without hitting anything, and we set off to the mountains. Traffic was pretty miserable, but we made it before noon. I was pretty drowsy and wanted a cup of coffee. Matt went in to go get it and discovered he didnít have his wallet. After searching the car, I managed to convince him to call Hertz to see if he left it there. They apparently found it outside. Guess who gets to walk all the way the hell down there tomorrow morning?

After I bought my coffee (and hisÖand some waterÖbecause they didnít take credit cards for purchases under $10 and Matt never gave me any cash) and we scarfed down some PB&J, we set off on our hike. It was obvious pretty quickly that we were in for some exercise. The path lead straight down the side of the cliff to the bottom of the falls. My legs were pretty tired by then from trying to keep pressure off of my knees, and we hadnít even started going up yet.

The first waterfall was Victoria Falls, and there were a few more along the way. After Iceland no waterfall has ever been the same, but the valley itself was quite stunning. We hiked along the bottom of the cliff for a while and then back up to the top we went. This was not pleasant. All of us are pretty sore, but we all made it with a minimum amount of grumbling.

We staggered into the Conservation Hut sweaty and starving. I got some ice cream and mooched off the antipasto platter. The sun was off us on the patio and we all started getting pretty cold. Iím not sure if the food was really good or if it was just because we were ravenous, but we enjoyed the meal. Nick had like three hikes planned today, but even he realized that we werenít going anywhere except back to Sydney.

Navigating through downtown traffic and finding a place to park was an adventure (we eventually settled on the hotelís garage), and we all went to get cleaned up. Nick and Ashley headed to the pool, and Matt and I are lounging around while doing laundry. Dinner reservations for the tower buffet thingy are at 7, I think.

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Day 4