Day 71 of our round-the-world trip.
It was obviously a Thursday. The empty parking lot says so.
We swiftly hopped out of our beat up, borrowed car and unbuckled the bub from the infant seat. Closing time was fast approaching. We spent too long at Three Sisters, but that’s because nearby Scenic World wasn’t part of our initial itinerary. The fancy name, to me, sounded like a description for an overrated park with a pricey admission ticket. And well, we didn’t intend to shell out more dibs.
Scenic Railway is the steepest cable-driven funicular railway in the world. To be honest, we didn’t take its label seriously. Originally, it was set up in the 1880s for the sole purpose of transporting mined coal. But due to the growing demand from tourists and bushwalkers, Katoomba Coal Mine eventually built the Mountain Devil scenic railway car to replace the coal skip on weekends (the carriage currently in use is a much newer model).
It seemed like just another railway. Or so we thought.
If I were to name that railway, I certainly wouldn’t attach “scenic” to it. I’ll prolly throw in the word “plunge”. Unbeknownst to us, the railway is on a 52° incline, which may seem tame only when you’re buckled to your seat. I prepped my cam to shoot Jamison Valley from another angle. Instead, I captured blurry snapshots of nothingness, accompanied by shrieks of terror.
“Bubba, hold Luna tiiiiggghttt!”, I reminded the hubby over and over. Like some broken record.
A family of four (the only other passengers on the 84-seater carriage) seated a couple of rows behind us, didn’t expect the roller coasteresque ride either. It was apparent by the way their screams drowned ours.
As soon as our ride came to a halt, we scrambled out of our seats. I gotta admit, that was an exhilarating ride. And we would have enjoyed it more had we known what to expect. With a newly developed fear of unknown rides, we strolled along the elevated boardwalk in silence. This boardwalk, which stretches to 2.4 kilometers, cuts through an ancient rainforest. And folks, this is why it’s appropriately called Scenic Walkway.
The walkway doesn’t just offer a tranquil refuge, it also introduces visitors to the valley’s flora. Here and there are bits and pieces of info about the old Katoomba Coal Mine that shut down in 1945. From small boards to life-size dioramas to light and sound shows. I must say, that’s one educational stroll.
It’s the perfect lift for a last glimpse of the Blue Mountains’ top attractions. The perfect way to cap off that beautiful autumn arvo.