Day 16 - Sydney, Lithgow, Blue Mountains

It would not be sensible to describe today's events as an unmitigated triumph.

4 kiloclicks completed in Fred's overtime period.The idea had been simple enough.  Take advantage of Fred's last day with us to do yesterday's postponed trip to the Blue Mountains.  Enjoy lots of fresh air, long walks in woods, and other healthy bucolic pleasures.  Take a ride on the Zig Zag Railway, a narrow-gauge line that winds vertiginously through the hills.  Then experience the wondrous views offered from Echo Point and the Three Sisters.

The Blue Mountains.  In the rain.  From a car.  Great, eh?The first problem was that, we having spurned the Blue Mountains the day before because of the possibility of a bit of drizzle, we arrived to find that it was absolutely pissing down.  Constantly.  By the time we got to 1000 metres up, we were in the clouds, visibility was zilch, and so the idea of taking healthy hikes through the forest lost some of its appeal.

Full steam as the Zig Zag train leaves.  Without us.Not to worry, we thought.  The Zig Zag Train has the great advantage of having a roof on it.  So that is the thing to do.  Well, sort of.  We arrived to find that the train had gone a while ago (and there wouldn't be another one for some hours) but that if we rushed, we might catch it at its station at the bottom of the hills and so do half the round trip.  Pile back into Fred, set out on mercy dash.  Sarcastic remarks from passengers about David's navigational skills turned out to be unjustified, as the anonymous and unmetalled tracks he took us along led us directly to the station.  Just in time to see the train leave without us.  So we had a (rather ordinary) beer in Lithgow instead, next to a table occupied by refugees from the Colicky Baby Convention.

The view from Echo Point in the fog.  Normally it's really amazing.  Apparently.So off to our spectacular views.  Our hopes were raised slightly by the fact that the rain was now holding off for periods of, ooh, maybe three minutes at a time.  But it turned out that the reason for this was that we were by now, for the most part, above the clouds.  So looking down on the scenery from high vantage points was, shall we say, a little fruitless.

A loud chorus of "Sod this, let's go back to Sydney" was heard across the mountains.  Still, the Thai takeaway we had that evening was pretty good....
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