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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Thursday, September 7, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 12) - Blue Mountains

Australia 2000 - Colm, Sheilagh, Sharon, Lian, Kieron and Dom
BEATIN' THE BLUES

Last Friday night we had a blast, we met up with Katrina. Brilliant night, bar hopping in North Sydney encountering the weird and the wonderful...
My fave bar was the Greenwood hotel bar, it's an old converted church glammed up, nice up to date music (for a change). We had a larf, Sharon and Katrina took on these two Mitchell Bruvver type blokes in pool, and lost! Lian and myself were mere table ornaments, we cheered and whistled.

On Saturday we were wrestling between the ideas of surfing or going to the Blue Mountains where we knew my bro and his mates were. Laziness won and the Blue Mountains it was. It is a very quiet picturesque area, reminded us all of the Alaskan town in the TV show Northern Exposure, I was waiting for Fleischmann and Maggie to come bursting out of Holly’s bar screaming at each other.



The hostel we stayed in, (maybe it was the YHA), was clean and comfortable, we were happy with it, this was helped by the fact that the guy in charge had an uncanny resemblance to Pacey from Dawson’s Creek! We met up with the guys who were mountain biking around the place (how bourgeois!!). Not for the likes of us sophisticates, we decided to take a leisurely walk and check out the local sites – an impressive mountain range called The Three Sisters and a gargantuan stairway called the Giant Steps.

On our walk there I had some sort of brain to legs neurological collapse and broke into a run!! Lian followed and Sharon, who thought I was losing it, strolled behind.

The Three Sisters was very impressive, if you’re into massive rock formations and all that. The view was unreal, stretches and stretches of open space, never seen the like. We then proceeded down the Giant Steps, I thought the name was because of the size of the steps, alas no, it is in reference to the sheer length of the walk, 2 hours of stairs winding down the side of a mountain face.



We turned back when half way down the steps, way too much cardio-vascular activity going on. Red faced and out of breath we trundled back to the hostel and expired on the couch. We watched One Fine Day, nothing like a bit of George Clooney to waken you up. Time for food, there wasn't a huuuuge amount of choice, so we got pizza in a place that looked nice and quaint from a time gone by, unfortunately the food's time had gone by and all, not good, not good at all.

Fed and watered we tripped over to meet the boys in a Copa Cabana style hotel near their hostel. The Copa Cabana place was cool (I honestly think it might have been called the Pink Flamingo or something). There was a roaring fireplace (it was sub zero temperatures outside) and we were among its only customers. Saul from Home & Away was there, remember him, Lian was dying to get her picture taken with him (the shame of it all).

Eddie, Sharon and Lian in hysterics!
One of my brother's Irish friends, Eddie, was a breath of Irish fresh air (if such a thing exists!). He was hilllllarious shooting rapid fire Dublin wit on all cylinders. Everything you said was sliced and diced and served back to you with good natured sarcasm. I hadn't laughed so much in years. Laughing was advisable, if he saw you looking bored or, heaven forbid, if you rolled your eyes to heaven, he would grab you in a headlock and mess up your barnet!  

I had a great chat with Dom that night :o)

Next, let me tell you the story of my fall down a cliff face and trip (yet again) to hospital…

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