High Tea and Horses

This weekend was full of fantastic activities in the Blue Mountains.  Mark and I woke up early on Saturday, found some good CDs and drove to Katoomba.  There we met Mum and Barry (who had found themselves the most prestigious disabled parking spot ever!) and checked out the three sisters amongst some low cloud before heading the the beautiful Lillianfels.

Three-tiered goodies at Lillianfells
Three-tiered goodies at Lillianfels

Mum and Barry very generously took us to this lovely old hotel where we started the morning with a glass of French champagne.  Part of me was hoping I wouldn’t like French champagne and that my taste buds would be happy with $4 moscato from Aldi… alas, this is not the case.  Unfortunately I like expensive wine, something not great for my wallet.  After savouring the bubbly, we stared on two three-tiered cake stands decked-out with goodies.  We started from the bottom up; sandwiches and bagels, scones with jam and cream and finally myriad little desserts.  The desserts were fantastic, mini lemon-meringue pies, raspberry concoctions in chocolate cups, mango-vanilla mousse and profiteroles.

Mum and Barry enjoying High Tea So much food! Lemongrass tea Sandwiches, scones and desserts!

I was the only one to eat my entire share of the High Tea.  I like to get value out of things, so if someone takes my out for an expensive treat, I’m going to get the most out of it.  I think the others were more sensible though, because when I tried to stand up at the end of our meal I was rather weighed down with fancy food in my belly.

I am the only one who ate it all
Mark and I did well, I ate my half of everything and he left one sandwich. It was quite an effort – a delicious effort!

After our lovely time at Lillianfels we said goodbye to Mum and Barry and took a walk down to the three sisters.

Enjoying the three-sisters

I feel like there must be a fantastic international advertising campaign for Blue Mountains tourism as the place was chock-full of people from all over the world.  Mark and I decided to take a walk down the stairs to the three sisters, and we encountered a traffic jam of people!  Clearly lots of people agree that Katoomba is a beautiful spot.

SUper-crowded blue mountains Very crowded stairs at Katoomba Gum tree Mark on a bridge Beautiful view Tourist pose

We looked out at the beautiful scenery and had some fun listening to different languages and watching how people from different countries navigate traffic (staying to the left is not a popular way!).  As we were trekking back up to the car it started to rain.

This is why they are called the blue mountains
This is why they are called the blue mountains

It was not a long drive to Blackheath, where we were camping.  The rain came and went and by the time we got to our campsite it had slowed considerably.  We were able to get the tent up quickly and then walk (umbrellas in hand) into the town.

Our campground at Blackheath Glen Caravan Park
Our campground at Blackheath Glen Caravan Park

Blackheath is a lovely little place full of art galleries, antique shops and knick-knacks.  We went inside a doll-house store where it looked like some magic had shrunk everything from people to frogs.  I would have loved to buy a tiny little glass deer, but I have found that these things take up space and living in a small apartment, we don’t have much of that to spare.

Doll house Outside the antiques shop at Blackheath

Huge antique store at Blackheath

Dinner was a delicious pumpkin pizza in a little take-away joint while playing a game of word yahtzee that hadn’t been touched for years and then huddled in a cafe with a cappuccino and chai respectively to avoid going out into the rain and to our tent.  Our tent was dry, but we didn’t really have a torch (just phone) and our cheap foam mats did nothing to soften the hard ground.  Fortunately Mark’s Mum had bought us fantastic sleeping bags for Christmas, so we weren’t at all cold.  The morning approached slowly and we woke with creaky legs and sore backs.  The good thing about camping for one night is that there is the promise of your own bed the very next day!
We set off early to our next activity – horseriding and a private picnic at the Megalong Valley Farm.  Mark had bought it for me from Redballoon for Christmas, and I have been very excited about it!  The drive to Megalong was mainly though a beautiful rainforest and then through farms.  We stopped at a Megalong tea room and were convinced by the owner to have tea and scones.  Apparently people from Devon in England had been there recently and said the scones were the best they’d ever had.  The scones were good, but the view was better.

Gorgeous tearooms at Megalong Smiley What view over tea and scones Devonshire tea Me and devonshire tea

Full again, we headed on to the farm where we would meet out horses.

Mark rode Brew and I rode Smokey through gum trees along tracks that looked out onto orange and blue cliffs.  Our horses were very friendly.  Smokey was super-responsive, like an expensive car.  I suggested left and left we went.  It was a great experience.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Our ride was followed by a private picnic on the farm.  What we thought was apple juice turned out to be wine and we had the freshest tasting grapes I’ve ever had.  There were grape vines on the farm so it is very likely there were very fresh.

Saddle-sore and full we began the journey home after a great weekend.  We didn’t not take the most direct route however.  We stopped for two bushwalks and at an apple orchard on the way.

Pitt stop at Mermaids Cave

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My gorgeous Rav looking very ad-like on the rocks
My gorgeous Rav looking very ad-like on the rocks

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After an epic weekend we swung by Tropfest (being broadcast in the Botanic Gardens at the end of our street).  To top off the weekend, my favourite film “We’ve all Been There” won.

Tropfest crowd

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