It started innocently enough. We'd walk down to the valley floor then walk back out. You know, to see the prehistoric rainforest...some waterfalls....hopefully a marsupial and a black cockatoo. Two hours tops, and then we'd make our way (ON A BUS) to Echo Point so we could walk to the first of the Three Sisters. Well, as usual, Lindsay's plans do not pan out as they do in her cracked out mental spaces. So, after only a bit of the way down we come across ANOTHER map*, and we (fatefully) decided to follow its advice down the Furber Stairs and back up the Great Staircase....except we under-calculated the math presented in the text, and missed the part that it was a hike TO Echo Point. Eh. (This is the part where it becomes "not innocent enough").
Now the Furber steps-- no big deal. I think this was because we were going down them. There were pretty ferns and a lovely cascade with no water. We were having a lovely hike on a sunny, but not too hot day.
It was the freaking "Great Staircase" that did us in with the help of some maps placed along the route to psych us all out. Every one said we still had two more hours to go. I hate math. Luckily, I kind of like hiking. And we didn't see any snakes, which is always a blessing. So we persevered. And we started the ascent up the Great Staircase, which basically, let's be honest, is a staircase that scales a vertical cliff face. There were not many other people on the way (probably because they started with the Great Staircase (instead of the Furber Stairs) which conveniently had a warning to the wary that the journey is not for the faint at heart).
To make a four hour story short, we hiked 70 miles and walked up/ down 10,000 stairs. If you don't mind me saying: We absolutely freaking rock. We also got to Echo Point without any vehicle assistance. Booyah.
Afterwards, we went to Leura where we bought take out and beer and had a nice picnic on a bench.
Then after a lovely day we headed back to the city and made our way to see the Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks.
The moral of the story is that the Blue Mountains are pretty. You should come see them. Just beware of the Great Staircase.
* a bit of advice: never switch maps after a journey has started