Thursday, 25 June 2015

Day 4 at Blue Mountains- Cathedral of Ferns to a Drive in Theater.

Much of our day was spent driving transporting ourselves from Lithgow to Kurri Kurri ( Pronounced Curry Curry).

Nevertheless, we still managed to sneak in a short visit to a little village before we drove to our next destination.
Mount Wilson is a charming village with English styled cottages and gardens. Being at a higher elevation, it is not only cooler than Sydney, but also receives high rainfall making it a region comprising of rainforest vegetation. The roads on Mount Wilson are lined with trees that makes the drive very enchanting! Walnut and Chestnut farming are the main activities on this little mountainous village.

Our purpose of the visit was not only to enjoy the drive through the countryside, but also, to visit the Cathedral of Ferns, which is a short rainforest walk. Although, this was our easiest walk, it was indeed the most beautiful of all!
Fern Fern everywhere, at the Cathedral of Ferns

Walking through a path covered with ferns, the earthy smell of the humus, the freshness of the air, the different shades of green, the tall trees, all of which kind of made us inebriated with freshness and joy!  We felt more and more rejuvenated with every step that we took into the forest. It was thrilling to stand among giant trees and look up through their canopy into the sky where the rays of the sun were struggling and battling their way through! We saw a giant tree that lay dead because of the lightning that struck it in the recent past.
Dwarfed by the Giant trees

We spent about an hour and a half or so at the place and rather unwillingly began our journey towards Kurri Kurri.

Since we decided to take the Putty Road, a rural sealed road which made for a beautiful drive as it took us through the Wollemi National Park on the left and the Yengo National Park on the right, it took us longer as compared to the route via the Great Western Highway and the Pacific Motorway. Interestingly, we also drove through some unsealed roads which were part of the Kurrajong Discovery Trail.
The Putty road

We had our lunch at one of the designated rest areas on the Putty Road. This road had only a couple of food joints. So either one would need to carry sufficient food and water or necessarily stop at the first café or restaurant cause the next one would be a long way away (distances between food joints range from 50 to 100 kms or even more).

The Putty Road finally led us to the Hunter Valley Region; an area famous for its wines the world over! The drive through this part of the countryside was one of our most beautiful drives. Driving through acres of grape vine plantations with intermittent cottages dotting the landscape made for a pretty sight. The fatigue of our long drive on Putty Road nearly vanished as we drove through the plantations, imagining the enhanced beauty of the place when the grapes are ready for harvest!
The drive was indeed refreshing and seemed relaxing even as we drove through the little town of Kurri Kurri where we booked our stay at the Kurri Motor Inn for two nights.

Driving through the picturesque Hunter Valley- Known for its wines.

The motel was conveniently located next to the town centre. We felt very welcomed by the locals here. It’s a small town comprising of about 6000 residents and yet, has all the amenities of the city; even supermarkets like Coles and Aldi had their outlets there! The board of a little store which had books as well as, gift items had a message to the effect, “If you are tired and it’s too hot outside, please do not hesitate to walk in and relax.” We spotted yet another store selling rodents along with the other usual meats!
The Kurri motor Inn

The town of Kurri Kurri indeed struck a beautiful balance between the modern and the ancient!
Inspite of our journey and a lovely walk through the town, our day was far from over. We were excited about our first drive-in theatre experience at the Heddon Greta Drive-in with a tag line, “If you don’t like the movie… Slash the seats!” They have two to three shows that run on every Friday and Saturday evening except for, on school holidays where they run the show through the week.
We went for the first movie of the evening, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We carried Don’s portable FM radio to listen to the audio of the movie on the particular FM channel on which the movie was aired.  The movie wasn’t great but it certainly was an unique experience to be sitting inside the car (the constant rain wouldn’t have it otherwise) munching on hot chips from their decently stocked café and watching the movie on a huge screen unlike the regular claustrophobic seating in the theatres with volumes that reverberate through my brain cells! Yes, blame it all on the electro sensitivity of my body!
Waiting for the movie to commence- while grey clouds amass in the skies.

It was a coincidence of sorts to watch a movie that was set in India, to be staying in a motel that was run by Indians and Del and I are Indian too, all of this, while we were in the little town of Kurri Kurri! As we left the drive-in theatre content with the day that was, our thoughts wandered about our plan for the next day since the rain finally begun playing spoil sport.

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