One of the great things to do in Katoomba is going down from the Giant Stairway near Echo Point to the Federal Pass. This stairway, about 1000 steps, is one formidable experience one can have while in the Blue Mountains. Besides the several steps you’ll make, the challenge also lies on occasions when you reach some steep and narrow areas. However, the adventure is worth trying as it provides a marvel of spectacular and green scenery of the Blue Mountains, as one descent or ascent the stairway. It is also a good way of getting rid of those excess fats, which leads to a leaner and muscular physique; thereby, resulting to a healthier lifestyle. But be wary, as it could be a knee-wobbling and exhausting experience as well! It is best to note that anyone who wishes to try the Giant Stairway is to be amenable to a certain degree of physical preparation – that is to have a bit of warm-ups prior to the exhausting strides. Otherwise, you’ll end up longer on bed due to muscle sores and aches the following day.
The Sound, The Ecosystem and Nature’s Fury
Along the tract, the trekker is inundated with familiar and unfamiliar sounds of the woodlands. The swaying of the leaves of several trees and shrubs, the chirping tones of numerous birds, and the flowing sound of rampaging waterfalls and streams abound in the mystical wilderness. These sounds resonate and envelope the whole area, creating a repertoire of ‘jungle musicals’.
Throughout the hike, numerous rest stops provide everyone a time to reinvigorate and appreciate the flora and fauna that flourish at the foot of the Blue Mountains. This ecosystem that is both lively and vibrant is rendered as a silent witness to the vast grandiosity of the ever-changing mountain range.
On another note, the trek offers a personal insight on the destructive nature of landslides and the significance of climate change. Areas that have been devastated by raging soil erosion and wild bush fires are widely evident, pointing to nature’s wrath and fury at times. However, it also provides a subliminal inner solitude as you get to observe the clear cascading waters of several waterfalls beneath the abyss of the forest. Its water gushing its way amongst moss-covered rocks will tickle your every fine touch corpuscles through its soothing and yet freezing feel.
Without a doubt, the experience enabled the wanderer to commune silently with its environment, reliving and reminding that our existence in this world is to be its protector and caretaker. It further offers, not just a challenge to conquer, but a ‘lifetime task’ to commit to its preservation and protection. A challenge harder than the Giant Stairway to conquer that we need to embark; but its rewards are far more fulfilling.