Jenolan Caves Adventure Tour

For my birthday this year, my partner and I took a trip out to the Blue Mountains, with a little side trip down to Jenolan Caves. I had purchased a Groupon on a whim a few months prior that entitled us to a one night stay at Jenolan Caves House, a cave tour and buffet breakfasts. It was a bargain but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the cave tour. I had been to Jenolan Caves before, when I was a teenager and I was of the opinion that stalactites and stalagmites don’t warrant a second visit.

Fortunately for the adrenaline junkie in me, we had signed up for a caving adventure tour, The Plughole Adventure Tour to be exact. Surprise! Lucky I went into the office prior to the tour to find out if I could take my camera with me because I also found out that I was wearing the wrong footwear. My knee high leather boots were no good here, as the very helpful administrator pointed out…

“Nope, don’t wear those, they’ll get trashed. My wife has those, I know how much they cost.”

“But this is all I have with me!”

“You can do a regular tour if you like.”

“What? No! Please no.”

“Or you can see if they have any shoes you can borrow. I know they have a few pairs down there, lots of people come unprepared.”

Success was mine in the shoe lottery. I managed to borrow a very nice pair of hiking boots that were more than adequate for a couple of hours kicking around in an old cave. Now it was time to ditch our coats, head up the hill to the cave entrance and get suited up.

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I know! Sexy, right. Obviously the jumpsuit was to protect our clothes from when we were crawling around in the dirt but we also had to abseil down to the cave entrance and we needed to wear a strap around our waists in case we lost our footing and someone had to grab us quickly.

The abseil was short and sweet and once we were in the cave we were told to turn our lights on. There was nothing terribly strenuous about the tour, it was all downhill, but it did present a few little challenges along the way. Now, when I say little, I’m referring exclusively to the holes in the wall that we were expected to get through. When we stopped at the first set of holes in the wall, our lovely tour guide, Geoff pointed out that we would be going through one of them and I thought he was kidding. I was waiting for him to start laughing and show us another cheeky way around the corner. Instead, Geoff started going through this tiny little hole in the wall and I gasped. Yep, pretty sure there was an audible gasp as Geoff wriggled though a teeny tiny hole in the wall.

I stood back and watched a couple of other people tackle it before I took my turn. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy and my elation at making it through is clearly evident in the photographs snapped by Ian, cave photographer extraordinaire.

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At this point, I wasn’t entirely sure that my hips were going to clear this thing.
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Clear!! Elation, pure and simple…maybe a touch of astonishment.

From there we went on to a few more precarious descents before negotiating another particularly heinous obstacle known as the s-bend, sorry no photographic evidence of that one. We also spent a few minutes with our lights off, in complete blackness and listened to stories of the pioneers coming into these caves with only candles to light their way.

It was a fantastic tour, I had been meaning to write about it for a while, I spent the following few weeks raving about it to family, friends and basically anyone who’d listen.

Between the tour and the lovely, relaxing stay at Jenolan Caves House, I just had no choice but to feel energised and rejuvenated. A little shot of adrenaline goes a long way.

Big thank you to the daily post for prompting me to start blogging again.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur

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I’m Australian. As a result I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. On this particular occasion, we’d made a special trip to one of the national parks to visit the glorious Murrays Beach in Jervis Bay. Such a pretty spot. Crystal clear water and shiny bright white sand, the perfect spot for a quick dip on a hot summer’s day.

Alas, the Portuguese Man of War was omnipresent. Little bubbles of blue dotted across the bright white sand. The beauty of the beach blurred by the focus on the evil little stinger that ruined our day. Still, I can’t be too upset, he’s a photogenic little stinger.

The Versatile Blogger

I have been nominated for a blogging award! Yay! Thanks Irene Waters, I really appreciate the sentiment and I’m flattered that such a lovely writer acknowledged my work with a little nod of approval.

That said, I will not be accepting the award. Firstly because, on further investigation of said award, I found it to be more of a chain letter than an award. Secondly because I don’t want to be told how to accept an award and thirdly because I came across this post form one of my favourite bloggers…

An Award Free Blog

My sentiments exactly. I actually got halfway through my acceptance blog when I realised that by accepting this award, I would be burdening my fellow bloggers with a post full of instructions and guidelines. It was then that I decided to be a rebel and accept the compliment and not the “award”.

I love blogging. I do it because I enjoy sharing and reading stories with other people who enjoy sharing and reading stories. I’m not here to make money or to receive awards. I’m here to enjoy the virtual company of a world of beautiful, versatile bloggers. I love logging on with the knowledge that there are so many people from so many weird and wonderful places that just make me smile.

Thank you Irene Waters for making me smile with your nomination and thank you Michael Lai for the act of rebellion that inspired this post. I enjoy both of your blogs immensely and I hope my humble opinion hasn’t offended either one of you.

High Brow

It’s not often that I get the urge to blog about beauty tips but this week’s photo challenge, “selfie”, has inspired me to demonstrate the amazing art of eyebrow shaping. I’ll be honest, bad eyebrows make me cringe. Far too many women (and beauticians) over-pluck their brows. Ouch! Why? Over-plucked brows make you look tired, old and in some extreme cases, permanently surprised. And what’s with the eyebrow tattooing? There’s absolutely no need for that! I know they say beauty is pain but it doesn’t have to be torture!

The best piece of beauty advice I have to offer is, find yourself a great brow artist. A great brow artist is not your beautician. She is a specialist and she will probably tell you to grow your brows as much as possible before she gets her hands on them. She will then shape your brows with military precision, tint them and maybe even pencil in an imperfection or two. When I leave my brow artist, I look like I’ve had a brow lift, she’s just that good.

So, here are my selfies, with and without a surgery-free brow lift from the lovely Jazz Pampling.

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