Running 1:43:31  15.93 km (6:30 / km)
shoes: Blue Asics 2009
What a day! Got up in the morning and caught the train to Katoomba, in the middle of the Blue Mountains. Stashed my bag in a hostel and set off on foot to explore the national park. The scenery here is spectacular! I've never seen such cliffs that just plunge down into the clouds and seem to go on forever. The run itself was very wet, as it was raining or drizzling the entire time, but that probably added to the feeling of being in a rainforest. As soon as I got away from the most famous sights, the trail was virtually deserted, and the tourist throngs were left far behind. I ran along the cliff walk, down Furber steps (of which I counted 1054 on the way back up), and along Federal Pass track up to the Runied Castle stone formation. I wanted to stop and take a break at Ruined Castle, but was harassed by two birds, who started following me around and making evil noises at me. At this time I also noticed a few leeches attached to me (gross little things - really, there is no reason for these) and decided to get going. The few hikers I met on the way back all commented on the leeches in one way or another. When I was finally back at the hostel (I was out for 4 hours total, but a lot of that was stopping to take pictures or walking the un-runnable parts), I took off my shoes to discover a leech firmly attached to my foot and two more crawling around my socks. Gross. Also, impossible to flush down the toilet, so I hope they don't get to whoever uses that bathroom next...
Anyway, besides the leeches this was just an awesome place to go and explore. For the first hour or so, virtually around every corner I was stopping to marvel at the towering mountains rising up out of the clouds, the sheer cliffs dropping off into nothingness, and the waterfalls that got noticeably fuller by the time I was running back.