Hydro Bygone Bryants

The Waldorf has been very good for our short visit to the mountains but all things must pass, including accommodation so, this morning, we packed up, checked out and hit the road…though not for very long. We stopped at Sublime Point to relive one of the places we used to visit when we lived in Katoomba. In fact, in those days when the BMTC actually liked dogs, we would take Alice and Brad with us.

Not that there was a lot to see once we reached the lookout point.

Low clouds there may have been but it was still extraordinary and…well, sublime, really. While we stood and admired the result of a lot of water erosion, we thought we heard a herd of goats approaching. Turns out it was a couple of abseilers out for a bit of photography. The noise of the goat herd had been their carabiners clanking. They no sooner took a load of photos than they went off again, presumably to fall down the side of a cliff somewhere.

There was also a couple of wild teenagers who, upon spotting the clouds in the valley yelled out (five times) “It looks like heaven!” though I’m not sure how they know. Possibly they were guessing. If heaven is just a valley full of clouds then the landing is not going to be too pleasant.

Anyway, we returned to the car and set off for Bygone Beauties. This is a teapot museum and tea shop run by a chap who we knew back when we ran the Blue Mountains Theatre Company. His name is Maurice and he told us all about his being awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his local work in the mountains.

Maurice also told us about the Sad Fate of DH, a designer we worked with as well. It seems he lost a whole load of props and costumes to a fire once (with no insurance) and Maurice organised a charity event which saw $10,000 being donated. Then, when DH was working with TAFE kids to teach them to perform and not waste their lives with drugs and egg poaching, he had a breakdown.

The breakdown was apparently because the TAFE people gave his job to a relative. However, we’ve worked with him and know how he handles any kind of situation that sees people criticise him and figure the story may have been more like TAFE wanted rid of him because he was a pain. We’ll probably never know.

The breakdown made him divorce his wife and move to Melbourne without her and his two sons. It’s all a bit sad yet possibly deserved. But enough of that…

More interesting was Maurice’s OAM. He was surprised that it was for his work in the mountains when he’d gone to Darwin for nine days following Cyclone Tracey, something he felt was far more deserving…but no-one wanted to know about that.

The biggest collection of teapots

After a coffee/tea we explored the beautifully eccentric Teapot Museum before bidding Maurice (and Lily) goodbye and heading to the Everglades.

The Everglades was a venue that we almost performed at but never did and I can’t remember why. If only I’d kept a blog back then…

The Everglades is also a wonderful garden and art deco house around which it’s always a pleasure to wander. We figured we’d have lunch there but, unfortunately, the tearoom was only serving cakes and the sort of general carb-ish food only fit for the NCD. We decided to lunch elsewhere.

And so to the Hydro Majestic we drove.

Like the Carrington, this was never open when we lived in Katoomba. We would often drive by it at Medlo Bath and shake our heads as it grew steadily more and more decrepit. Well, Bob told us it re-opened in 2015 so we just had to pay it a visit. And what a great idea that was.

The hotel and restaurant are both operating as is something called the Hydro Majestic Pavilion but what drew us in was the Boiler Room which has an amazing view just outside the doors.

Lunchtime view – perfect

It was so amazing that the diners can’t help but stand up, shield their eyes with their hats and snap away at their husband returning from the edge.

Mirinda being a dag at the Boiler Room

Lunch was delicious and great fun with the resident dog for company. Billie had a big tag around his neck which plainly stated we were not to feed him. Mirinda fed him. This was very naughty so we left as quickly as we could…after eating.

It was then off to Cranebrook to visit with Gail and Glenn and Auntie Mollie. It was a sort of reciprocal visit after they visited us last year.

We had a jolly good laugh, drank a few drinks and generally had a great couple of hours. Sadly we couldn’t stay for dinner as we’d already promised Bob we’d spend our last night in NSW with him. Still, it was an excellent visit and next time we’ve promised we’ll stay for tea.

And so, eventually, we ended up at Dural having had a very successful, though short, trip to the mountains.

Tomorrow we go to Queensland.

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