Steak, Rugby & Farewell Australia!
Trip Start Jan 16, 2012
26Trip End Aug 24, 2012
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Next day we drove the last little stretch down to Sydney, planning on stopping at Bondi beach a couple of days, then skipping through Sydney centre to go to melbourne, then dropping off the Jucy and going back up to Sydney to spend a few days there and catch our flight out.
Bondi beach was incredible, the busiest beach I have ever seen, and everyone there was so perfect! Everywhere you looked people were working out, either jogging the prom, surfing, swimming, there were even gyms in the parks that were free for the public and were constantly packed with people. I felt more than a little bit inadequate plodding along the prom after just having had pasta for tea! Rather than staying in Bondi the night and risking getting caught camping at the side of the road, we decided to park up at brew and tansell's flat in Sydney city centre then come back the following day
There were two routes from Sydney to Melbourne, the inland route which was around eight hours, and the coastal route which was around twelve. We were in no rush so decided to take the coastal route hoping the scenery would be worth it (although we spend the first half of our journey driving in the dark anyway!). We stopped in a rest stop on the way down and were in Melbourne the following evening. we called Andy to see if he still had somewhere for us to stay, but he couldn't meet up with us until the following day. We slept near a beach, then met Andy the next day, but it turned out he couldn't help us after all, and so we parked up next to the beach for the next couple of days
The next morning, on our last day with the camper, we decided to do the first section of the Great Ocean Road, as we had heard it was lovely scenery and there were even some wild koalas there (and we were yet to see any wild animals on the road bar road kill even though Snellers still claims he saw a "kangaroo" when driving at night down to Melbourne). We drove about two hours into the trip, stopped at a little cove, then, running low on time and petrol, made our way back.
The next day we found the Jucy rental shop and handed back our home, both having become quite attached to it and so were pretty gutted, plus it was just do convenient having everything in the car rather than having to carry around our huge backpacks. Having planned to stay in Melbourne an extra four days as we thought we had somewhere to sleep, we weren't banking on having to trek round with our bags on trying to find an inexpensive hostel. just as Snellers was getting fed up of my whining, we found an abandoned shopping trolley and dumped our stuff in that, pushing it the rest of the way to the main street
The following day we took the train (it was so weird not having transport!) into the city centre and did a bit of window shopping. I found a bookshop selling recent books for five dollars each and was literally in heaven while Snellers trooped round after me until he was finally distracted by the sports autobiography aisles. We needed to decide how we were getting back up to Sydney, and having heard a little bit about campervan relocations, did some googling and found some phone numbers to call. We had visions of the two of us chilling out in some massive Winnebago, but most places had nothing and when we eventually found a vehicle it was a 4x4 with a tent provided! The deal was to pay 5 dollars a day for us to drive it up to Sydney for them, and they also gave us a pretty generous petrol allowance as well. We picked up our truck the following day, after a wild goose chase miles outside the city to find the rental place, and were back on the road up to Sydney.
The next day we continued up to Sydney, stopping for an hour or so at a small town called Glenrowan we spotted by chance, which happened to be the site of Ned Kelly's last stand
On our final day travelling up, we detoured a few km to the blue mountains, which were definitely worth the extra drive. They are on the outskirts of a little village, where you walk to the edge of the platform and all you can see are trees, it's like a massive canyon full of trees. The drop was massive and the trees stretched as far as you could see. The blue in the name comes from the eucalyptus oil that the trees give off, which gives the air a blue tinge. It was beautiful. Towards the left of the canyon stood the three sisters, which are three similar looking rocks, for which there was a legend that they were once three sisters that were turned into stone to stop men from looking at them. We were able to take a walking track down to see the sisters up close, which involved a very steep staircase in flip flops! We got a ridiculous number of photos that day, the view was just so spectacular, I didn't want to leave it! We agreed it was Possibly the most breathtaking thing we had seen so far on the trip.
We were already pretty close to Sydney, so that night we drove a few more kilometres to the next rest stop and put up the tent one last time
In the morning we awoke to a dog obedience school going on right outside our tent on the grass, which provided us with some entertainment during breakfast. Soon after we packed our stuff into the 4x4 and made the last little drive into Sydney. After dropping the car back at the airport, we tried to get in touch with Snellers grampas cousin, an ex australian rugby league player called Keith Barnes, as he was hopefully going to meet up with us in Sydney. When Snellers got off the phone, he had managed to get us four free tickets to a rugby league game on the Sunday afternoon (for us two, brew and tansell) and had arranged to meet up with Keith a day or so after. After being so overloaded with stuff that we smashed a beer all over the station floor, we made our way to the city centre to hopefully get in touch with brew and head to their flat again. In the city we sat around for ages while no one picked up the phone, until we eventually got hold of someone and got a cab to theirs. When we arrived, a mattress had already been set up on the balcony for us, and we gratefully slept there the night. Next day we pretty much just chilled out, Snellers catching up with his mates and me making use of the wifi on tap, then went to Bondi beach with tansell while brew had to work and met Up with some other people the guys in the flat knew. On the way back from Bondi we stopped at a supermarket and picked up some boxes of goon for that night, started drinking and then ended up heading out to a few bars. We walked home and ended up getting back pretty late/early, so on the Sunday morning just chilled out watching tv until we went to the rugby game in the afternoon
On the Monday everyone had to work, so me and Snellers went for a wander over Darling Harbour, which is quite a posh area of Sydney and really beautiful to walk through, then on to the city centre where we went to a few shops and wandered right out to the circular quay where the opera house and harbour bridge are. Both were such impressive sights and it was a gorgeous day which made them look even better! We went to the contemporary art museum which was strange but interesting although Snellers was less than impressed with a box of lightbulbs or a video of a face. They did have a really good exhibit where someone had made a film compilation of time, every minute of the day came from a different movie scene and the film ran over 24 hours. We stayed about twenty minutes as we were short on time but some people seemed like they were there for the duration! We much preferred Sydney to Melbourne, there is so much more to do and see and the weather seemed better too! That evening Keith and his wife Robyn took us out for a massive steak at a local restaurant, Snellers was finally able to question the man to death about his rugby career, and they then took us on a bit of a drive around Sydney to show us some of the sights which we really enjoyed.
When we got back the guys told us that their landlord had been around wondering why there was a bed on the balcony, as the flat was only meant to sleep 8
The airport run went surprising smoothly and before we knew it we were noshing down a Maccas breakfast and boarding the flight to Christchurch to meet up with Gore and start our next adventure
After having sat through a mammoth 2.5hr blog session in the campervan ( while the boys watched 300 ) at Fox Glacier, NZ, hoping the next blog isn't as long but it more than likely will be as NZ has been non stop! Will hopefully take up some of the 12 hour plane journey to south america we have to look forward to tomorrow!
Wilso, Snellers and Gore x