Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
78Trip End Aug 16, 2010
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Where I stayed
Liz and Daves Gaff
We had arranged to descend on our good friends Liz, Dave and Lexi who had moved out there from England about two years previously. Tears managed to be controlled reasonably well and we were soon in their house near Manly on the North Shore of the city, occupying every square inch with our travelling kit which miraculously seemed to explode out upon arrival, much to Liz and Dave’s amazement
For the first few days we went to the beach and got into the Aussie way of life with some long coastal walks, a game of golf and of course eating and drinking too well. We were fed and watered till bursting with all the delights of Western food and of course great wine. We celebrated Liz’s birthday there with some of her friends at a local tapas restaurant overlooking the beach. It was quite strange to find yourself back in a social environment and with the help of some great wine we ended the night walking on the beach before grabbing a cab home.
Easter was spent at home with a BBQ and some terrific slabs of the juiciest steak ever. After being practically vegetarian for the last six months, this was taste buds on overload. Issy however still munched her lettuce only!
On Easter Monday we took a drive out west towards the Blue Mountains where we had organised to stay with Barbs and Cliff who is the mother of Julia our friends from Paris. They looked after us royally and gave us a tour of the Olympic rowing and kayaking centre in Penrith where Redgrave and Pinsett etc.won gold for Britain at the 2000 Games. Barb showed us photos as to how they had all dressed up in Aussie fancy dress outfits to go and watch the events and it was no wonder they became a focus for the commentary teams there! We then went to a lovely pub by the river which was the venue for our Parisian friends, Julia and Rohan’s wedding. I’m sure there were photos of them up in the pub lounge still! The next day we went up to the Blue Mountains and trekked down to the bottom where a trail takes you around the forest base
In the evening Aidan got his hi-tech games fix with repeated games of tennis and bowling on Cliff and Barbs Wii console. He also played Xbox with their 7 year old nephew Jordan to complete his electronic revival. While Liz and Issy learnt the ins and outs of quilting and doll house interiors from Barbs. Thanks for a wonderful stay Barbs and Cliff.
On the way back to Sydney we stopped at Featherdale Wildlife Park where we saw loads of Australian animals that you can get up close to including Koalas, Wallabies and Kangaroos.
Back at Liz and Dave’s we did some great “normal” fun things like ten pin bowling, where I let Dave off the hook as he trounced us all in the second game. We went to a Tapanyaki restaurant where we all had great fun with the chef throwing eggs, rice and bowls at us as we sat wide eyed in amazement. Ady even had an omelette machine gunned into his mouth from a distance.
Liz and Liz challenged each other at Tennis most mornings and I think Liz won but not sure which Liz! I ran and nearly killed myself on all the hills around the area but it was good to get some exercise. Also I challenged myself with mountain bike riding with Dave and have to admit to succumbing to a few walks of shame up the steep hills.
Off to Kiama, south of Sydney for a week by the beach with Liz, Dave and Lexi.