Worra lorra people!!!

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 23, 2013

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Where I stayed
Helen and Dan's gaff

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Well, I landed in Sydney at 0830 on the fifth of February and Helen was there at the airport to meet me.

I've spent a month in New Zealand and I reckon that on the trip from the airport to Helen's flat, I've seen more people than I saw in that entire four weeks!  And when we dropped down into the city, there were even more!

But at least the sun's shining.....

Thanks to everyone who's sent me birthday wishes.  Very much appreciated. 

I've had gifts off Helen (and Dan) and Steve which will be reported in due course to you all.  (My present from Neil was a kindle which I shall not be reviewing - you can read Stephen Fry for your geek reviews!)

My gift from Helen and Dan was a Sydney Bridgewalk which I did today and which was fantastic.  Will report on that when I have purchased the photos. 

And Steve has bought all three of us what he tells us is the No.1 tourist attraction on Trip Advisor in Australia with 331 "excellents" and 1 "poor" (from someone who didn't like the mini-bus) out of 339 reviews.  A wine tasting trip to the Hunter Valley with Jason.  Helen spoke to Jase, as we now like to know him, this morning and he already feels like a real good buddy!  He's picking us up from the flat (which he doesn't normally do but is doing because he liked Steve (!?!?!?)) tomorrow morning at 6.30am.  Should be p***ed by about 9.30, I reckon!!

Anyway, that's it for now.  Helen has purchased bucket loads of internet so should be able to get some photos on soon (thanks H!!).

We're in Sydney for a week or so while Dan finishes work so I'm intending to "top up" this entry as we go along. Keep looking at this entry until we move Northwards on 14 Feb.

As I said before, I was met by Helen and then shipped down into town where I did the "must do" while in town, the BridgeWalk. It's a three and a half hour job of which probably an hour is safety briefings, breath tests, kitting out and working out how not to trip over the lanyards. But when you get out onto the bridge itself, the views are fantastic. Classical views over the harbour towards the opera house and elsewhere. Just like you see on the tv. It's a gentle stroll, not at all challenging, with loads of stops for photos, sadly none of which you can take yourself as you can't take cameras or anything else on the walk. So I'm still trying to access the photos taken by our walk leader and if I crack it, I'll add some later.

The following day, Helen and I walked from Coogee, where their flat is, to Bondi. It's a coastal walk of about 5km, I guess, which appears in the top ten on Trip Advisor. It's a true coastal walk and we could have stopped and swam at any one of four or five bays. As it was, we had one dip en route and then chose to expose our fine physiques amongst the rest of the talent on Bondi....

It really is a non stop start to my stay here. The next day was the Hunter Valley wine tour which you can read about elsewhere.

Dan particularly, and Helen as well, have been waiting for my arrival to try one of their local restaurants, a Brazilian style all you can eat meat restaurant. I reckon it was worth the wait. 50 minutes solid eating meat. Lots of meat! They never stopped bringing round skewers and plates of beef, lamb, pork and chicken, all cooked differently and beautiful. The guy bringing the salad round didn't seem to be able to shift his wares though.... Talk about being stuffed!

On Saturday (9th Feb), after a trip up "The Lookout" (one of the piers which form part of the Harbour Bridge, which Helen and Dan hadn't done), we headed on the ferry to Manley.  Unfortunately, we chose a Saturday when most everyone in Sydney opted to head across the bay on the ferry and we also chose a day when the sun wasn't at it's most visible!  The result was that none of us were as impressed with Manley as we thought we might be.  Perhaps we might get a chance to do it again before we leave the area....

Jason (he of the Wine Tasting trip) recommended us his favourite walk in Sydney and we did it on Sunday. Five of us, myself, Helen and Dan and their flatmates Chloe and Lucy, headed from Watson's Bay on the Tasman Sea just South of the harbour entrance all the way round to Rose Bay, perhaps half way to Sydney CBD from the harbour entrance.  It was a good four hour walk with lovely coastal and harbour views. The young ones are all close to sleep now (at 9.50pm) while I do my duty with the reporting....

It's now Wednesday 12 February and today we're clearing out Helen's house ready to ship out tomorrow. Nothing much to write about so I'll just ramble on for a bit.....

Goons! What a fantastic concept. Mine is prepared and ready for the journey. Good luck if you choose to Google it.

The National Parks website in Australia. It's awful! Any website designers out there - make contact with them, they can use some help. Not only is it the slowest website in the world, it also uses the most appalling map system - use Google maps guys, it will be far better!! - and, when you find what you want, the information's wrong! We headed off for a walk in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, yesterday. We were promised stunning coastal views - wrong, we got one and only one. We were promised a five hour trek - we did it in two and a half. And we were directed to the car park that wasn't where they said it was. Having said all that, we had a good walk....

I thought the Australian summers were meant to be hot and sunny?!?!? This is turning out to be a bit like the New Zealand weather at the moment...

Great pancakes last night. Thanks Helen and Lucy...
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Becks on

Wow! If this is what a parent can expect when their children reach income-earning age, I may reconsider Alex's adoption application...A very Happy Birthday by the sounds, and I cannot wait to see some photos of the bridge walk - did you need your rooftop safety certificate?! Raise a glass in our general direction, Mr Jones...X

cotysmore on

By the time the BridgeWalk team had finished with me Becks, there's no way I could have tripped, fallen, dropped anything or caused any other sort of height related problem! In short, no my rooftop training gave me no advantages whatever!

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