. I would like to make this a more regular thing but I’m not going to make myself any promises. Finally the sun set and it was time to go to the "game", my first professional rugby game, the HSBC Waratahs vs. the Brumbies. I knew the Waratahs were the home time but didn’t know what their colours but quickly found out as soon as I got on the train to get to ANZ Stadium; light blue and dark blue. The stadium is in Olympic Park and I got a sense of what it might have been like to be here during the Olympics as I followed the herds getting off the train and walking over to the stadium. I got myself a best available seat because my budget could afford it but quickly realized once I found my seat I should have probably gotten a ticket in the cheap seats. My seat was a single seat beside an open air box which happened to be occupied by about 10 men, which at first I pegged as an opportunity but changed my mind after they pretty much complete ignored me except for one of them who offered me a sausage roll who ignored me after I declined. I know I know girls, you’re saying “why didn’t you take the sausage roll?” Simple, I didn’t want it. Anyways the whole thing was awkward as they were the only occupied box in the section and I was the only occupied seat in the section but as they got more and more free beer and food and I went and bought my beer the less awkward it became and future interactions were mutually avoided. But back to the game; the Waratahs won but not without some nail biting moments and them trailing most of the time
. This apparently was a good thing as they hadn’t been doing well as of late and this was a good indication they may be out of their slump. And they were as they also won their next game but then lost the next, putting them back at the bottom. Taking the train home was another show in itself. By the way, the train to and from the event was free which I think is fantastic and it’s clear many people take advantage of it and allow themselves to have a few bevvies at the game. Everyone was in good spirits and happy their team won and was great to watch the silliness that happens in such situations. The next day as my legs were not completely thrilled with my rash decision to run yesterday, I took it easy and went for a slow wander around the Paddy St. markets again and then made my way over to Darling Harbour to wander around there and basically just hang out for the afternoon which was what a lot of other people were doing as well as it was a gorgeous sunny day with not a cloud in the sky. Darling harbour is a mix of park and play area for the kids, restaurant upon restaurant to eat and drink up in, lots of public areas to just sit and take it all in and of course it’s also a working harbour. My timing was impeccable when I decided to cross the Pyrmont Bridge as this was the time that they open it to allow boats to come in and out.
The next day it was time to get out of the city for a visit to the Blue Mountains named for the bluish haze that settles in the area given by the fine mist of oil from the many and huge eucalyptus trees
. It was only a day tour (www.adventuretours.com.au
) and wouldn’t really give them justice but gave a sense of what the mountains have to offer. Making world heritage status in 2000, this massive region of gorges, waterfalls and gum trees is only 65kms away from Sydney so can make for a quick getaway out of the city for the city sleeker’s. I was picked up from my hostel at 7am by my guide Adam and was joined by seven others making for a small tour group which is always a good thing. Our first stop was just outside the town of Wentworth Falls were we going to do a small trek over to the falls and back. It was weird for me to wrap my head that we were on top of the mountains and our walks would be down into the gorges. My brain was working on the concept that I should be looking up at mountains especially with the name Blue Mountain National Park. Not that it really matters as our first views out into Jamison Valley and the Wentworth Falls in the distance were pretty spectacular. Adam, born and raised in the area was an excellent guide pointing out this, that and the other in terms of flora and fawn and the uses the aboriginals had for them but I would say he was a bit intense and no one really got his sense of humour which made for a few awkward moments. After our small and a tiny bit strenuous walk, especially returning back up as my legs were still feeling my run attempt, we headed for one of the Leura one of the many towns in the area, to pick up our picnic lunch from one of the café’s and have a quick stroll up and down the main street
. Then it was off again were Adam took us to a spot with a few to eat our lunch. It was a quick one at that as the weather was changing and not exactly leisurely picnic weather. Our afternoon was then spent at a place called Scenic World near the town of Katoomba. It’s a bit of a tourist trap I’d say, but relatively quiet the day we were there one of the ways to get a good view of the infamous Three Sisters rock formation. So the plan was to take the Scenic Railway which is a railway that has a 52 degree incline taking you down to the bottom of Jamison Valley. For the thrill seekers you can adjust your set to 64 degrees and for the scared y-cats, 45 degrees. I happened to be in the first seat of the car and convinced the others to be thrill seekers. In the end it was really like a slow version of a roller coaster going down a drop; not that thrilling but still an experience. Then it was a grueling hour hike to make it back to the top of the gorge, climbing up a never ending series of stairs called Furber Steps, stopping periodically to take in amazing views of the Three Sisters, and of the Katoomba Falls. We then retraced our steps dropping some folks off in Katoomba, returning our picnic stuff to the cafe in Leura and then back on the high way to join the traffic into the city. Had I’d known and had more time I probably would have liked to stay in this area for a couple more days and do some more walks, but I guess that’s something I can put on the list if I were to return. Tomorrow is an early start to the day as I’m catching a flight to Alice Springs so it was a quiet night in the hostel trying to eat up all my veggies I bought a few days ago.
After leaving my parents at the airport I made my way back into the city on the train and headed to the hostel were I thought I'd just be able to store my bag until I was allowed to check-in. Thankfully though they checked me in straight away and being that it was before 8 o’clock in the morning, I enjoyed a solid two hour nap waking up around the time Mom and Dad were taking off to fly back home to Toronto. This time I was staying by the central train station so had a new area of the city to explore and decided to walk down George St, the main shopping drag to pick up my ticket for the rugby game and also visited the Paddy St markets nearby Chinatown were I picked up a bunch of veggies to make salad for the next few days. Then still having pretty much the whole day ahead of me I decided to go for a run and see what would happen since I haven’t been for a run for close to a year. Well it wasn’t that bad and managed to keep going for about 30 minutes although my legs didn’t enjoy the experience over the next few days