. The Blue Mountains were really cool, there were tons of birds around. Some parrots and cockatoos and some other birds that made monkey noises. We went for a couple of great hikes around the area. We saw the rock formation "The Three Sisters" and some really beautiful waterfalls. Then got harassed by a religious nutjob for about an hour, who wouldn't let us leave the lookout area without hearing his views on life. Luckily we made it away from him just before we starved to death. We hiked back to camp, ate, and went to sleep for many, many hours. 48 hours awake with several miles of hiking = a very, very good night sleep, even with crazy monkey-birds Cooing at each other all night long. The next day we got up and drove about 5 hours to Port Macquarie, I felt much more confident about my driving after a good night of sleep. I am glad, because we are driving all the way to Cairns, which is the equivalent of driving from San Diego to the Canadian border, possibly more.
After a 9.5 hour flight from Bangkok, we arrived in Sydney, Australia. Neither of us got any sleep on the flight, because the entire 9.5 hours were very turbulent. Luckily, Thai Airlines is the best airline either of us had ever been on, so it could have been worse. We flew overnight arriving in Sydney first thing in the morning. We went straight over to pick up our Wicked Campervan and got on the road before 10 am headed for the Blue Mountains. I have never driven a car where the steering wheel is on the right side of the car or in a country where people drive on the left side of the road, so it was a very nerve-racking first couple of hours. Oh, and to top it all off, they gave us a 5-speed manual transmission after getting no sleep for over 24 hours. The Wicked van was not what we had expected either. I guess us Americans assume that if you pay $85 a day we might get more than a 1990's VW with a couple blankets. It does have one redeeming quality....Purple Haze is painted on the side with a picture of Jimi Hendrix smokin a doob. Probably not the best thing for the cops but we do get lots of stares driving down the highway