The last hoorah

Trip Start Mar 15, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2011

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Where I stayed
Chateau Jo

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, May 28, 2011

Returning from the land of crocodiles, we were to spend the weekend and a little more back in Sydney before saying goodbye and heading to New Zealand. It was effectively set to be a fair bit of organising, packing and farewelling friends and family. Pulling in on a Friday afternoon, we started to assess the small mountain of belongings we'd managed to gather in the last couple of months… and then thought it better to tackle that mountain in the morning.  And so after bouncing a few ideas around we set off for funky Surry Hills to check out the newly opened Winery by Gazebo.  It was rather cool.  After a happy wait in the heaving wine bar, and sampling one of the many bottles on show we tucked into a late dinner of tapas and awesome people watching.

Saturday we tackled reality, as must be done when you’ve got 20 bottles of wine, a gong, a stack of artwork, kaftans….and the list goes on.  So not much to say here except a good few hours of arranging and re-arranging the suitcases to fit everything in!  Luckily with our round-the-world ticket we could check in two bags each, and as long as the total weight of 92kg collectively we were set to be fine.  At our final weigh in, we had about 90kg across the four bags. Awesome!

That evening was to be the first of a few farewells, a grand Saturday night out with our Sydney buddies at our adopted local of the AB Hotel in Glebe. Such fantastic friends, and a fantastic time.  Thanks to everyone who came!!  Sunday we headed out west to the Log Cabin in Penrith, just below the Blue Mountains, for a grand family lunch very kindly organised by Erin’s parents.  It was a terrific family catch up with the clan coming in from all over Sydney and beyond for a delicious Sunday lunch, followed by some very nice speeches and presents (lots of lovely kangaroo products!) – suffice to say, we were rather spoilt!  Again, thank you to all, it was a great occasion!

We returned the mighty Colt to Erin’s parents in the process, and then headed off late evening back to Sydney to see just how much food we could eat in one day!  Ever the brilliant hostess Jo and our great buddy Mel had thrown on a roast lamb with all the trimmings, and so we capped it off with an excellent night in, tucking into more food and some more Barossa wine, watching Masterchef and enjoying the brilliant company!

Monday was to be our last full day in Sydney, and it was a wet one!  So luckily we had some excellent indoor activities up our sleeves.  Erin’s parents headed into the city from Penrith and we met up for a delicious Italian lunch in the rocks, laughing at people trying to cope with the sheets of rain falling outside!  Our main point of the day was to head up to the Museum of Sydney to check out a really interesting exhibition up there on the imprisonment of German nationals during the First World War. This was of particular interest to Erin’s dad as his grandfather had been one of those interned in Sydney during those years.  It was fascinating and eye-opening for what is effectively a little-known First World War story.  We had the chance to check out a little more of the museum, which is a great interactive set-up covering many different avenues of Sydney’s history.  Like the Museum of London it also has some great perspex plates to look through to ruins of foundations below the building – however unlike the Roman ruins in London these are only from the late 1700s!

After the exhibition, some coffees and a little further trek through the city, we headed back for Jo’s place for our last feast – this time Justyn was set to make his Mexican signature dish on Jo’s balcony.  Mel came around and we tucked into her present from the Barossa, a bottle of Elderton wine for an Elderton lass.  In a real break with tradition, we stuffed ourselves, had some excellent glasses of vino, talked some brilliant nonsense, watched Masterchef and had a rather pleasant evening!  Then…goodbyes.  And readying ourselves for our early morning start.

Up at dawn, we said goodbye to Jo and Macho the cat.  Justyn lugged those suitcases down to the street, we jumped in the cab, managed to stand in the wrong line for our flight to Auckland and finally got rid of the heavy suitcases!  Erin’s parents were very early sports and came in to meet us for breakfast before our flight, we said another goodbye and then it was off to board for New Zealand….
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