TWO MONTHS IN SYDNEY COMES TO AN END
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Our time in this lovely city is drawing to a close. No, we have not lost the urge to travel- but, when we researched our next stops on the NSW coast we discovered that the national parks had a ballot system in place for people wishing to camp over the Christmas holidays and there were no vacancies until after the Australia Day long weekend.
So our next original plan was to take off on January 29 and travel the NSW coast into Victoria where we plan to settle in Melbourne for Easter holidays with Kath's sister Annie- Easter is the last hurrah in southern Australia for camping and holidays - the roads are busy and holiday destinations are mostly booked out well in advance.
Well January 29 departure has been extended out another week when we discovered that Kath's foot injury required new orthotics - should have gone to the podiatrist sooner but we thought the Achilles/heel pain would just go away but it just worsened so....
Meanwhile, here is the last chapter of of our Sydney stay:
Late in December we celebrated Sheila's birthday with muffins from the cafe downstairs- Kath roamed the Annandale streets searching for a birthday cake but everyone is on holidays- the muffins were delicious!
A trip to Australia's most famous beach- Bondi on that lovely sunny afternoon revealed a very crowded shore, something we have never seen on our trip around the Australian coast, where most beaches were almost deserted. The sunbathers were colourful specks on the beautiful surf beach with the Surf Lifesavers standing by!
Loved the fish and chips and Ben and Jerry icecream at the beach- did not like the $5.80 per hour parking meter fee and could not locate any parking in the side streets.
Happy birthday, Sheila!
Cheryl and Malcolm joined us in Sydney for 5 days for the NYE celebrations and we set out on some local adventures together. The nearby Sydney Fish Market was a lunch stop but it was so busy we struggled to find a place to sit and enjoy our fish and chips!
It was a gorgeous sunny day when we all caught the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. Strangely Manly apparently got its name from the first governor of NSW who said of the indigenous people on that location: "their confidence and "manly" behaviour" were impressive! Doesn't ring true when you consider the later plight of the aboriginal people!
The 30 minute ferry trip to Manly is a must-do and we enjoyed a stroll around the Manly Corso, had a coffee with friends of the Scotts and then made our way along the scenic pathway to Shelley Beach, a gorgeous little cove packed with swimmers today. Despite strong winds it was a lovely day!
New Year's Eve- where to go to witness the fireworks?
We had lots of discussions about the best venues and even investigated the restaurants around the opera house - $400 per person was a bit excessive and what about transport to and fro?!!
On the day, a 15 minute walk to Glebe Foreshore just before 9pm and we joined the family groups experiencing the early fireworks event on the harbour . Pretty good spot!
Back home for dinner and we decided to stay in the apartment for the midnight show and on this clear bright night we had a fabulous view of the extravaganza, without the crowds! Cheryl was able to tick Sydney NYE Fireworks off her "bucket list".
It was fun to share this part of the festive season with Cheryl and Malcolm- cocktails and barbecues on the balcony, visits to the apartment gym with Cheryl really taking advantage of the pool and explorative trips around Sydney. We had a happy time! Thanks for visiting us!
Malcolm got us excited about a journey on the Air Train to Darling Harbour, followed by a ferry trip to the nearby Cockatoo Island- wow this was a special little island still set up for last night's NYE fireworks and what a venue to watch the fireworks, directly across from the bridge- it is only $40 to take your tent and camp for the event. Must do this one day!
Cockatoo Island, first the home to sulphur crested cockatoos, later a penal colony and then a ship building and secret Australian Navy destination. These days it is a historic site that is really worth a visit. Thanks Malcolm for the research!
The Sydney Harbour bridge walk and a vist to the Francis Bacon exhibition filled another lovely sunny day after Cheryl and Malcolm left. We had a bit of a scare on the day of their departure, when the key to the apartment just went round and round and failed to engage- all kinds of consequences came to mind but luckily the locksmith across the road was open for business and changed the barrel for a reasonable $40 - crisis averted.
David and Adam arrived home on January 8, Kath returned from Cairns after her nephew's funeral and the temperatures peaked at 40+ degrees. We stayed on at the apartment with the two guys for 5 days, loving their travel tales and hanging out together- they are so considerate, energetic and sparkling- food, wine, walks and Rummy-O and the time passed quickly.
Thanks David and Adam for sharing your apartment with us!
Time to pick up the van and put it to service on Tuesday 15, and then back to our lovely friends Judy and Don at Carlingford. We are staying here until we resume our travels. We are home alone when they go north on January 19. Thanks Judy and Don!
Sydney had its hottest day on record on January 18, Victoria and NSW are experiencing huge bush fires and then suddenly it was Australia Day on January 26 and the rain and floods came to northern NSW and QLD. Bundaberg recorded its highest flood levels on record and was hit by tornadoes- tornadoes are virtually unknown in Australia. Wow, the weather has gone crazy!
Yes Australia is the land of drought, fires and flooding rain!!
It was fabulous to be in Sydney catching up with friends and family during this time! Particularly special to reconnect with Sue after all these years - we thought we had lost contact.
Booderee National Park here we come!
Happy New Year to everyone