Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
42Trip End Apr 24, 2013
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Our cultural attaché promised us an exciting day and despite Bluey time being the order of the day we were off on an adventure we won't forget in a long time.
Heading out of Londonderry towards Penrith and then the motorway towards Sydney taking the route we took in the storm on Saturday to Fatty Franks house.
The last time Wally saw Fatty Frank was in 2000 when we went to Bathurst to see qualifying for the most famous race in Oz. It rained bucket loads that day too! Not today though.The purpose of our visit was to pick up his fishing boat, the Burley Bucket, a 5m tinnie, for a cruise round the harbour.
In a flash we were hooked up and on our way to the nearby boat ramp, in the water and heading up stream to have a look at the Olympic Park and all the development going on there. Old factories had been cleared and now there are apartment blocks by the dozen. It was in this area Bluey had been to school and even water skied. Then a flat out blast towards the city. This was no ordinary tourist trip as we were in and out of so many of the many bays whose names we can't recollect but our tour guide knew the ins and outs for each of them.It's quite surreal to be chugging along side of the super yachts moored in the International Passenger area and eating lunch while bobbing up and down in a tinnie in Darling Harbour with the tourists taking pictures of us.
Under the Bridge and past the Opera House all looking rather different to the view we had only two days beforehand and into the Navy area making sure we stayed the correct side of the marker buoys. A close up tour around Ocean Shield a huge Navy logistics ship, into Rose Bay the home of the rich and famous.
It was at this point Wally concluded it wasn't such a good idea to have polished off a couple of 4x stubbies as the combination of a full bladder and the tinnie slamming onto the waves wasn't a comfortable experience.
Our Captain, Tour Guide , Cultural Attaché commonly known as Bluey plus young Jackson and fellow passenger Jan thought it fun to try even harder to inflict maximum discomfort. It didn't take long as we passed the Heads leading into Sydney Harbour the sea was a little choppy but with clenched teeth and tied knees Wally endured like a true Sea Dog.
From a tiny boat it's easy to see how Captain Cook missed the entrance to the harbour and disembarked round the corner in Botany Bay.Into the calmer waters of the North Shore and even nicer mega bucks houses. Nestled amongst these is Blueys mate Rodger the Dodgers place. Rodger had already been smooching around Jan that morning and Wally thinks she must now be regretting not letting him entice her into his clutches.
Dusk was approaching as we made our way back past the heads and into the main harbour. Wally had been offered the opportunity of a comfort break off the back of the tinnie but declined for fear of falling in.Any discomfort though seemed to disappear as we were confronted with a city skyscape in silhouette and the sun dropping down behind the Harbour Bridge, a truly memorable view.
Luna Park on the North Shore,the city fun fair was coming to life as darkness approached. The final 30 minutes were a flat out blast up the Parramatta River with Bluey flying the boat across the wake of the River Cats taking commuters back home. This didn't help Wallys bladder issue but it was good fun.Soon we back to the boat ramp with Wally heading off for a long awaited break!
Fremantle and all the other places may have been fantastic but the number of homes overlooking some part of the Harbour, Ocean or Parramatta River is huge and still growing. Nice views but outside the city would suit the wide eyed visitors.Tuesday the last full day in Australia.
A farewell to Jaime as she was off horse riding and wouldn't be back until late the next day by which time we would be heading north! We will be catching up with her when she is the UK next year on a school trip of a lifetime around Europe.
With the pair of us having gained the odd inch or two on our waistlines we took the bicycles into Richmond for the usual picnic lunch. The RAAF from the nearby airbase organised an impromptu air show for us with a Hercules and giant C 17 transport plane flying circuits.It was Wally's turn to cook the last evening dinner so after packing for the last time a seafood risotto was cooked at Michelle's request and young Jacksons disgust!
It can't of been that bad as BLuey had seconds.We put the world to rights and ourselves to bed which was the 36th different bed of our trip.Michelle survived the risotto and had to head off to work at 8 so we were up to say our sad farewell and thanks before doing the same to young Jackson as he was off to the pictures.
The time to start the journey back home soon whizzed by and our chauffeur dropped us off at Richmond station and our waiting train. It was a brief but emotional farewell and before we knew it the train was pulling away into the sunshine on its way into the City and the waiting A380.
With a tear in her eye the editor has signed off this piece of work so Wally feels his work is done until the next time!