So where were we? ah yes walking from ...

Trip Start Sep 19, 2002
Trip End Sep 22, 2003

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Saturday, December 21, 2002

So, where were we?

Ah yes, walking from Coogee Beach to Bondi. This walk was supposed to take an hour but took us nearly 2 as we kept stopping for photos and to look at the views. At Coogee baths (rock pools at the bottom of a cliff) we saw some youngsters dangerously leaping off into the swollen waves and they were in the paper the next day. The next beach we came to was Gordon (I think) and then Bronte which was also really beautiful (so we stopped for an ice-cream). Bondi itself was amazing. We came around the cliffs ans saw this mass stretch of sand full of people in the huge waves. Not the Aussies take swimming seriously or anything but there were 2 pools filled by ocean water bigger than the majority of public swimming pools at home! There were hire places on the sand for chairs, umbrellas, surfboards etc and you could also buy sun cream and aftersun there as they are big on preventing skin cancer which is really common here due to lack of ozone layer above Australasia. On the boardwalk there were vendors and there is often live music there so there is a really good atmosphere there all the time. Burnt and crispy and covered in sand, we made our way back to our hostel, feeling quite smug about our long walk.

The next day we had to sort out our flights etc as we have decided to change the destination after Darwin to Singapore rather than Bali where we would then have been stuck in Indonesia without an onward flight. The only other thing of note was the all you can eat buffet at Pizza Hut for $11.95 which was the best one I have ever seen and there was a good variety and they wern't sitting about for ages. The best thing was the view of the amusement arcade in China Town where there is a new game a bit like Simon Says (the first computer game ever) but in a more physical way where you use pressure pads on the floor and dance in time with the music and the instructions on the screen. From a distance it looks like they are dancing and they go really fast. You can also do a duel which looks even funnier as it is synchronised with the person next to you. Cheaper and more fun than a gym anyday!

14th December (what have we been doing??) We left Glebe Point for Collaroy Beach just north of Sydney. The hostel was fantastic with beautiful murals around the walls and a TV and kettle in the room. We were sharing with our friends Rachel and Martin and booked in under family Johnson (it's a few years since we lied about our surnames!!) They also have a heated pool and a good lounge area. However, the people running it were a bit strict and they came around at night to tell you to drink up as there was no alchol after 10pm and you were not allowed it on the balcony at all. You also couldn't eat or drink in the TV lounges. The kitchen was REALLY badly stocked and layed out like an industrial kitchen which is fine if there is only 2 people cooking but it's a bit hard to reach rings 3 from the front. They also issued you with one cup, plate, bowl etc so if you just wanted a quick cuppa you had to trek to your room and back all the time. Collaroy itself isn't really that happening and we struggled to find cheap eats and ended up with a curry (how did we cope) but we did use the BBQ one night which was cool. The beach was quite nice although we hardly saw it as the day we arrived we saw blue bottle jellyfish washed up on the sand so went elsewhere.

Our main reason for going to Collaroy was to visit Palm Beach - where Home and Away is filmed. We went there by bus the next day but didn't recognise it at all. After messing about in the waves for a bit (and spying those pesky blue bottles again), Pip and I went for a walk. After a bit we came across a section of the beach which started to look more familiar and realised we had been at the wrong end. After having my picture taken outside the Summer Bay surf club and kiosk I was much happier and we walked back with our feet in the waves AKA Vinny and Leah. Sadly we misjudged a wave and I ended up rather wet and looking like I had peed myself.

Another beach that was on the list of must-see's was Manly so we headed there the next day. Out of all the beaches so far, this one had been highly recommended and it was swarming with people. The day before had been 31 degrees and this was hotter so we made sure we stayed in the shade. We headed in for a paddle but there was SSSSOOOOO much seaweed that I feared I would turn into the Green Goddess and quickly extracated myself from the rainforest that was the shore line. It can't always be like that though judging my the amount of people there and we did discover that Coogee was in a similar state due to some freak tide so we just saw it on a bad day.

17th December we headed for pastures new and onto the Blue Mountains. This involved a 2 hour train journey from central Sydney to Katoomba where the station is 3336 feet above sea level. We were incredibly hot and sweaty by the time we reached the hostel and were forced to go for a beer to recover. We had a Thai meal that evening in an internet cafe (we are getting quite used to these odd multi use premises) but it took a while to quench our thirsts so didn't do much else! The YHA hostel is beautiful being in an old theatre so all the rooms have an art deco feel about them and it has a lovely atmosphere and well equipped facilities.

We must have been in the bar for a while because when we came out it was raining and misty which put us in a quandry for the next day. But that's another log!

Next one soon, bye for now!

Pip and LJ
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