Back to reality... well sort of!

Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Sydney city to surf

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, August 7, 2011

G'day mate, How ya going? I'm just walking down to the dunny looking a bit daggy in my boardies, sunnies and my thongs! (Yup, we're pretty Australian now).  

So we've now been in Sydney for nearly two weeks and are getting settled into life by the beach in Manly... it's a tough life! It's an amazing spot here and our room overlooks the Sydney harbour, every day there are people running up and down the path, Kookaburra's and Cockatoo's sitting by the trees, people kayaking or scuba diving right outside and on hotter days there's people swimming and making the most of the sun (which we have done and plan to do a lot more of... the tans are fading very very fast!). Basically everyone is exercising all the time and they make you feel really guilty when you're sat on the sofa with your feet up downing your second piece of cake. The really cool thing about Manly is that you would never think it was so close to the city as it's more like a beach holiday spot, but it's just a 30 minute ferry ride and you're right next to the Sydney harbour bridge and the Opera house.We are embracing the Manly way of life by going running by the sea, in fact after our first run Katy was updating her CV and realised she was now eligible to add "running" as one of her hobbies

We're both working now to try to earn as much money as we can to fund the next lot of travels, but it's a bit tricky to apply for jobs when you're basically in a situation where you're looking to head off traveling again as soon as you have enough money, but it's looking good as we both have some opportunities here. Anyway, we're thinking the next time we head off will be in a couple of months on a trip down the east coast of Australia making our way from Cairns down through the Whitsundays, Fraser island, the gold coast and Byron bay. Then depending on timings we also want to go down south when it warms up to see Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania. All exciting stuff, but requires money and with the Aussie dollar doing so well things are expensive especially having just come from South East Asia where a meal is about 3. In fact we think it's got a lot more expensive here in the last couple of years, when we were here 2 years ago we did the Sydney bridge climb which was about 90 and is now about 165 because it's such a popular place to go and people will pay. Earning dollars will help for sure! 

As we've been to Sydney a couple of times now we are wanting to see more things which are off the typical tourist route and so we have done a couple of trips to explore Mossman and the area around Manly. There are loads of national parks, random little beaches and cool towns to explore so that's the plan for our mutual days off until we go on our next big trip. We might also do a couple of days in Canberra as it's not too far from Sydney. 

It's the middle of winter at the moment so it gets very cold at night and it also gets dark quite early but then in the day temperatures get up to around 20C which is really nice so we're sure it won't be long before we are living the proper outdoor Aussie lifestyle. Also on the agenda is to see the whales again, we saw them two years ago, and last year one came right up the house to say hello... so that means we have to see them this year. It's supposed to be one of the best years to go and see whales from Sydney and although we haven't seen any yet we will have to make sure we see some before the end of the migration. We have however seen dolphins, on Saturday we were on the ferry back from Sydney and there were a couple of dolphins jumping through the surf caused by the ferry... amazing!
On Sunday we took part in the Sydney "City to Surf" which is a 14km run (or walk, or crawl, or be pushed in a pushchair) race from the central business district in Sydney out to Bondi beach. Last year my niece Paige got her finishers medal (aged 18 months) so Katy and I had to take part this year. As we haven't had time to train for it whilst traveling we walked, but it was a brilliant day out and there were loads of people walking and just enjoying the atmosphere so you didn't feel like a complete slacker. haha! We were in luck as well because the rain stayed away whilst we were there whereas the first groups were on the news getting absolutely soaked. I can't say it was a particularly competitive race for us, we arrived into the city and started making our way to our starting point. Just as we reached the very back of our group named "The back of the pack" the announcer spoke over the speaker system.... 
 "And we have our winner!".... we weren't even given a chance, so unfair and we still didn't even start until about another 20 minutes. The walk is very hilly but also scenic and there were something like 85,000 people which is just mental. One of those people was Steve Waugh (The ex cricketer) and we walked right next to him for a bit before he walked off with his group.

So, all in all things are really good and certainly very different to the manic travels of South East Asia! 
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