End Of A Long Leg

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
Trip End May 02, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sydney greeted us with bold bridges over more lovely waterways and plenty of traffic. Several days before our arrival we had elected to live a little more upscale for our last two days.  We booked a king room at Springfield Lodge and although several other rooms were undergoing renovations, ours was just the restful retreat we needed.

Jason was ecstatic to get rid of the car in the city and the drop off was quick and painless.  We'd driven almost 3,700 kilometres down from Cairns, bringing our total in Australia to over 11,000 and beyond 16,500 including New Zealand.  Jason's rough calculation estimated that between driving and sleeping we'd spent the equivalent of more than three continuous weeks in the car over a two and a half month period.

Having our own shower and bathroom for the first time since Bali was well worth the splurge.  Words cannot describe how good it felt to be clean and warm at the same time again.

After washing ourselves it was time to launder all of our clothes.  The washing machines worked fine but the first dryer we tried was on the fritz.  The one that was working was full of lint and sludge from the last thousand loads so Jason had to scrub the inside before putting our things in it.  For $12 our clothes came out almost as clean as they were before washing them.  We snacked for dinner in the underground dungeon dining room while waiting for the laundry to finish.  An Italian family joined us and we shared stories of our homes as well as our travels.

After sleeping in to enjoy the crisp linens and comfy bed, we met the Italians again over breakfast, along with a Dutch couple living just outside Christchurch, New Zealand.  The earthquake damage remains there and they said it will take at least a decade for the area to recover.

We trundled over to the Kings Cross Library to use their free wifi one last time.  Unfortunately it was too slow to do anything useful so we sent a few emails and left.

After calling our parents we went out for an afternoon walk.  Sylvia lead the way to the French patisserie she'd scoped out earlier and we picked up a few treats.  Then we donated a few pieces of our gear that we no longer needed to a homeless shelter around the corner.

Retracing our steps from two months earlier we descended the steps, walked around the harbour and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the Royal Botanical Gardens.  We strolled past the Opera House and Harbour Bridge one last time, then dove into the heart of the city.

We needed a bit more cash to get through the day so we sought a decent exchange rate.  All of the banks had unfriendly fees and we knew we could beat the money changers' rates in the tourist areas.  We made a triumphant return to Chinatown to devour another whole steamed fish with ginger, green onions and soy sauce with rice and we also found the best exchange rate by far.  Secret travel tip: if possible, always change money in Chinatown.

Feeling a little peckish after the windy walk back to our place, we spent our last coins on Indian takeaways; a chicken tikka thigh and veggie samosa.

Dawn had not yet cracked when we woke the next morning.  After another big yogurt, muesli and kiwi breakfast we packed up and caught the airport shuttle.  We were the first two pickups so the ride included an undesirable tour of the city at the start of morning rush hour.  For better or worse the driver ran several red lights to stay on time.

On arrival at the airport we were informed that our flight was delayed by an hour; another valuable hour of sleep lost.  Still, it felt good to be checking in with Air Canada and have Vancouver as our next destination.
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Jen Elliott on

Be sure to come visit when you're in Toronto!

June on

Wow .. how time flies! Welcome Home to Canada. Can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks. xoxoxoxo

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