Trip Start Jan 16, 2012
92Trip End Jan 01, 2014
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Overnight I had been blessed with some Lazarus style recovery to my ankle - swollen and very painful on Sunday night - which means that it looks as though the tri-marathon challenge will commence this coming Sunday. As I result I was more than happy to be exploring Sydney on foot, starting with a dash to the bus stop. Shelley has previously labelled buses as "transport for refugees only" and so - in an attempt to make her face her fears, Batman style - I have now subjected her to around 3,000 kilometres or so of bus travel this year. Sadly this appears to have reinforced, rather than altered, her views on public transport, although she has at least accepted it as a fact of life in expensive Sydney. Maybe she just appreciates the fact that we are now actually the refugees in a nation which does no longer welcomes those from its once master (now poorer relation), but would instead embrace immigrants from the upwardly mobile East
We emerged from the Park in unknown territory, but with the Westfield Tower as a towering beacon as to the required direction of a walk. I had by now slowed to nearer Shelley's pace and was also starting to suffer from something of a dip in moral (or just hunger) as we had probably walked 12 km's and had maybe anohter 5 or so to go. It was now that divine intervention showed its kind hand and the sun beamed on a sign for $5 steak all day at The Forrester's Arms. We crossed the road in a heartbeat, both wolfed down a steak, and set off home with renewed bounce and purpose. The spring in Shelley's step was further bounced when we stumbled across an abandoned set of drawers in an adjacent street. Twenty minutes of sweat and endeavour later and we were back in the flat. I can safely say that my enthusiasm for dragging tatty items across cities and watching Shelley improve them has increased spectacularly since this became our only income stream...
Tuesday was as close as can be to a standard day in our lives here - whilst I went for what was intended to be a short run, Shelley stayed in to beautify some of our mounting collection of disgarded furniture. My run became a bit of a disaster when a number of navigational errors compounded to leave me over eight miles from home, without mobile phone or money, and knackered
Wednesday featured a ferry crossing to Manly, in northern Sydney. It's becoming predictable - although never unwelcome - as the sun shone strongly on the 30 minute crossing. Whilst still being part of Sydney, Manly itself is a town in its own right. The scene on Manly Beach was textbook Australia, with surfers dotting the beautiful blue water, albeit my toe test (as far as I'll risk with sharks around) indicated that the water was North Sea freezing. As we walked around, we had an unexpected nature fest as about 20 noisy wild cockatoos covered the pavement. Somewhat more interesting than a flock of dirty pigeons...We also had a usual free furniture find - this time a green wicker table which had been inexplicably binned by a clearly overly wealthy owner. Thank you Bruce and/or Sheila. As for the crossing back - the arrival into Circular Quay, with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, must be one of the most spectacular in the world and anyone who takes this commute on a daily basis should consider themselves extremely privileged.
Anyway, having been to Manly (irony, I hear you cry) it is now fittingly time for me to man up for the first marathon challenge this Sunday, the Winery Running Festival in Hunter Valley (http://www.huntervalleymarathon.net/). The next few days will be spent carbo loading before trying to remember how to drive and manoeuvre a four wheel machine (after I did so well on two wheels in Asia). Wish me luck...