23rd Feb 2012 - 7th Mar 2012
Australia - Sydney Part One
And finally to Australia, we’ve been here since February but somehow we’ve gotten sidetracked by jobs and other things. We’ve forgotten a lot of the detail so hopefully the photos can do some of the talking.
We started off in Sydney, staying with the lovely Therese and Paul who put us up for far longer than expected and really helped us out finding our feet in Sydney. It was a stroke of luck meeting them as we hadn’t known them before the trip and met over Christmas in Brazil at the hostel we were staying in. We ticked off most of the highlights of Sydney on our shoestring budget with a lot of walking while I tried to find myself a job.
For one of our first trips Therese took us out to Palm Beach, one of the northern beaches and the set of Home and Away. We had a nice wander along the beach which really is golden in colour and checked out the Summer Bay Surf Club. It’s quite funny to think I used to watch it on TV when I was a teenager.
Sydney is an big city and if you don’t have a car it can take literally hours using public transport to get from the north to the south, so we had to work through the areas one by one. One of the first up was the Opera House, which is beautiful and there’s a nice bar by the harbour where you can watch the sun go down and see the millions of bats swoop over the city. On one of our day trips we walked via St Mary’s Cathedral to the Gallery of NSW, which had some interesting art including miniature sleeping old people, and on to the Botanical Gardens. Parts of the gardens were covered with bats, which are a bit creepy but make the place seem really otherworldly. The CBD isn’t particularly amazing apart from the areas around the Opera House and the Rocks, which is an old area and so has a bit more character.
The highlights of Sydney are the beaches; we ticked off all the classics Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Manly, Curl Curl and so on. The water is lovely and clean although some get a bit too much seaweed and the sun, when it’s out, is HOT. I finally mastered the art of ducking through waves rather than being hit in face by them. For some reason I’ve always thought it was better to jump over them, obviously an English upbringing and Brandan hasn’t thought to correct me until I got totally wiped out. After the hubbub of Ipanema the beaches seem quite tame, no enormous bottoms in G strings or people selling prawns on sticks, coconuts and sarongs, and we felt the lack on the Icegurt man.
On another of our trips with Therese and Paul, we went and had a look at the infamous Gap in Watsons Bay. The cliffs here are known for the high rate of suicides and I think there was a case of a man convicted of pushing his girlfriend off them. You wouldn’t want to chance a jump off the cliffs here but it’s pretty spectacular and your get seriously buffeted by the wind. We also swung round Rose Bay, I think, which v lovely and full of nice houses and a pretty marina.
In between all these day trips Brandan had waterproofed a basement and I had located a job interview in Melbourne so it was off to explore another Australian city....