So the time had come for us to do what I think I can safely say has been the best experience since we’ve been away – the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. I must say that I would recommend anyone who ever visits Sydney to definitely do this.
We made sure we limited the alcohol intake the night before as you had to do a breathalyser test before you were allowed to get ready for the climb. We all got kitted up in our suits and went through some practices with our Climb leader Rich. Once that was all done we were ready to head towards the Bridge to start our climb.
I think any pre nerves disappeared as soon as we got onto the bridge, it’s actually a lot safer than you think. The narrowest part is walking up towards the arch and then climbing four separate ladders to get up onto it. Once we were at the bottom we then started to climb the arch which is quite wide. It was a lovely bright, clear day and the views of Sydney were amazing. Our leader was also very informative and gave us a good sense of the money and labour it took to build it. We walked to the middle, the highest point of the bridge then across and down the other side.
It sounds strange but I wish we could of stayed up there longer even though the whole climb takes about two hours and by that time we were gasping for a drink as you can’t take anything loose with you on the climb. We found a German beer cellar and had a few beers there before making our way to Chinatown. As it was Hemmings’ last night Johno and Whitto took him to the Star City Casino but they didn’t stay too long.
Wake Up, Wake Up
Another new hostel as we moved to Wake Up which is closer to the city. We had been told about this hostel on good recommendation and it failed to disappoint. A lot bigger than others previously, it looked a lot more trendy and more importantly it had it’s own bar.
Once we had managed to get in our room and unpack we took a stroll down to Darling Harbour, the first place we stayed in Sydney. Me and Whitto got to see more of it this time in two hours than we did in two days! We got ourselves booked of the Sydney Jet Boat. The Sydney Jet Boat is 80km/hr wave-riding experience that goes around Sydney Harbour performing amazing turns, power-brake stops and 270-degress spins. It’s an amazing thrill and on a hot day you don’t really want to wear a wet suit so prepare to get very wet.
We thought we’d try out the hostel bar – the Side Bar that night, two live singers were providing the entertainment and they did it very well. It soon got very busy and it seemed as though this was definitely the place to be on a Wednesday night. Whitto bumped into his mate Phil who is the son of a Senior Clerk in the city that he knows, who is also my cousin Russ’ boss.
It all went a bit wrong the next morning when Johno realised he had lost his wallet and had to quickly ring home to cancel his cards etc. Plus we were all a bit fragile too.
We done quite well today to at least make it out of bed and book our places on the Oz Experience to travel up to Cairns. Basically you can hop on and off different buses and stay in different towns up along the coast and each bus driver is you tour guide. There are lots of other things thrown in – activities etc. Quite a few young people do it so it gives you all a chance to meet other travellers on the way, something we’ve not being doing too much of.
An early night turned into another mad one as we got dragged out of our rooms by a load of mad Swedes who had been partying in our room next door. As Johno was looking for some accessories in his bag, surprise, surprise the turnip found his wallet. Only he could do that.
We went down to the Side Bar and had a few drinks before conveniently losing the Swedes, they were numptys but the girls weren’t too bad! We went back up to our rooms and made a nuisance of ourselves and soon had a security guy knock on our door, of course we were all innocent.
Our hostel had organised a backpackers day out at the races and no surprise that we were the first to buy tickets for it. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Sydney. There were 50 or so people in attendance and it was a beautiful day with the sun beaming.
Once we had arrived at the racecourse we plotted up in an area that had been reserved for us on the track. We had a study of the racecard whilst drinking our first of many beers. It was quite difficult to pick up the form so it was a case of checking the odds and jockeys.
As the day went on with it getting hotter and hotter, the drinks were flying down quicker and quicker. We were having a few winners, nothing too big but really enjoying the day. We soon got in amongst it with the other backpackers, after keeping ourselves to ourselves for so long.
The plan was to go back to the Side Bar in the evening and carry on where we left off. There was a big crowd of us around the table back on the snakebites, Whitto’s mate Matt who had been out for the cricket had come and joined us too. The drinking games started and an old favourite came out – ‘One Red Hen, Two Cubed Ducks, Three Brown Bears’. As you can imagine by the end of the night it was all very messy.