Hey, me and sarah and Liz enjoyed our first night in sydney- we chilled at the hostel for a bit after arriving from surf camp. We did our laundry together lol- its only the second time weve used laundry machines in our 5 weeks of travelling- weve been handwashing everything. You would have laughed if you saw us getting excited about it, and smelling and hugging our warm clothes at the end!! Much more appreciative about doing laundry LOL. Liz is good fun to hang out with, shes travelling on her own and has rushed down the east coast in the shortest time possible- 2 weeks! Shes knackered and has had to miss out quite a few places but has had fun anyway. She was meant to meet a friend here but they didnt show up so shes going to hang out with us for a bit.
The three of us went for a four hour walk around sydney and watched the sunset behind the skyscrapers. We went through Hyde park and saw the enormous cathedral building, loved the bats at night- seen them since cairns and theyre still cool to see. The paths were all lit up and the trees. We went to the opera house, of course, and walked around there- couldnt find any shows we wanted to see. We walked along the harbour and back through the city. Didnt take any buses/trains. I was navigator- my sense of direction has come in pretty handy, we havent got lost once, not for a second, and most people have a nightmare here. The city isnt that massive here, no need for buses/trains (even though theres a free bus service, like there was in brisbane- me and sarah prefer to walk and see more of the city). Liz was knackered bless her, wasnt used to our walks! Me and sarah wanted to book dinner at the Skytower and Liz decided to join us- its the tallest building in the city and the restaurant revolves around so as you eat you can see the whole city at night. We booked for tomorrow night, had discount vouchers that I found in the hostel which was good- 25% off.
We got back about half 9ish or something, went to bed for about 11 by the time we sorted out all our stuff and talked to the girls in our dorm- Liz was in a different dorm with 5 german guys bless her. The rooms here are gorgeous- brand new carpets, bathrooms and showers. We needed this after a right night at flooded surf camp!
Next day we all got up early to walk around the city by day. Went through loads of shopping bits, Liz looked at some tatoo parlours but me and sarah didnt want one- you shouldnt have one if you might swim/go in the sea, and its way too unhygenic when travelling. Liz gave up in the end, we convinced her! That and the fact she couldnt make her mind up about the tatoo as she is designing her own. I saw some nice celtic symbol ones, might get one in the future ;-)
We went to the botanical gardens and walked all through them, beautiful gardens- loved the chinese garden and the lily ponds. We had lunch at the cafe there, then went to the town museum on the way to the harbour. The museum was brilliant- learnt loads about the history of sydney and the deported 'criminals'- most just stole bread to feed their families, and many were orphaned girls from Ireland.
Me and Liz found a room with a chest of clothes from that period, and you can wear them- so I put on a bonnet, lol, and a long skirt and white blouse- liz wore an orange blouse, long brown skirt like mine (so hard to walk in lol), and a frilly bonnet! We took pics and walked around for a bit- some of the other tourists thought it was pretty fun!
After about an hour seeing all of the museum, we then walked to the harbour, saw opera house and the harbour bridge, checked out the ferrys and train system, all very simple. I picked us a train to Bondi beach and we went there, took about half an hour by train and then bus, and it was so cheap, about 3.00. We explored the town there and chilled out on the beach- Bondi beach is really famous and all but its tiny and nothing compared to the ones weve seen before. Good surfing though. We kindof looked at clothes to find something for the evening- dinner at the sky tower restaurant, but didnt get anything.
We got back to the hostel at about 5ish and changed for dinner- Liz was kind enough to lend me some shoes which was nice, and sarah had found a bargain pair of heels :-) So we all got dressed up, dont get to do that too often! We walked there and took the lift up- took a while, and theres a screen in there and you can watch the people in the other lift, who happened to be a typically crazy group of japanese tourists, who took photos of us in our lift (english people are fascinating apparently!) and they held up their toddlers to look at us! My arm was aching from waving constantly lol. Theyre mad, honestly.
We got to the top and the restaurant was really nice- they have a massive buffet with loads of choice. We sat by the glass wall and had a great view- we watched the sunset over the opera house and then saw the city at night. Liz and sarah had a starter, mains and then dessert. I had 4 courses lol, couldnt believe how much I ate. Me and sarah have eaten loads more since we got to sydney- maybe cus its definitely colder- I actually wore jeans on our first night walking around city! They had the most amazing food- I had kangaroo again! And salmon, a roast dinner, and chinese, and salad (not all together lol). I also ate prawns, oysters, pasta. lol it gets better- for dessert I ate three brownies with sauce, then a pecan tart, then fresh fruit salad. And then a massive piece of mud cake, proper cholocate cake! And then a big slice of lemon cheescake! I dont know I managed to fit it in my stomach!! Some nights me and sarah have barely managed a cupa soup and weve been full. The tower restaurant prob made a loss when I ate there lol.
When we left we checked out the sky lounge, one more floor above, and then got the lift down again- I was laughing looking at the mirror at my very full stomach, and me and liz had been slumping our shoulders showing our 'food babies' in the mirror, when I remembered the cameras in the lift- and saw the people in the other lift looking at us lol.
We walked back to the hostel, slowly! And then we all went online for a bit and said goodbye- Liz had her flight to NZ the next day, we might bump into her in NZ but its unlikely. Mind you, weve bumped into loads of people on the way down the east coast that weve met at hostels or on the OZ bus.
We went to bed, got woken up a bit by the girls in our hostel who had a night out (compared to most backpackers me and sarah never got out or drink lol- god knows how they actually afford it, or remember where theyve been and made the most of each day, dont think they care to be honest). We had to get up at 6 for our bus as today we had our blue mountains day trip! The blue mountains are a must do near sydney (we booked our trip with OZ experience on the way from surf camp).
We got the coach out of sydney- our driver was a wacky guy, a passionate naturalist and animal behaviourist, and he was a fantastic guide.
As soon as we got out of sydney, and into the forests past some of the villages and towns, I wanted to live here!! Sarah was the same, it was similar to home but with nicer houses, beautiful surroundings. You could commute from sydney. Its just such a nice place to live- I would love to work in the national park, the blue mountains national park is around 250,000 hectares. The forest here is unique from what weve seen so far- there are no koalas here because there arent the type of eucalyptus trees that they feed on. There are river canyons with tropical rainforest, but its not really hot here. There are pine forests and red gum and squiggly guym eucalytpus trees, and loads of other types. Its stunning- there are loads of canyons and rock faces, excellent for rock climbing, walking, abseiling. There are some campsites, loads of creeks, streams, loads of waterfalls which are amazing, and of course the mountains and deep valleys. And there are nice towns around which are hidden away and seem like really nice places to live.
Me and sarah went to a valley and saw some wildlife- loads of cockatoos, kookaburas, seen these in loads of places- we saw wild kangaroos, that was new, and they were so well hidden it was cool spotting them. They were by a creek. I left the group to wander off and see the cockatoos, and three out of four of them left the creek (lots of people were looking at them there, they are wild and shy) and they ran straight past me (I was walking away so they werent as shy of me) and straight into the open field bit. It was pretty cool- we all got really good photos of them there. I wandered off to find some wildlife but didnt find anything apart from a few birds I hadnt seen before, and I came bk to find sarah taking pictures of about 15 cockatoos wandering around on some grass- they were so cool!
We went to look at the kangaroos for a bit more and then we got bk on the bus to a village called Glenbrooke for some snacks. Here at glenbrooke we could see ourselves living here! We dont think we really would though, unless we could come back and find a good job here, and if we could magically transport all our family and friends! It was so nice though, gorgeous place to live- kinda like a nice town in the lake district maybe, but with nicer weather, more views and sydney nearby!
We then went to the Jamison lookout, and you could see the mountains from here and the misty valleys- apparently the mountains look blue because of the vapour from the eucalyptus trees. The cliffs were amazing too. We then did a two hour interpretive bush walk down a river canyon, over a stream, along under overhanging cliffs and hanging marshes and rock formations, and along through the forest to Wentworth falls, which were massive. Our guide knew so much, me and sarah were at the front with him most the of time and he named so many plants we couldnt remember them! Learnt loads though.
After our walk our oz bus took us to the town of Katoomba for lunch in the park, and we saw the statues there- massive iron statures of the imported labourers that built the road from sydney to the blue mountains.
We then went to another part of the blue mountains where we descended the Furber stairs steep stairs, some are metal attached to the cliff face (not for you if you dont like heights), and most of them were through the bush, all steep. We stopped halfway for Victoria lookout, where we had a great view of the 3 sisters, and our guide told us the aborignal story of how they were created- its a bit of a long story, but basically their father turned them to stone to protect them and then lost his magic. He told us about lyre birds too, beautiful birds that mimic everything from chainsaws to other birds to attract females. We then got to the bottom of the stairs and took the scenic railway up- this is the steepest railway in the world! And it was fantastic, good fun- me and sarah were right at the bk to make the most of it, incredibly steep.
After that it was bk on the bus and back to sydney. Awesome day, and me and sarah went for another walk around sydney, had a picnic in a park then came back and Ive dont this blog. Now its late and im falling asleep, off to shower etc then read our lonely planet for tomorrow- were going to sydney aquarium and Manly. Just want to decide whether to take ferry and whether to go on the monorail and use the free bus service tomorrow. Anyhow, the day after tomorrow we start a three day, two night journey with oz experience to Melbourne! That should be awesome, write again soon xxxxx