Happy new year to all of our avid readers out there. Firstly, let me apologise for the time in which it has taken to update the blog; it has been an extremely busy few weeks.
Anywho, we waved goodbye to Melbourne back in December and set sail for Sydney. Following a grueling 12 hour night bus journey we arrived in sunny Sydney with our spirits surprisingly high despite the sleep deprivation. We hopped on a couple of buses and trains and eventually made our way to our hostel in Bondi. The hostel we stayed at mainly accommodated dorm rooms and all of the double rooms were at a separate building over the road. This turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise as we made friends with a number of couples, all of which were a similar age to us and were travelling similar routes.
We spent the first few days soaking up the sun on the infamous Bondi beach. Bondi beach is awesome; golden sand, huge waves and warm seas made for good times. It was free to rent body boards from the hostel so we had hours of fun catching the waves. As fun as this was, it was an effort to avoid getting hit by pro surfers and caught in strong under currents... I'm sure we got caught on the; Bondi Beach Patrol' TV series if any of you are familiar with it?
A big group of us all went out on Christmas Eve; we spent a while in the hostel playing drinking games and drinking ludicrously cheap Goon. Goon is what Aussies call their boxed wine, the reason it is so cheap is because if you read the back you'll discover that is a "wine flavored" product that "may contain fish gut". Yummy. Despite the fish guts swimming around in our bellies, we all got merry and eventually went out in Bondi to see in Christmas day.
As you can probably imagine, Goon makes for an epic hangover. However this did nothing to dampen our Xmas spirit. After a lazy morning we all made our way to the main hostel for our "traditional" Xmas dinner. Those of you thinking this means Turkey, stuffin and pigs in blankets can think again. Our Xmas dinner consisted of barbecued chicken, a couple of roast potatoes and salad. SALAD?! for Xmas dinner? mentalness. After dinner we all made our way down to the beach for Xmas day on Bondi beach - it's got to be done once in your life. The beach was packed but we managed to find ourselves a nice little spot - I think there are some good snaps on Facey with us in Santa hats. It was definitely weird being away from home and it certainly didn't feel like Christmas but we it was a great experience nonetheless.
The time between Christmas day and New Years Eve was spent either on the beach or site seeing in Sydney. It was nice to meet a big group of people as it meant we could spend a lot of our time just hanging out on the beach during the day and then having relatively cheap nights in the evening, either drinking Goon in the hostel or going out in Bondi.
We had all agreed to go into Sydney for New Years Eve together. We went shopping the previous day and picked up loads of food and alcohol for the day. We found a perfect spot in the centre of Sydney, with a cracking view of the harbour bridge. We set up camp at around 11am in the morning and commenced drinking/partying through to midnight. It was lucky we got there early as our patch of green was quickly swallowed up by hundreds of people all wanting to find a spot. The sun was shining all day and the atmosphere was immense. The VBs were flowing like Goon and pretty soon everyone was singing and partying. As the sun went down, everyone's attention turned towards the harbour bridge as there were two fireworks displays; one at 9pm and one at midnight. The firework display at 9pm was amazing but it was nothing compared to the midnight show. You've probably all seen the New Year's celebrations on TV but to actually be there was incredible. I'm not usually a lover of fireworks so I wasn't really sure what to expect but it completely blew me and everyone else away.
Once the New Years hangover had subsided, our attention quickly moved onto the Ashes. We had tickets for the second day of the Sydney test. I was little worried leading up the test that we might miss out as there was heavy rain on the Monday and more predicted for Tuesday. It all turned out fine though; we got a full day's play as well as seeing England bat and bowl. The atmosphere inside the stadium was really good and the barmy army were in full voice. Despite being in row Z we had a perfect view and it was clear that England were by far the better team which made the viewing all the more enjoyable!
Christmas and New Year went really and it was great having a big group of us who all got on really well. Most of the couple we've met are from t'up North so we're already planning a night out in Manchester later in the year. After Sydney our plan is to head up the East coast in our very own Campervan. Dan and Chantelle, a couple we've met in Bondi, our planning on joining us in the Camper as far as Brisbane before Rachel and I head up to Cairns. However, you will have to wait for the next installment of the blog to find out how things are going...