Day 55 - Sydney/Harbour Bridge
After about 12 hours sleep we awake nice and refreshed and ready for the day ahead as we're planning on climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge today!
We head to good old McD's for breakfast to make use of their free (but very slow) wifi however after getting flown at by pidgeons for an hour we couldn't take much more and left to look around some souvenier shops and to kill some time before we have to head down to the bridge.
We head back to the room to get changed into appropriate clothing for the climb (trainers etc) before walking up to the climb office. We're decided to do the night time climb as we get to see the sun setting on the way up and all the city lit up when we reach the top .. just a shame we're not allowed to take cameras or anything!
We're called in and briefed on what to expect, breathalised and provided with our climbing gear. We all receive a jumpsuit (mine was a little big but i didn'd want to ask for a childrens one!) and are introduced to our climbing instructor. Ours was called Kyle and he used to work in Walkabout in Manchester! I told him he'd probably served me at some point :) We're shown how to put our harnesses on and attach all of our extras like a hat and a fleece etc incase we get a bit chilly up there!
Before we are allowed to begin the climb we all have to go up and down some practice stairs and thankfully we all managed it so off to the bridge we went. First we are taken along the approach and whilst going along lots of walk ways we are told about the history of the bridge. We then come to a walkway that even I had to squeeze through and duck at times so I didn't hit my head (Si must have been practically crawling along) before we get to 4 sets of steps that are the steepest you've ever seen, we may have well been just climbing a ladder!
We make it up the steps and are quite out of breath but you soon forget how tired it has made you when you look out and can see all of sydney lit up and we're now on the upper arch ready to head up to the summit. We get half way up the summit and all stop for individual pictures, the cameras are actually fixed to the bridge so even the professional climbers dont carry them. We then head up to the top and stop for a while to just take in the scenery, it really is amazing. On one side we can see the opera house all lit up and on the other you can see the city skyline with the motorway lit up with traffic it really was impressive viewing! The instructor pointed out a little fort just near the opera house and tells us that it has never fired in anger and has only ever been fired on once ... the americans! Apparently they mistook it for a submarine and took out one of the walls so 'friendly fire' I guess. After our group photo at the top we have another individual one and make our way back down. Going down is definately a lot easier! We arrive back and after returning all of the climbing gear go and review the photo's that we'd had taken and chose the best ones for keeps The climb in total took about 2 hours but with the prep before hand we were there for about 3 hours in total. It was such an amazing experience we loved every minute of it .. think one of the photo's might even earn a place on my desk when I get back :)
We were both exhausted after the climb so opted for a quick and easy Pizza Hut for tea before getting back to the hostel and curling up in bed.