So........I arrived at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport at 7am on Wednesday 16th March, made it through passport control and customs in record time (having watched the programs on TV about their passport and customs teams, I was expecting to be there for at least an hour.......I was through there in 10 minutes tops!!).
I made it to the airport train station and jumped on the train out to Gordon (which is the nearest town to where I'm now staying that has a train station).
I'm currently staying with my Aunt and cousins in a rather well-to-do area called St Ives. It's part of the 'North Shore' area of Sydney and the people here can be a bit snobby (think Kensington and Chelsea....with an Aussie accent!!) It's a fair way out from Sydney central and takes about an hour to get into the city centre, but....it's amazingly green and hilly around here (the 20 minute walk from the house to the train station at Gordon is like a rollercoaster! There are so many hills...and very few pavements - which I just find odd! You either have to walk along the grass verges - and if it's been raining they turn into bogs...not good when you're wearing flip flops!! - or you have to walk in the road and hope that they drivers feel like steering round you! I've taken to walking along the curb which is a happy medium!!)
This area is also teaming with wildlife, lizards, spiders, bush turkeys, flying foxes and the biggest moths that I have ever seen!! (I've had run-ins with 2 spiders so far (both on the small-ish side) and thanks to a massive can of bug spray (that comes everywhere with me) and a hiking boot I've won both showdowns!! I'm hoping to not have a third encounter….but I doubt I'm that lucky!!)
I have a picture of one of the spiders that I saw here - he was on my window when I went to shut the blinds at night! We haven't identified him...but we presume he was venomous! Anyway, he was huge and fairly meaty (I can't think of another way to describe him!)………we called him Albert! I sincerely hope that I never see him again!! He was gross!!
We also have a family of Chinese water dragons that live in the garden (I've only seen the baby - which is about 30cm long - but the parents are around and according to Wikipedia they can grow up to 2-3 meters long!) - what would we do without Wikipedia??!
The weather here has been beautiful, we're averaging a daily temperature of 24-27°C, although we reached a temperature high of 31°C last week (woop woop!), however, it was also 88% humidity - oh joy!!
We have had some rain, but it tends to just be showers - and the weather's still so nice that no one really takes much notice and just carries on!
Sydney's a pretty nice city although after 2 weeks I'm running out of things to see and do here as there isn't a heck of a lot to see (apart from the opera house and the harbor bridge which are both pretty hard to miss!!)
So, to keep from going totally crazy, I've decided to look for work (which meant joining agencies, getting bank accounts and applying for a tax file number!! Lots of paperwork basically.)
I'm thinking of heading up to the Blue Mountains for a couple of days - the train up there takes about 4 hours, but it's apparently a must see area!
Speak to you all again soon!
Hope you're all well.