Day 88 started with Helen waking me up saying it was 11am and that we needed to get up to make the most of our day. She lied. It was like 930 and she couldn't sleep. Anyway, once up and showered, we all decided to split up into groups for the day. Me and Helen would head off together, as would Luke and Burns (who ended up meeting their mate Eli), and Coops and Ben went shopping. Me and Helen walked round the shops as I needed some new shorts and Helen as always, wanted to check out the sales. She bought some clothes in Cotton On, and I bought some shorts and a T-Shirt in the Surf Shop. We walked to Circular Quay and had a wander around the harbour, and under the harbour bridge. It was really hot and the amount of fat people sweating loads was horrific. After a while we headed towards what we thought was Darling harbour but ended up getting slightly lost around the docks and apartment blocks. Luckily after another 20 minutes of walking we made our way back towards the city. Since being in Sydney we have often gone to the Apple shop where people wander in and use the Internet for free. We did this for half an hour or so and checked emails whilst talking to Dan Fraser who would be making his way out to Sydney with Dan Wall the following day. After the Apple shop we headed for Hyde Park where we sat in the sun with loads of other backpackers as it was 'Roasting'. About 5pm we headed back to the hostel where we met up with the others who had just got back. Luke and Burns had shown Eli the Pie shop, just so they could have one themselves, and Coops and Ben had bought some clothes and had a wander round the city. There was to be no cooking fiascos tonight as we were heading out to Newtown to meet up with Kerrie and Peter for a meal on us as a thank you for them letting us stay for so long. We got a bus about 6.15pm and arrived a little early at the restaurant so had a drink over the road in an Irish Pub. The irony in this was K+P had done exactly the same thing as we saw them in here drinking to. After the drink we had an awesome Thai meal (us 5 had curries as we had missed them, and there was an endless supply of rice, literally). About 11pm we were back in Sydney and me and Burns had another all night of football watching to do so headed to the shark with the others. Luke Helen and Laura played pool for a bit (Coops even played doubles with some weird old men!). They left just as the Liverpool game started, the 5-1 vs. Newcastle. After that game we headed to an Internet cafe where Burns watched Arsenal on the PC and I patiently watched. About 3am we headed back for a few hours sleep.
Day 89 and as the weather was so good we decided to head to Manly, which Mum has been telling me to do for about 2 weeks now! We made it to Circular Quay by about 11am and had a Pie for breakfast. We are all going to be massively overweight cause of these things; even the girls are getting addicted. The ferry was about 30 mins and when we reached Manly it was mega busy. There were thousands of people streaming for the beach. The weather was ok, Hot but windy. After finding a spot on the beach we lay for a while and caught some rays. Soon though the clouds came in and there was even a few drops of rain. We packed up and decided to get lunch from the Promenade. On the way we saw a street show where 3 dudes were making a crowd by jumping over people. They were better at comedy though as the jump wasn't all that impressive. Luke reckoned he could have done it easily, though I think he was just saying that! For lunch, Helen, Luke and Laura got fish and chips, whereas me and Burns took the more unique route of having a Kebab. They were so worth it. Burns managed to get his Garlic sauce all over his shorts and on the floor, which made him, look like a right pike. Soon the sun was back out so we headed to the beach and sunbathed a bit more. A group of guys had set up an inflatable ball in the sand and buried it, and were running and springing off it doing gymnastic style moves. Inevitably, Luke got up to show them what he was made of. They were doing spins and 'gyros' whereas Luke ran up and did an insane double somersault. They all seemed pretty impressed. It turned out they were street dancers who could do these spins whereas Luke does more Flips. Burns and I got bored of watching this and headed for the sea, while the girls were being lazy and slept. The water was ice cold and so we hoff'ed it straight in and almost collapsed it was so cold. Once we were used to it we started tackling the 12-foot waves. It was intense. Luke eventually joined us, as we all were getting battered and then told off by the lifeguards. On the way home we had some Ice Cream, which I would say, is the best I've ever had, I think the others would agree. 2 scoops of ice cream, the cone dipped in chocolate, and then unlimited sauce and sprinkles! We got the ferry home about 6 and bought dinner from Coles, Pasta with mince. Us lads offered to cook. This was the start of the problems. As we started cooking we realised we had bought 2 different types of pasta, then Luke put all the peppers, shrooms and onion in before the mince so when the mince did go in there was to much stuff in the pan to cook. Things weren't going well. 2 girls next to us commented on how 'good' it looked while they cooked instant noodles. After about 45 minutes we served the girls an awesome pasta feast. It was actually really nice but the process of cooking was awful. After dinner (Helen couldn't finish hers and there was a plate left over) we played boggle and then went to bed, and Coops was soon sleep talking and making noises, which kept us all up!
Day 90 and it was the arrival of the Dans day. Coops had the worst nights sleep ever and was constantly rolling around in the bunk above me. Helen was up first and phoned home. After that we all went to Coles to by food and drink for New Years Eve. We packed the food away and headed for the Opera House to meet the Dans at 2. Once at Circular Quay, the Pies were bought and we sat in the Botanical gardens for an hour or so catching the sun before the Dans arrived. We all knew they would be ghostly white so wanted to be as brown as possible. We met them outside the Opera house about 230 and could see them coming a mile off as their Whiteness radiated. We all said hello before Luke and Burns said, almost in shock, "Pat, you look brown!" I was chuffed as it was true, compared to the new guys I was proper tanned. The Dans were tired after a 24-hour flight. As a group we walked to the Harbour bridge and climbed the 200 hundred steps to the top of one of the pylons and got an epic view of the harbour. The girls wanted photos so their families could see how brown they were. As you can tell the tan topic was quite popular and I'm sure the Dans were getting bored of it after only an hour or so. After the pylon we had some beers in a rooftop beer garden. The Dans on our advice had a pint of VB and they weren't disappointed. On the way back to the hostel we all stopped into the Apple shop for some Internet and to check the weather for New Years Eve. After a shower and a chill out in our room we headed to the Shark where we all food and drink. I had a burger, and also helped finish Helens, Laura's and Dan Fraser's meal along with Luke and Burns. Dan was amazed by this and us 3 lads had to explain as backpackers, no food goes to waste. The Dans were pretty shattered and headed home so we did the same. Burns and Helen hit the hay first so me and Coops convinced Luke to watch some Heroes. He promptly fell asleep so me and Coops watched the rest then went to bed. Luke and I had planned to get up at 3am to go and queue for a new years spot by the harbour. The others thought this was to early but we knew it would be packed so an early night was essential.
Day 91 and it was New Years Eve. The alarm went off at 3.34 and me and Luke packed towels, blankets and food and headed for Mrs. Maquirues Chair, which is a really popular spot for the public on New Years eve as you get a view of the Opera House and Harbour bridge. We walked through the city in the dark with the odd drunk staggering about. After buying some chocolate milk and some water we followed a group of four girls who were doing the same as us with their picnic and blankets. We reached the site at 4am and realised that the area didn't actually open until 10am and there was a limit to 20,000 people. There were about 100 people in front of us, the majority had camped out for the whole night. We joined the queue, behind the 4 girls and sat. After some early morning cards it soon dawned on us the others (who were going to join us at 10ish) might not get in and should get in the queue ASAP. I promptly power walked back the hostel, woke them, and walked back with them. By 6am Laura, Burns and Helen were in the queue, a couple of hundred people behind me and Luke. Us 2 felt hungry so we ate the left over pasta from a few nights ago. We were playing cards, and eating pasta, with our hands, out of a sandwich bag. No wonder we were getting laughed at by the girls next to us and others around. We both napped for a while and we soon noticed that the Dans had joined the other 3 in the line further back. There were now thousands of people about, lots of them drinking. There was a strict, no BYO alcohol policy, so we had the clever idea of mixing drinks with Coke and Sprite. All morning we were debating whether the stewards would smell the drinks for alcohol or just casually search the bags. By the time the gates opened at 10, the whole queue idea vanished as people started pushing to the front. As me and Luke were getting in we saw the others and all agreed to run for the best spot about 1000 metres down the path. Luckily, the guards didn't smell the drinks and we all got through. I started running with my backpack and a carry bag of drinks, with Flip Flops on. It was well difficult, but I was doing well. Luke soon sprinted past barefoot having left his bags with girls, so he could get a good spot. During my run my bag fell open ripping my book in half. Luckily it was 2 books in 1 and split directly where 1 book finished and the other began. I arrived soon after Luke where we had an awesome view of the harbour amid some trees. Once the others arrived the area began to fill up and everyone sat in the sun (and shade) and relaxed as it was only 1030am and we had another 13 hours to go. We started drinking our Whiskey + Coke and Gin + Lemonade, whilst chatting and reading. During my nap I got awoken by a pack of cards to the eye (Luke said it was an accident...) We played cards, had sandwiches, sausage rolls, the lot and dossed throughout the afternoon as the hours passed. We also played scrabble, which I won. Luke, who was drinking Lilt and Gin, was getting pretty drunk by this point and wandered off for ages. I was also quite drunk as well as Burns and we had some banter in front of everyone. Was all good fun! The first set of fireworks started at 9pm and the crowds had got so big, people were crowding over our area and stuff. Lots of people were starting to get annoyed and rowdy. The fireworks were excellent. We got chatting to a French and Brazilian bloke about footy, which lasted a good hour or so. By 12 it was standing room only with bag everywhere. After 20 stressful and tiresome hours the fireworks were well worth it. We took loads of photos and videos, which we will soon put on facebook. Burns got the best pics with his new camera. About 1230 people started heading home and it was slow progress. It took us about an hour to walk home, Luke was staggering a fair bit! Through the city it felt like being in Grand Theft Auto, Helicopters were in the sky, drunk people in the streets. There were a fair few police cars and ambulances about to. At 2am we got in, we had showers, as we all felt rough, and hit the hay. I was so tired I think I was asleep before I hit the pillow.