Sydney at New Year
We arrived in Sydney just a day before NYE with little clue as to what we were going to do about accommodation. Fortunately Sam's friend Jamie from law school is paralegaling out here for a few months so we managed to crash on his floor for a couple of nights. He lives in Bondi so it was great to check out this hallowed place. Rumour had it that Paris Hilton was in town and soon enough the main street was packed with people and police as it emerged she had decided to do some shopping! Anyhow after I had got over my star struck feelings (yawn) we had to figure out the POA for NYE. Al's former flatmate Brendo also lives in Sydney and invited us to Balmain East for NYE as you can see a great view of Harbour Bridge and the fireworks without getting mobbed at the Botanical Gardens. You can also bring as much alcohol as you want. So we pitched up laden with food and drink.
THe view was great and there are 2 lots of fireworks on NYE, one at 9pm for all the kiddies and then the piece de resistance at midnight. The sight was spectacular and it was well worth the wait. After that it was on to several of the many house parties going on down the road that night. So all in all, a very random night but a good one.
On the 2nd, I managed to meet up with Casey and his sister Amy who were out here holidaying. We all went to day 1 of the fifth ashes test at the SCG - a nice ground but not quite as awesome as Melbourne. The weather was great, shame the same could not be said about the cricket. It really is going to be a 5-0 whitewash. Schade. The cricket firmly pushed to the back of my mind, we all went out for dinner to a delicious seafood restaurant. Casey kindly let me crash at the Hilton with him - far removed from my usual floor spot in Bondi!
The next day was another early start as we got whisked off to Hunter Valley for a day of wine tasting. The place is great - you just simply rock up and can taste unlimited wine at a diverse range of wineries. Cheese and chocolate tasting was also on offer! We decided to take the bicycle option and bike around the different wineries. There were 4 of us so we got a tandem bike and 2 singles which was hilarious! More to the point, after nailing 6 wineries, we had half an hour to cycle all the way back and a champagne house to sample. Ended up being half an hour late much to the annoyance of some jumped up American.
Sam and I decided to go to the Blue Mountains before our final weekend in Sydney. They are only 2hrs away by train and well worth a trip if you visit Sydney itself. Incidentally, they are called such because of the blue hue given off by the Eucalyptus plant found in abundance (excellent pub quiz question methinks). The main town Katoomba is rather sleepy but pleasant, but you would definitely get bored there! Sam had a great aunt living in Hazelbrook who she had never met so we enjoyed a nice dinner with them after doing a trek. Then it was back to Sydney for a couple more nights.
I have only got 2 weeks left which is very weird indeed, but I changed my flights last week as I fancied some sun. So now I am staying in NZ for only 3 nights before jetting off to Hawaii for 10 days!!