On Sunday 28th March, the day after my last blog entry, Neal arrived in Sydney. The airport experience was very emotional as I had really started to miss home by this point but I managed to hold it together, and although 12 hours late, Neal arrived and we headed into the city where we had a leisurely day, chatting in a cafe for hours and wandering around Darling Harbour before getting an early night.
We spent most of our two weeks wandering around the city, which was surprisingly small but rather impressive as expected. We took a day-trip to Taronga Zoo which was fantastic as its on a hill on the other side of the harbour so the views across to Sydney were great. We took a ferry across the water and a cable car up to the top of the hill which is the zoo entrance which meant we could see all the animals below us. It was a lovely place with a large variety of animals and a very cute baby elephant!
We also took a day trip to Bondi Beach. This was different to what I had imagined...it was nice but definitely less impressive. We took another day trip to Manly Beach which was a lot nicer, in a larger town to which we had to catch the ferry. We also went to the Blue Mountains for one night but the weather was awful! We took a guided tour and spent the day walking around the mountains, hoping to spot the 3 sisters but the mist was so bad that we didnt actually see any mountains at all!
We had a couple of nights out, one to Oxford Street, the Gay district. We ate out a lot too, at china town a couple of times, we had kangaroo pizza in a local pub and on our last evening treated ourselves to a rather expensive seafood platter at Circular Quay overlooking the Opera House. We also ate a lot of ice cream and even visited the Lindt cafe for hot chocolate and chocolate cake.
In the last week we also met up with Henrik, Florian and Johanna for drinks which was really nice as I hadnt seen them since December and it was great to catch-up and find out what they've been upto!
When Neal left for Melbourne last Friday I went on a weekend surfcamp. It was really good fun but hard work! I was absoultely terrible but would love to try it again and would definitely recommend it. The trip took us to 7 mile beach 2 hours South of Sydney where the weather was lovely and we had 2x 2 hour lessons a day, plus meals and slept in cabins. I was with a good group and had really good fun. My arms ached for a good 2 days afterwards though!
Upon my return to Sydney I promptly left for Newcastle where I have managed to find a job cleaning in the YHA hostel for 2 hours every morning in exchange for free accommodation. I will stay here for 2 weeks as it gives me an opportunity to save some money after spending such a lot in Sydney. The hostel also offers 4 free meals (although pretty poor) a week and free laundry once a week so I should be able to save quite a bit. I have a nice room too, sharing with a Norwegian and German girl who also work at the hostel and we have a fridge and TV.
Newcastle is actually a city but is quite small. Its got lovely beaches and so far the weather has been fantastic so my plan is simply to chill out and try to spend as little money as possible. I am really enjoying being here so hopefully the next 2 weeks will fly by and I will be back on the road again, next stop Byron Bay.