24.02.2011 - 27.02.2011 33 °C
You know you have well and truly left South East Asia when the mineral water you buy at Sydney Airport costs more than a nights accommodation in a beautiful Thailand national park. Crikey!
We arrived at our hostel, The Traveller's Rest, and collapsed in a tired heap. Totally knackered after taking full advantage of Singapore Airline's excellent entertainment system = lots of films and no sleep. We emerged at dusk and wondered down to the Harbour Bay for a glimpse of the bridge and Opera House. Here we are. Australia.
Keen to blend in with the locals we found a dive bar with some live music and tucked into beer and kangaroo burgers for dinner (Katie inhaling her first glass of Australian white). The local guitarist gave us a Proclaimers rendition on learning Katie's heritage - not a bad Scottish accent either.
We had two days in Sydney before picking up our camper-van and heading north. After our free breakfast of, you've guesssed it, Butter-Jam-Toast (seems some things are universal) we strolled through the Botanic Gardens (see last scene of Mission Impossible II) to catch a ferry to Manly. Manly is a suburb of Sydney where our friend Lesley lives. Due to budgetary constraints in Oz, self-catering will be the order of the day, so we were delighted to spot an Aldi as we got off the boat. 1kg of pasta quills $1 - thank you Aldi. We then headed off for a walk along the sceneic coastal path. It was scenic - georgeous views of the bay looking out to sea.
We met up with Lesley for a pint afterwards before heading back on the ferry into a beautiful sunset.
On our walk back to the hostel Katie asked what the birds were swooping over the city. On closer inspection it turned out to be our friends the Fruit Bat (see close run in at Singapore Zoo). However hardened by our bat-cave exploration we were non-too fazed. Pasta and sauce for tea.
Day 2 in Sydney and we hit the beach, Bondi to be precise. Probably the second most famous beach in the World after 'The Beach'. Katie settled in for first Australian sun-bathing session. Afterwards we took in another scenic coastal walk - they like these in Australia - before a bus back to town. Slap up dinner of pasta and sauce.
Day of departure and heated debate as to what to name our van. We are renting from a company called 'Jucy' who provide bright green campers, and after our friends Charlie and John adopted the name 'Jucy Lucy' for their van, we were left in a rhyme vacuum - what other names rhyme with Jucy??. That was until Katie ingeniously remembered the name of a certain popular athlete of the 90's - Ladies and Gentleman, we give you 'Jucy Akabusi'. However, naming was not to be so simple. Katie had mistaken Chris Akabusi for the boxer Chris Eubank, who she thinks is cooler because he walks with a cane and does Jaguar impressions (WTF!). She has since insisted the van be called 'Jucy Eubank'. The debate rages - we leave it to you, the good people, to settle the matter. Jucy Akabusi or Jucy Eubank - you decide.