08.06.2011 - 13.06.2011
As I mentioned previously we were lucky to have the help of family in Sydney - a brief break from hostels. With Christmases flying in from Singapore as well Sydney certainly wasn't short of Christmas presence. Very nice to see everyone agin. Our visit had been cunningly timed so that we might join in for two birthday dinners. Whether it be lamb shanks, homemade pie or aromatic fish curry, the food quality certainly went up a notch. No longer did we have to search for $7 meal deals. I also experienced the two best chocolate milkshakes of the trip - at Max Brenner, the specialist chocolate shop, and my absolute favourite, the Lindt shop. Very exciting.
We also managed to see plenty of Sydney. The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach. All the classics. Lovely views from Watson's Bay - slightly marred by a man moaning about all the people taking photos. I took a photo of him. Let's see how he likes that. But there sure are plenty of cool places in Sydney. Including Manly, a place where I really felt I belonged . We also saw Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D at the largest IMAX cinema screen in the world. Apparently. It was pretty massive, certainly brought us closer to the action! And Captain Jack invariably makes me laugh. I also had an excuse to do my Cap'n Barbosa impression.
Weather wise Sydney has not been the best destination so far. I imagine it's been warmer in England. And quite possibly less wet. There are even flash flood warnings for the next few days. At least the jeans and classic red hoody have finally got some use! And it's a nice reminder of home...
Unfortunately, our onward journey has been put in doubt by an ash cloud looming over Australia and New Zealand. We discovered that our flight was cancelled and, later this afternoon, that there had also been further earthquakes at Christchurch. Thankfully it seems like no-one in Christchurch has been badly hurt but it is still unclear when or if we will be flying there.
The delay gave us an opportunity to do a bit of surfing. I did surf once before, aged 14, at the lovely Polzeath in Cornwall. But I wasn't sure if I would have retained the technique that made me such a formidable surfer back in the day. I did manage to catch a couple of waves and despite being unsure what I was doing I seemed to occassionally, almost subconsciously, leap onto the board just fine. Slightly buoyed by a couple of successes, we headed out deeper, and realised we were drifting quite far and it was tough getting back when the waves weren't breaking and we couldn't surf our way in... After a lot of determined paddling, and despite having my board coming off my ankle and surfing to shore all by itself, I did return to dry land! Exhausted.
Not sure where the next blog will be from. The plan for the next couple of weeks may have to change. We shall see. But hey photos are up on facebook of Singapore right through to Sydney!