A 4.5 hour flight that leaves at 1 am means very little sleep but we planned it that way to make time spent travelling more efficient. I used our early arrival time by finishing a blog post with Sidney airport’s free wifi.
Monique picked us up and showed us a few highlights in the city along the way to her and Mark’s apartment. We chatted for a bit and headed out for the Blue Mountains. After a stop at Monique’s favourite cafe for chai tea, a few stops at look out points where we oohed and awed over the beauty of the area we hiked down to a water fall. Next stop was the “Three Sisters” where we waited for the sunset. By this time we were all starving so stopped for fish and chips that we devoured in the car until we reached our final destination, a cottage at Merroo, a Christian retreat centre in an incredibly beautiful area.
I slept till 7:30 am. Nice! It was a relaxing day. Sue and I did went out exploring and just spent a couple hours walking, enjoying nature and the sounds of the birds in the beauty of the Blue Mountains. At the cottage we had lunch, chatted and headed back to Sidney.
Monday, Feb 24
The kookaburra woke me up early and after a skype call home, breakfast, yummy coffee and consulting on the what the next few days would include we headed out.
After seriously enjoying Monique’s home made granola with Greek yogurt she dropped us off at Coogee and Sue and I walked the ocean path to Bondi beach. Gorgeous views are everywhere along Sydney’s coast line! At Bondi we found a back packer travel agent. Athena was excellent and spent a couple of hours booking everything we need for the next 2 weeks of travel. We went off and had dinner and when we came back she had hostel vouchers, bus tickets, tour vouchers, reef dive and sailing trips all booked. Nice! Tailor made, self guided tour, here we come!
We bought a full day public transit pass and took the train to the city where we walked across the Sydney bridge. It’s huge and offers great views of massive harbour. You can climb to the top of the bridge for $200 but the bridge itself was fine by me.
At Circular Quay we caught the ferry to Manly. Through the town and on the other side is the open ocean and more beaches which, I think, are the nicest ones I’d seen in Sydney. There’s a big open beach for surfers, Shelly beach for snorkeling annd a marine park and a really nice nature trail.
After lunch we headed back to Sydney and took another ferry to Darling Harbour which was another happening place. A gelato helped cool us off as we walked in the 30 degree afternoon sun. e
We met up with friends Sue had met in China and Michelle, whom I’d met in Peru and had a really nice dinner together at Pancakes on the Rocks. By the time we got back on the train is was after 11pm and we were exhausted. Mark was sweet enough to pick us up at the train station and save us that last 10 minute walk. I told Monique she should keep him. 🙂
After a relaxing morning, Monique took us to the national park for a quick walk before dropping us off at the airport and going to work. It’s only 10 minutes from her home and what a delightful place! There’s lots of wildlife so we just wandered about and took photos before heading out, hugged Monique good bye and hung around at the airport for a bit.