My experience in Sydney started off weary, but turned into a lovely mini-vacation.
We were in Sydney for 5 days total (Tuesday-Saturday). The first four days were rain, rain, rain and more rain. I have never seen so much rainfall as I have since Fiji and Sydney. It just loads, and never seems to stop. Anyway, Wednesday was just spent moving from the airport to our hostel and settling in, trying to learn a little bit about our location and such. Thursday we woke up yearning for some adventure, despite the rain. We decided to trek the city to find some “indoor activities”. We, we meaning the boys, decided to go to the Sydney Aquarium. I did come face to face with sharks, a HUGE fear of mine and it was terrible – but I happy that I got it over with. We walked in the rain about 10km, to the habour and back – but I didn’t mind because it was warm rain, ha. We discovered on day 1 that McDonalds has $1 cheeseburgers, so we found quite a liking to little McDonalds burgers as snacks during our stay, ha. We also noticed, they had McDonald’s everywhere! And Canada’s burger king is called Hungry jacks here. We didn’t really see a taco bell or any other sort of fast food. But after the long day of walking in the rain, we went grocery shopping a bit and I even bought some Iron pills, surprise! We got back to the hostel and Kenny was pretty sick and it lasted until early Saturday. He was covered in blankets and still freezing, had a few really high fevers, and sweat more than I’ve ever seen someone sweat before. Chris and I convinced him to go to the doctor, only because there was a chance he picked something up in Fiji (which wouldn’t be good). After googling Malaria several times and talking to the local “chemist” (Australian pharmacy), turns out just some jetlag and the flu.
On Friday, we were all feeling a bit under the weather – probably because of our rainwalk. We managed to get out a bit more and see the Sydney Naval base and some local hotspots. We went back to the hostel and rested, then went for happy hour at a nearby hotel-bar. It was pretty cool, with floors overlooking the city streets and some live music. We didn’t do much else Thursday. It was more of a relaxing, stress-free days – much needed.
Saturday we woke up to some sun, finally! We had been waking up really early every day, between 8-9am for a few reasons. First, we get free breakfast (just tea/coffee, bread, and cereal) at 9:30, so we ate that most mornings. And secondly, because of our jetlag, we have been going to bed at about 10 at night lately. But anyway we woke up a bit later on Saturday, so about 10am, and decided to take the Sydney/Bondi Beach 24 bus tour. We figured we could hear about the history of the city, discover other nooks and crannies, and have free transport for 24 hours. (Free other than paying $30 for the bus, ha!). We went on the Bondi Beach tour first. When we arrived at the beach, it was packed with tourists, locals, surfers, every kind of person. The asians were easy to spot, because they were walking with umbrellas, which seemed odd on a clear sun-shining day. We laid on the beach for probably 2 hours and went bodysurfing in the ocean. There were jellyfish EVERYWHERE! I picked a few up, and they moved in my hand. I saw a little boy playing with one, trying to eat it until his mother took it away, haha. We also saw something that looked like a child olympic surfing team. These kids were about 8-12 years old just running up and down the beach into the ocean and out on these surfboards. They never actually went up on their boards, so we thought maybe they were training for lifeguarding. Either way they were doing drills and working out with their coaches yelling “faster!” for the entire time we were on the beach, it was shocking.
After the beach we went back onto the tour bus. Chris and I realized we looked like lobsters. We were so sunburnt it was ridiculous. I guess we got carried away with the whole rain week turning so beautifully, we didn’t use any sunscreen. Our plan for a night on the town turned badly because were so burnt, so we just watched some californication and called it a night.
This morning (Sunday) we woke up, packed our stuff and took the Sydney part of the tour. Then we caught our flight to Adelaide at 2:25. We flew Quantas, and of course ran into problems. You check your bags yourself, weigh them and everything. So we spent a half hour on the airport floor moving things around so each bag would fit the requirements. It is stupid because each airline we have flown have different size and weight requirements, so we have to change our bags each time. Anyway, we did that forever it seemed- then NOONE even checked the weights of our carryons! So we pretty much spent all that time for nothing … and then when we got to our boarding gate, our flight was delayed over an hour due to maintenance, again. We finally arrived in Adelaide at 5. Kenny’s bag didn’t make it to Adelaide, which seems ridiculous after an hour and a half delay and all that work to make sure our bags fit the requirements. But, we made it here and it seems a bit like the a ghost-town. We are staying one night so we can wake up to watch the superbowl in the morning, which by the way I could care less about because it is the Patriots and Giants, two teams I dont care for. As long as the Giants don’t win, I will feel satisfied, sorry Sandra D- but you’re my rival. It is 10am here with the time difference so it may be interesting. After the superbowl, we are renting a van and heading on the Great Ocean Road. The plan is to get a car big enough to sleep in, so we don’t have to worry about finding hostels or hotels on the way. We’ll see how that all works out.
This leg of the trip we have worked out already quite a bit, with places to stop from Adelaide to Melbourne. And then …. we are FINALLY THERE! This trip will have taken its (almost) final destination and we can start apartment hunting. My orientation is in 9 days now, so I have to start to get into school mode soon, which seems in another dimension at this point.
Overall, I will keep writing with updates on the great ocean road trip! Our roommates here in Adelaide have been traveling for 16 months in Australia, and I thought 7 months was nuts, ha. They are British and really nice.
Thank God for American Football.