02.07.2008 20 °C
It's been a long time since I've blogged and I apologize but things have been pretty hectic. We moved through the rest of South East Asia so quickly that we just didn't have time to keep you updated.
We're in Australia now, a little later than planned as our new found friends from South Africa begged us to go back to Koh Pangnan for another Full Moon Party which meant we had to change our flights to Oz.
We made it here though, after a long 12 hour flight with British Airways (not as good as Qantas!) to Sydney. It was a night flight and I unfortunately did not get any sleep so we landed at 6am, I was groggy and....COLD. We travelled in the usual style of shorts, flip flops and vest tops after spending a few hot days on the beach and in Bangkok to arrive in winter in Australia. It was a bit of a shock to the system but we're glad to report that Australians are mad if they think that the weather here ever gets cold...it only gets lukewarm compared to the UK!
We spent about an hour getting out of Sydney airport, due to their need to check everyone for wood items (because they don't have woodworm here apparently, and don't want it for obvious reasons!). We did have to remark that the customs people were really lovely and helpful, possibly due to having to deal with the stern faced Vietnamese previously.
We headed out at 7am to find somewhere we could store our luggage for the day and to find jumpers to wear. We successfully ditched our bags and walked through the city centre ona mission to find the Opera House and Habour Bridge. We stopped for a hearty breakfast of course and studied the maps we'd found for free and decided we were fit enough to walk the sights of the big city.
We literally kept walking in a straight line to find the world famous landmarks but it was all a bit surreal at 8am and we've also come to the conclusion that we're suffering from 'Landmark Viewing Fatigue' which means we no long 'ooooh' and 'ahhh' over the things we've been wanting to see for years. For exmaple, Clare's comments on the Harbour Bridge - "Oh, it's just a bigger version of the Tyne Bridge then..." and my comments on the Opera House - "Oh, it's a bit small really...and there are too many stairs...now where are the toilets?".
We took some pretty pictures though and killed some time sitting by the landmarks taking turns to snooze on the park benches and listening to the Aboriginal man play his digeridoo.
The reason we needed to kill so much time was because we were meeting Clare's cousin once she finished work at 5pm so it was a long wait when you're that tired and a bit disorientated.
Luckily, we survived the wait and met Nicola and she took us back to the suburbs (Hornsby) so we could stay there for a few nights and recouperate and doing plenty of laundry. It was great to just be able to take our time and relax and be in a house rather than a guesthouse. I remember the first night, sitting down to a home cooked dinner and sitting around a dining table and not having to pay...it was bliss!
We mostly hid in the suburbs for a few nights and tried to catch up on sleep and adjust our body clocks again before we hit the city again. We decided to check out Manly beach (tip from Nicola) rather than Bondi beach as it's a nicer area. And it was lovely....we stood and watched the surfers try and catch some waves and had a nice lunch and tried to find bargains in the surf shops (nothing is going to be as cheap as Bangkok!). We headed back on the commuter ferry at 5pm so we could see the sunset over the Harbour Bridge which people usually pay a lot of money to do on a private cruise and it was stunning.
The next night we said good bye and many thanks to Nicola and headed for a night in the city before catching our flight to Brisbane. It was a bit of a mistake...we wanted a bit of a night out and we got a big night out which ultimately led to a bit of a disaster of sorts! We managed to set an alarm to wake us up at an appropriate time to catch the flight...however, we forgot to change the alram clock to Oz time and so we slept in until 10:30am and our flight was at 11:10am... I was very optomistic that we could still make it but we only managed to get on t a train to the airport at 11:10am rather than the plane! It wasn't a complete distaster though, we had to pay a small charge to change us to the next flight (it was a popular morning for it according to the JetStar staff) and we were on our way to sunny Brisbane in search of jobs and cheap accommodation (and a few friends from home!).