Published: May 4th 2009April 30th 2009
This morning we packed up the camper van and headed onto the M4 motorway which goes straight into Sydney. We travelled for approximately 40km from Penrith to an area south west of the city called Belmore, to drop off camper van at the depot. Along the way we saw the Olympic Park and the city skyline in the distance.
The train station was 10 minutes walk from the depot and it felt strange to be backpackers again carrying all our belongings. It took us half an hour to get to Central Station where Oliver's uncle David was picking us up. We drove north over the Sydney harbour bridge towards Mona Vale where David and Oliver's aunty Eleanor have a luxury penthouse apartment overlooking the Bayview golf course.
In the afternoon we went for a walk to Winnererremy Bay towards the Bayview marina and had a coffee while looking at all the different types of boats. We got settled in and then enjoyed a lovely meal before retiring to a comfy bed for the night.
As the weather forecast was to be good today David arranged for us to go sailing on
his yacht. David and Oliver set off early to bring the boat from its mooring at Coreel Bay to the yacht club in Newport. Here Eleanor and I drove to meet them with the provisions for lunch and off we went. Under guidance from captain compassionate (David!) Oliver steered while I trimmed the sails.
We headed out towards the sea through Broken Bay, the wind picked up so we could sail the yacht passed Palm Beach, towards the open sea on a gentle rolling swell and the sun glinting on the water. Eleanor laid on a lovely lunch which we enjoyed while moored up in Coasters Retreat in the glorious sunshine.
After lunch we went ashore in the dingy where we saw wallabies with Joey's in their pouch happily bouncing around. We gently set off back to the boats mooring at Careel Bay in the late afternoon sunshine. In the evening we all met up with Oliver's cousin Ewan and his wife Suz in Manly for a Thai meal.
Oliver and David got up early and went to meet Ewan at the beach as he was going for a morning surf. Ewan showed
Oliver how it was done and Oliver had a go at catching some waves. He managed to stand up on the board for a few seconds which is good for his first time, and also had a big time wipe out after “hanging ten” with the 3 metre long board shooting up in the air.
In the afternoon we went for a walk to the lighthouse at Barrenjoey. The lighthouse sits at the mouth of Broken Bay on the peninsula overlooking Summer Bay (where Home and Away is filmed). We called off at Palm Beach and sat on the beach to have fish and chips with our legs dangling down over the sea wall watching the sun set.
Today we caught the ferry from Manly to Sydney Circular Quay which takes about 30 minutes. The weather looked a bit grey when we set off but by the time we saw the city the sun was shining. The view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge was breathtaking and we managed to take some great pictures. We have seen this view many times before on pictures and on the television every new year but it
is still amazing to see it in the flesh.
We walked along Circular Quay towards the Opera House and took advantage of every photo opportunity. After coffee by the water we strolled to The Rocks the birthplace of the city. Today as it was Sunday it was full of people browsing the many market stalls. After walking to the foot of the bridge we returned back to the ferry terminal to catch the ferry back to Manly.
Manly is a famous surfing beach and today it was full of people taking advantage of the fine weather and waves. We sat on the beach watching the surfers and walked along esplanade to Shelley Beach dodging the many bikes, skateboards and children.
In the evening we enjoyed a baked (roast) lamb dinner as I am typing this we are having coffee and chocolate as it is our last evening here.
There are more photos below