Published: January 21st 2012December 7th 2011
The sign from Melbourne said 850km to Sydney and wow, it was a very long drive. Ten hours from city to city. We were on our way to see Tabitha and Jeff, the couple we met whilst on the kitty raft in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. They had been kind enough to offer us somewhere to sleep, eatand do some washing whilst in Sydney. This saved us a bunch as Sydney is a super expensive place! We got to their apartment around 7pm and were shown to our room. The apartment they have is large and very nice. The balcony area was a comfy place to chill out! Tabs and Jeff had a few things planned for us whilst there, but had to wait until the weekend. On Friday, Tabs and Jeff went off to work and Charlie and I went off to do our tourist bit.
We caught the ferry that travels along the river from Parramatta, where Tabs and Jeff live, to Circular Quay in Sydney Harbour. The hour long trip along the river offered great views of the city. The boat travelled under the harbour bridge and onto the wharf that sits between the opera house and the bridge.
Charlie and I spend the warm day photographing the opera house, bridge and surrounding botanical gardens. The opera house sits like a beacon on the harbour front. The white roof, cuts though the view of the buildings. I was told that if all the pieces of the roof were put together they would form a perfect sphere.
On the Saturday, Charlie and I relaxed as Tabs went out for a spa day. We all drank together that evening, went through their wedding pictures and watched a couple of movies.
Sunday morning rolled around and we were told we were heading to the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains sit one hours drive inland and are a small section of the Dividing Range. This range of mountains run for about 1000 kilometres along the East coast of Australia and are so called as they divide the coastal land from the desert regions of mid Australia.
We travelled in Jeff's 4x4 up and up into the mountainous region. It was a good thing we had a 4x4 car. We wouldn't have seen the things we would have had we not. Jeff took us off the main road and up a
track that on one else was anywhere near. We had a stunning view of the view around us. Little did we know this was stop one of the day!
After a shot photo session, we moved onto another viewing spot. From here we could see the Three Sisters. These three rocks sit next to each other each sprouting independently. Again the views from here were breathtaking. We were on the edge of a cliff! I managed to get a picture of Charlie walking along the edge to show the height we were at. We all smiled for another picture session and the headed to the visitor platform where everybody takes pictures of the Three Sisters.
As you can imagine, this place was very busy. Snappy happy Asians with SLR cameras hanging around their necks! It must have been perfect timing because as we got there, the Three Sisters were covered in cloud. We both pushed our way to the front to get a better view, and as if by magic, the cloud started to clear over the rocks. They emerged slowly and I was able to get some amazing pictures. Punching our way back through the crowd of
SLR bearing Asian tour parties, we were eventually able to get back to the car and headed back.
By midday we were back at the apartment and with no rest, Tabs and I were heading back out to play squash. I hadn't played in 3 months, had to borrow a racket and shoes and to say I was a bit rusty was an understatement. Tabs managed three consecutive league matches whilst I was able to grab a few club members to have a hit with. We headed back later than expected to the lovely smells Charlie's cooking.
I was in for a real treat, Kangaroo steak. Kangaroo steak is the leanest of meats and is meant to be eaten rare or medium at most. We all sat down for a Sunday dinner and the Steak I had was awesome. I will be looking for kangaroo when I get home, might struggle in Tesco though!
Monday was our last full day in Sydney before heading north Tuesday morning. Charlie and i rested that day but had planned to head out in the evening. Charlie was to meet up with Geoff and Lucy Walker, family friends and I had
Don, Stacey, Katie & Myself
Standing in front of the bridge on Circular Quay at night.
planned to head into the city to meet Don Somerville, and work colleague now living here and Katie Hanley, who I grew up with playing squash.
Unfortunately, a miscommunication lead to Charlie not meeting Geoff and Lucy as we were at different ends of the city. We were both upset as we were both looking forward to seeing them both.
As Charlie headed back to the apartment, I headed off into the city to meet up with Don and Katie. Don bought his girlfriend, Stacey. We all had a good time catching up, having a drink and getting some food on the harbour front. I got back around 11am to ring the door bell from downstairs to let me in, I got in reply "I can see you" and a giggle. The camera was pointed on me and Charlie was laughing at me!
Tabs is such a kind person, she knew we had another long drive up to Ballina after Sydney and had arranged for us to stay at her parents half way along the journey. We said goodbye to Tabs and Jeff after an amazing weekend and got on the way up to Ballina to see
Mark and Heather.
Sydney to Ballina is a 13 hour drive and as Tabs had set us up with staying at her mum's, we got there after only 8 hours driving. We stayed in a lovely house in a very quiet area just off the main road. We were told of places to spot whales at the correct time of year and the best route to carry on our journey.
We were so lucky, we cannot thank Tabs, Jeff and Tabs parents for looking after us.