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March 23rd 2011
Published: March 23rd 2011
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Arrived Hong Kong yesterday the 22nd

Typing this piece on the 28th floor of the hotel overlooking Kong Kong harbour.

Attached is the Melbourne - Sydney leg of our trip.

12th March – Melbourne

This is going to be a whistle stop ride from Melbourne to Sydney, arrived Melbourne quite early on in the day with view of heading through the Eastern suburbs of St Kilda and taking in some sights before meeting up with Lins friends, Dave & Diane Mullen.

We seemed to bypass most of the city and ended up on East side of Melbourne on Port Philip bay, which is their watersports playground.

Met up with Dave & Di at our motel, they drove us up through the Yarra valley (wine country) to a place called Marysville.
It had been decimated by the fire they had here in 2009. It must have been horrific, because Dave & Di knew the place, they became quite emotional at seeing what was left of the township. In some places the foundations were the only bits visible.
They are slowly rebuilding, the forest around seems to be better at regeneration than us mortals.

Nice BBQ – Aussie style – that is outside and being bitten by mossies – we must have been new flesh for them as they did not seem to bother our hosts.

13th March – Gundagai

Drove North out of Melbourne up towards the Hume Highway, through the beautiful Yarra valley, mile after mile of vineyards. Called at Albury, where we thought we may stop for the night but headed a bit further North to a place called Gundagai.

Interesting place, you may want to Google the place to find out its history including the famous ‘Dog on a Tucker Box’.

Bit of a one horse town (on a Sunday) not much in the way of dining or snacking. It had character though!!

14th March – Woolongong

Not much to say about today, weather had a turn for the worse, headed over the Grampians towards the coast and ended up in Woolongong.
I am sure it has its nice areas, we drove around and couldn’t find them.
We found a motel (probably the worst we had had) found somewhere to eat and decided to get up early to head for Sydney.

15th March – Sydney

Nice early start and an uneventful trip to Sydney Airport to drop the car off.

Into Sydney to apartment (Studio) our home until 22nd March

Nice to be in somewhere where you have been before (sort of comforting).

Walked to Circular Quay for ferry timetables, checked which restaurants we may go to during our stay for lunches as well as maybe the odd dinner.

16th March – Sydney

Botanic Gardens, we only touched on these last year so had the morning up to lunch, wandering through down to the Farm cove area.
The gardens have been invaded by a colony of flying foxes, we came upon a ranger who was counting them (he didn’t know why either).
They are very destructive and unless they move on they will destroy the park trees one by one. They are noisy and whilst mainly roost during the hottest part of the day they seemed to be everywhere.

In the afternoon we went to the Museum of Contempory Art to look at an exhibition by the photographer Annie Leibovitz.

There is also an exhibition by Aboriginal leader and artist called Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek AO, which we will leave for another day because the weather looks likely to change.

It did, heavy thunder showers, we did not go far for dinner.

17th March – Sydney

St Patricks Day and all the pseudo Irish were out and about in green etc.

Out to Watsons Bay on the ferry. The trip is purely for gastronomic reasons. The famous Doyles fish restaurant is here. So guess where we headed.
Great food.
Supper was light and in the apartment!!!

18th March – Sydney

Rocks area today.
Went to the Rocks Museum which showed a the timeline of how the area was inhabited and colonised up to the 1900.

Then a walk on the west side of the harbour bridge where we found an Indonesian restaurant for lunch. Back through the Rocks to Circular Quay.

19th March – Sydney

We are going to watch the Waratahs v Cheetahs at Sydney Football Stadium tonight and the weather does not look good.
Heavy rain this morning but still 24 c.

Caught up with Aboriginal display at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the place was packed because of the weather.

Went around on the ferry to Darling Harbour and guess what found another nice place to eat, fish again, but when its so fresh you have got to eat it.

Rugby was a bit different from watching Worcester Warriors, although the skill level of the Waratahs was very poor up against a side that had not won this season. The rain stayed away, apart from a brief spell in the second half. Anyway the homeside lost 3 – 23.

Bus back to the Circular Quay with some very disgruntled fans.

20th March – Sydney

Raining again at start of day, seems to clear up until about 4-5pm then come down again.

Chilled around the harbour area today, eating out tonight (I know its food again), at least we have good walk before and after the meals.

As we walked back from restaurant a concert was being relayed from the Opera House to a large screen next to the Museum we had been to. The Opera House was lit with various holograms in time with the music.

Quite evocative and surreal at the same time.

21st March – Sydney

Our last full day in Sydney & Australia.

We had plan A (fine weather) and plan B (wet weather) – it was neither one or the other.

It was pretty wet when we got up, so Plan B – Australian Museum, easy walking distance.
When we got close to it, the weather had cleared up enough to implement Plan A, the Hop On, Hop Off bus tours around Sydney and the famous Bondi beach.

Its a good way of seeing all the main areas, we got off in Bondi for lunch, walked to see the beach area and the back into the City.

In all about 5 hours (and we got discount for being over 60).
It didn’t rain on the whole trip and within half an hour of being back in the apartment the heavens opened. I’m typing this up at 7pm and it still hasn’t stopped (and doesn’t look as though it will).

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