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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Neutral Bay
December 2nd 2010
Published: December 2nd 2010
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Chris's Section

We haven't blogged in a few weeks. We were quite conscious of the increasing dullness of our blogs so we thought we'd give it a rest for a bit. Although we enjoyed Oz it was getting a bit samey. Then we hit Sydney – yeah baby!

The sun was shining as we made our way to meet our friends, Paul & Rita. They generously offered us a room for a few days and we planned to drop off our stuff before returning the van to the rental place. They have a place overlooking Neutral Bay and the views are amazing. A real wow moment when we first went in. The photos don't do the view justice.

We had to return our home for the previous 10 weeks. Although we have loved the freedom of being in a campervan, 10 weeks is such a long time and we were starting to go a bit stir crazy. On our way to the rental place I did a bit of a sex wee when I drove over the Harbour Bridge. It was a thrilling moment and also a little terrifying – driving in Sydney is a little stressful. We
Palm Beach aka Summer BayPalm Beach aka Summer BayPalm Beach aka Summer Bay

You know we belong together....
caught a glance of the Opera House. All very surreal.

We dropped off the van with no hassles and then went for lunch by the beach. Then we visited a wine tasting. Loads of free and delicious wines to sample in the sunshine. There were some serious wine buffs in attendance. I felt a bit of an imposter and tried hard to keep my mouth shut for fear of sounding like an idiot. After we went out into Sydney for a quick harbour tour and a few beers and some food. It felt weird to be next to the Opera House for real. You get so used to seeing these things on telly - it's strange to actually be there. Overall, a great day was had.

The next few days, unfortunately, were dominated by rain and overcast skies. A real shame, but it could have been worse (we could have had snow!). We walked through the parks, visited the Powerhouse Museum (good fun), visited more pubs and met up with a few of Paul & Rita's friends. Sydney was all about people, food, drink and shopping. Fab!

We both really loved Sydney. It's a fabulous place and
The money shotThe money shotThe money shot

Shame about the grey sky
we could see ourselves living there. Paul & Rita were fabulous hosts and made us feel so welcome. Thanks so much guys. It looks like you've made the right move and are loving life in Sydney.

Overall, and contrary to what you may think, we've loved Oz. It's a beautiful country and the people are so welcoming. Yes it's a little expensive for us brits, but it's still worth a visit. Our problem was time. We spent too long visiting similar places. We couldn't afford to do tours, etc, so our activities we a little limited. I think 6 weeks, rather than 10, in the campervan would have been better.

Next stop New Zealand. We're in Auckland as we write this. More on NZ next time.


Louise's Section

So we have now landed in Auckland but thought we'd do a recap of our last few weeks in Australia.

To be honest we have mainly been lazing around in the van, killing time before hitting Sydney. We spent a lovely few days up at Towoon Bay at The Entrance and for the first time in weeks we managed to go 4 days without rain (that soon changed). Basically we just stayed at any beach areas and chilled out. Didn't think it was possible but Chris claimed to be 'beached out' by the end of it. So onto Lane Cove in Sydney (the closest camp site to the city centre for all you other campers out there, 13km to the harbour bridge).

Along came clean up the van day ready for its return in Sydney and Chris was determined to get back our $100 bond. We spent 3 ½ hours dusting, wiping, sweeping, polishing until inside it looked all new and shiny. We spent the next few hours sat admiring our work just wanting a car wash and then it happened...in Chris's wisdom after supergluing the saucepan lid knob back on and fixing his sunnies he left the tube of glue on the dashboard. Needless to say it had leaked and was well and truly stuck to the van. With brute force the tube came off but not without leaving a horrific mess, typical, and after much name calling we agreed that probably paying for a car wash was pointless now. Still hoping on the return of the bond as we covered it with all
Neutral Bay - SydneyNeutral Bay - SydneyNeutral Bay - Sydney

The view from Paul & Rita's apartment. Wow!
the paperwork crap so hopefully the van people didn't notice it until after they signed off that it was ok.

Sydney was great. We spent a few days at Chris's friends house (Chateau Thomas) and we swear coming from the van it was a five star hotel; a bed, a duvet and a bathroom next door, a stunning view of the harbour and great company... whoohoooooo!! We have met some fab people, drank so much great wine and beer and walked our socks off. But, as you guessed, sunny on our arrival and then it chucked it down. The good news is we have seen the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and walked both (not up the bridge though as Chris would have died). We walked around The Rocks, that reminded me of Dublin. We walked around the gardens near Mrs Macquaries chair and despite the rain was lovely. It still felt all a bit surreal to be there though after so many years of seeing it on the telly.

With the exception of a visit to the Powerhouse Museum and a fun time in the 80's exhibition we didn't do much more touristy stuff except mooching
Pete & LouPete & LouPete & Lou

After 20 years in Oz Pete still has a strong cockney accent.
around the shops.

The pictures won't really do Sydney justice but it was brilliant to go out on a high and having done so much in a couple of days compared to our last few weeks. It was also fab to spend it with friends, socialise and drink copious amounts of new wines and beers. Thanks to Paul and Rita for letting us stay in your wonderful apartment.

One celeb spot as well... Mark Bosnich and he winked at Chris once he heard his squeal of 'there's Mark Bosnich'. I was quite impressed I knew who he was and of all the Aussie sportstars in which I can probably name about 3 I got one I knew.



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4th December 2010

Chateau Thomas
Hey guys, Great to have you stay, we really enjoyed your company! When did Hotel Thomas get upgraded to a Chateaux! LOL! Sorry to hear about your dramas with Qantas check in and your luggage. I hope you are giving them what for! Have fun! Rita

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