Day 33 - Not quite such an early start this morning which was just aswell because the wind and the rain kept us awake a bit last night! Northern New South Wales was battered about a week ago, really strong winds and an extortionate amount of rain has caused extensive flooding and we’re seeing the tail end of the weather front before it hopefully blows out over the ocean.
We’re off to Camden today to visit Donna Hardy (now Brown), someone I’ve (Sarah) known since St Helens primary school in Alveston. Donna has been living out here for about 13 years and on Australia Day gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, Jackson so it will be great to see her and meet the family.
It’s quite a long journey to get across to them as we need to catch the bus to Manly, the ferry to Sydney and then the train out to Cambelltown which takes just over an hour and then Donna will pick us up and take us to her home in Camden. We start by catching the bus at just gone 8.30am, so a blissful lie in considering the last two early morning adventures! I kept meaning
to take a photo of us on the bus going to Manly through the (film) ‘Speed’ like video cameras which seem a touch over the top but must have been introduced for some reason other than to put us on the look out for Keanu Reeves or Sandra Bullock!
Anyway! From bus to ferry we went without a hitch, another tranquil view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We’d researched the train timetable so knew which one to catch and from which platform! Are we actually getting quite good at this?! The view from the platform is great as it’s above Circular Quay and captures the bridge and the hustle and bustle of the ferries coming and going. The train arrived on time, another double decker but not as stylish or clean as the one we’d caught on Wednesday to Katoomba! The journey initially goes through tunnels so isn’t particularly interesting but once free of the city we head through the outer suburbs and further in countryside. We’ve used our Weekly Travel tickets for the journey but when we get to our destination it becomes apparent they aren’t valid for this far out! Luckily we’re let through the
barriers so there’s no drama!
Donna is quickly at the meeting point and we take the short journey to her home. Darryl is making friends with Jackson who is secured in his ‘bucket’ seat in the back of the car although his focus seems to be more on his mobile rather than the stranger now sitting next to him!
We’re introduced to Donna’s husband Ross who is working from their lovely home and spend a while catching up and marvelling at their surroundings as they live just across the pathway from a nature reserve so they really do have kangaroos at the bottom of their garden on occasion albeit behind a fence!
It’s time for lunch so we all go to the local garden centre restaurant which is Italian and very yummy! Darryl orders a ‘Flower Power’ pizza, named after the garden centre. It was all very good, there was nothing left on anyone’s plate!
Ross heads home, more work to do, but the rest of us go into Camden for cakes and coffee! It’s a lovely town and reminds Donna of Thornbury back home, it does have that market town feel to it and Camden has retained it’s cattle
market, unlike Thornbury!
Donna’s son Jackson is a cheerful little chap, complete with a cheeky smile and very good singing voice! Bless him, I think he forgave us for not holding him properly, not being able to collapse his pram properly and not being able to undo the ‘bucket’ car seat properly! That’s probably what he was laughing at it was certainly what we were laughing at! We got to looking at photos from Donna's trips around Oz and even some where she was crew for a drag racing friend! How funny is that!! Then came the photos from the past .... very fetching dungarees I once owned!!
The day flew by and it was soon 6 o’clock and time we should be heading back to the city. It was really lovely to see Donna, a very special lady with a lovely family and we’ll be sure to keep in touch on our tour.
We headed back from Cambelltown train station, we bought a ticket for the journey not covered by our travel passes just to be on the safe side! It’s really not worth the risk of a $200 fine!
It was dark and raining when we got back
to Circular Quay but we sprinted round to the Opera House to catch sight of the ‘light festival’ and it didn’t disappoint, it’s truly stunning all alive in the night sky with the artwork beamed on to it. Our photo’s won’t do it justice but it will give you an idea!
When we boarded the ferry we sat near a delightful older couple and the lady was celebrating her 85th birthday! They had been for dinner in the revolving restaurant at the Sydney Tower, a very special experience which they both really loved. The lady had also wanted to take the ferry back to Manly to see the city skyline alive with lights so they braved the weather for the ride out of the harbour and then came back inside to the relative warm! What a lovely couple, we chatted a while on the ferry and then caught the same bus for part of our journey back to the campsite.
The weather was foul and we were due to be leaving Sydney tomorrow and heading further up the coast. We decide to stay another night to sort ourselves out and finalise our route.
On the news tonight it’s talking about
the Bellview Hill landslide which is in the eastern suburb of Sydney where alleged leaking water pipes then exploded and caused a huge crater which cars fell into! Nobody was hurt, amazingly, and it was all caught on police car cameras! Luckily it wasn’t on our route out of here!
And before we go, a very Happy Birthday to our lovely Aunty Enid. Have a lovely day! (Mum K please pass on the message!)
Dar and Sar
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