On top of the world

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August 25th 2009
Published: August 27th 2009
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 Video Playlist:

1: Feeding a kangaroo 18 secs
On Top of SydneyOn Top of SydneyOn Top of Sydney

At the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge
Now where did i leave off?

Day 2 - Monday Aug 24

Bridge Climb!!!

Day 2 started with a bit of a scavenger hunt to find my way to the famous harbor bridge. I had a bit of trouble sorting out the buses. The drivers apparently don't accept cash between 7 am and 7 pm. So I had to figure out where to buy a ticket, then figure out which bus would get me to where I want to go. I finally made it there with just enough time. We were greeted with a video, put into a gray suit with a belt, radio, headset and ball and chain to shackle us to the bridge. There was a girl from the US, traveling with 2 friends, who was quite freaked out to be climbing. I was not nervous at all- except for the fear i'd have to pee! At any rate, the bridge climb was fantastic! We climbed to the very top and looked across at the skyline and down over the traffic. I had a big fat smile plastered on my face the whole time. Our guide narrrated and told us funny stories the whole way. Me and a girl behind me who was visiting from Perth were positively bouncing up and down like Tigger. yippeee!!!!!!!! As we were climbing the wind came up and blew us all around like we were standing in a hurricane. By the end, it had started drizzling. So i got my obligitory photo and went walking around "the Rocks", the old section of Sydney were the convicts used to live. Not too much to see, but I fell into a photo gallery of probably the most amazing photographer i've ever seen. So i drooled over that for quite a while. The guy managing the store was telling me all about the photographer and how he uses this $10,000 panoramic camera, and I started telling him all about my bridge climb. That's how the Aussies are here- so easy to talk to! I had plans of more sightseeing that day, but by the time I made it back to my end of town, it was rainy and cold, so i ducked into a coffee shop and treated myself to a $4 latte, justifying it by the fact that I was cooking my own dinner at the hostel!

Day3- Tuesday Aug 25

Blue Mountains Tour- Sydney.
Well, oddly enough, one of the highlights of this day was chatting with an Aussie guy named Matthew outside my hostel while I was waiting for my tour.
We were chatting and laughting and having the best time- like 2 teenage girls at a slumber party. I told him my itinerary. He approved. He was thinking of going to Canada to work at a ski resort. He told me he didn't think he had an accent but that I did. I laughed. So he asked me if I thought he had an accent. I said, "yeah BIG TIME, but I LOVE it. I could just listen to read the paper!". And again we dissolved into giggles. He said, "same here"! Just then a British guy walked up and the 3 of us bubbled about our bridge climbs and our travel highlights. I asked him if people were throwing up on the boat to the reef. He said, "I was throwing up". Again we burst out laughing. We talked about the delicate state of the reef and the double edged sword of tourism. He said he saw divers smacking into the reef, which is deadly to it. He said
the Rocksthe Rocksthe Rocks

Area in Central Sydney famous for housing the convicts
he thought all divers who touch the reef should be shot. Just send divers down there with big harpoons. We decided that inconsiderate travelers should be shark food. At any rate, we all climbed aboard our respective tours, but that little impromtu conversation was definitely a highlight of my day. I wish I could travel the world with those 2. It'd be a blast.

The tour itself was a bit disappointing. Travelers had raved about this tour, but I couldn't see what was worth doing. It's not like we went into a mountain range. More like driving by a perimeter, hopping off for 5 minutes to take a photo, and then back on the bus. There are much prettier views of mountains in the US. Even the steep train down into the mountains was only 5 minutes long. Oh well. There were 2 other highlights of that trip- one of them being a visit to Featherdale wildlife center. OMG. We saw Koalas sleeping in trees, wallabies walking in the open, tasmanian devils (SO cute), a wombat, and kangaroos which you could feed and pet, which of course i did. ( I have the CUTEST video of me feeding a
the Rocksthe Rocksthe Rocks

on my way to the bridge climb
kangaroo). We only got an hour here, and so it was barely enough time to run through and take a million photos before running back to the bus. God, if i had known, i would have skipped the whole tour and gone to Featherdale on my own so i could've spent a few hours. The tour ended with a tour past the Olympic park and a ferry back to Sydney, which was actually also lovely. We arrived back to the Sydney skyline at the height of sunset. Our ferry rode under the Harbor Bay Bridge, where we saw a group of climbers at the top! So cool. And just as Sydney skyline was perfectly framed in the goreous sunset..... my Canon died. And the other camera, my Minolta, ran out of batteries. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! Jus then, we pull up to the postcard shot of the Sydney Opera house, painted in a backdrop of blue and pink sunset, sans tourists or any other stuff in the way. I'm dying now. I missed SO many amazing shots there.
So off the ferry with a bit of a pissed off attitude, I then had to revisit the "find your way home by the buses, we dare ya" game. After 20 minutes, I threw myself at the mercy of the information guy, and just said "help". I just don't understand why bus drivers don't accept money? Makes perfect sense to me to be able to BUY a bus ticket on a bus. But whatever. At this point, i'm feeling a bit beaten down by Sydney and never-changing financial situation. I'm grumbling to myself and god MONEY -wondering why I can't have a really good camera when that's what I want to DO in life. Hello?
So I manage to find some affordable falafel and head off to an early night. Pleased to find only 2 other beds occupied in my new room, I'm psyched to read my book an get an early night. It was a good thought, while it lasted. Just as I was about to turn out the lights, in comes a girl from the Netherlands, boudning through the door with the exuberance you'd expect for someone just out of the womb. (obviously her 1st backpacking trip). She proceeded to spend an hour packing and unpacking her bag, which wa packed in plastic bags of 1 sort or another.
around Circular Quayaround Circular Quayaround Circular Quay

such a lovely area. until it started raining on me
I was so close to giving her a lesson in packing her pak- aka- lose the plastic bags so you don't get strangled by your bunkmates down the road. I finally dozed off to the sounds of several others coming in. Oh well, i'll sleep when I get home.
to be continued.

sorry about the pics. i'll add them later. not enough time!

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 27



OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i SO wanted to take him home!

couldn't really tell the difference between them and kangaroos. think it's a Wallaby because it's smaller


27th August 2009

Tan, you do sound like your father sometimes! The bit about the bunkmates are a riot. Have fun! I looked at the bridge climb on the internet -- definitely NOT my thing. Love, Mom
27th August 2009

The face you are not seeing...
...is the squinty, narrow-eyed pissyboots face: Um, in the past several days, my fax machine has completely FAILED to deliver a hot, accent-having male!!! And you had TWO of them--and in my two fave accents, as well! Didn't you bring butterfly nets and straitjackets for this eventuality??? Jeez, come prepared!!! :) And speaking of straitjackets, remind me to slap you into one the next time I see u for that...CLIMBY...stuff. I seriously have the screaming meemees at the MENTION of being atop a wind-whipped bridge--I have NO idea HOW you do that, T!!! but hey--that's gotta be some awesome pix... Speaking of pictures: did you get some Tasmanian devil pix? Because I totally want to see them--I've never seen one, but of all the adjectives I would have thought of in context of those critters, "cute" wouldn't make the list, so I'm REALLY curious now!! Keep writing, T--great stories!!

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