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Published: April 27th 2010
THe four of us on top of the bridge.
After our restful stay in Mollymook (We had a proper bed for three whole nights, a luxury for us) we travelled just a little further north to Jervis Bay where we settled into a campsite right on the shoreline. We had some more great weather and for only $35 each we took a cruise around the bay dolphin watching. An entire pod (of 10-12 dolphins) swam with our boat for some time, coming so close that they were only a few feet away. We even saw a mum and baby, which was amazing.
After Jervis bay our next stop was Kangaroo Valley which was a recommendation from John and we were not disappointed. It’s a beautiful valley with a village almost lost in time, many wooden buildings date back to the late 1800's. We took a canoeing trip along the river that runs through the valley which was very beautiful. That night we camped in a really good free campsite by the river. We had a great dinner and a few to many drinks which lead to a very rambunctious card game of waterfalls. (We’ll let the photos tell the rest of this story!) This campsite seemed to be
The Opera house.
overpopulated with Wombats at night time and we saw several wondering around. During the night they decided to use the sharp edges of our rear camper ledge as a back scratcher and we woke several times to our van shaking. At first it was a novelty, by the 8th time the novelty was running a little thin.
Our last port of call before Sydney was the Blue Mountains where again we weren’t disappointed, notice a pattern here? Australia delivers time and time again! We took a drive along the tourist route and we were treated to some spectacular views. So many people come here and see nothing but cloud coming down over the mountains but we were in luck, we had a bright, clear and sunny autumn day. A visit to Scenic World, which is the only tourist activity in the Blue Mountains, was a must do. We went on a skyway which is a scenic railway and a cable car, all of which either go up, down or across some of the mountains in the vicinity.
The following day we arrived early into Sydney and to Lane Cove River Tourist Park, a campsite just 10
Ste and Christine busy feeding the masses!
kilometres north of the city centre. We didn’t want to waste the day so we decided to visit Taronga Zoo which is on the north side of Sydney harbour. We had our first views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and it was fantastic to finally see them. It’s only taken us nearly seven months of being in Australia to get to Sydney! The zoo itself was fantastic, with lots of shows and talks during the day, all of which was very informative. We even managed to go to a talk on Australian spiders which was most interesting.
The highlight of our time in Sydney definitely has to be the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. We would even go as far as to say it was the best thing we have done in Australia to date. The whole tour took three hours in total and it was so well organised. The tour operators had thought of everything; right down to providing hankies, sunscreen and a fleece attached to our safety belt in case we got cold when we were at the top. The climb itself wasn't as nearly as hard as we expected and once on the
Dolphins in the bay
arch of the bridge the views took our breath away, it was a crisp, clear autumn day and we could see all of Sydney. Standing a massive 200 metres above the water looking over the city is an experience we will never forget. Our only complaint was that we had to climb back down; we would have loved to stay up there a little longer. Before Christine and Simon left we wandered through some of downtown Sydney; we popped into a few of the local daily craft markets, we went to Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the Opera House.
But after four awesome weeks it was time for Simon and Christine had to fly home. The day before they returned their campervan we received news that an Icelandic volcano had erupted sending a massive ash cloud high into the atmosphere which travelled right in the direct path of European airspace. All flights had been cancelled; European airspace was closed for business. It would be another week before they would be able to fly home. There were a few hair-raising moments of frantic planning and re-organising but we soon had a plan formulated. We booked into Lane Cove for another
Dolphins in the bay.
week, Christine and Simon called Britz, their campervan hire company and arranged to keep the camper another week and after a few more days of uncertainty their flights we rescheduled as well. The only downside was that they would have to take a week’s unpaid leave with their employer but all in all it was a good outcome. They were still in Australia when there flights were cancelled; they hadn’t returned their camper and Lane cove campsite still had space for us. It also meant that we had another week with them and we were able to see some of the sights that we didn’t think we would be able to fit in. We decided therefore that actually we were all really lucky.
So, the following week we visited Bondi beach, Manley and more local markets, and we walked the length and breadth of Sydney (well, it felt like it). The final night before they left us (for real this time) all went out for a nice dinner overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, before finishing off the night in an Ice Bar. The following morning though after our long goodbyes they drove off to the
Canoeing in Kangaroo Valley
airport and we returned to reality with a bump. It was time to get a job to build up our bank accounts again.
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