Itinerary, what itinerary ......Part 2
05.11.2007 - 12.11.2007 27 °C
The drive to Bateman’s Bay was very wet to say the least!! There was 54mm of rain in 24 hours. The Australians are really thankful for it though. Luckily it hasn’t been that cold, despite the rain.
Bateman’s Bay is another thriving fishing town, which is undergoing a bit of a transformation at the moment. The area alongside the Clyde River is being updated with trendy cafes, restaurants and shops to cater for their ever increasing tourism industry.
The rain stopped long enough for us to get the tent pitched and go for a little bit of a walk before it started again. On Tuesday it was Melbourne Cup day, one of the biggest days in Australia’s racing calendar. Clubs and Pubs had special events going on with giant screens showing the race. (The Victorians have a Bank Holiday for it and the people of ACT (Australian Capital Territory) have a Bank Holiday that just happens to be on the same day but they call it Family Day! Talking of Bank Holidays, did you know that the Australians have a Bank Holiday for the Queen’s Birthday? I think overall they have a couple more Bank Holidays than us. The rain abated mid morning so we decided to bite the bullet and try and get out for a walk before it started again. We’d heard that there was a beach in the area called Casey’s Beach, so decided to go there. We had walked about 1km before the skies opened up again, it was very reminiscent of our walk in Nha Trang, Vietnam (very very rainy). We decided to carry on regardless just to get a photo of Casey’s (our daughter’s namesake) Beach. Needless to say we were extremely wet when we got back and had to chuck our clothes in the tumble dryer at the campsite. We spent much of our time at Bateman’s bay in the campsite communal room.
The scenery on the drive to Kiama could have been beautiful for all we know! It was a very mountainous drive and the rain was hammering down all the way. We were lucky again when we got there as it stopped just long enough for us to pitch the tent. The campsite was the biggest campsite I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s sited on 16 hectares of land. It had a luxury outdoor pool with a spa, fantastic camp kitchen and fairly flat terraces. We did manage to get out for a couple of walks around the area, but once again, rain was a major problem!! We also spent some time sorting out the camping gear which we are going to try and sell with the car when we get to Sydney.
The drive to Sydney was fairly good, and dry! We managed to get to the southern suburbs without much trouble, although we did get a little bit lost and ended up doing a lap of the Airport. Sack the Navigator I hear you all say!! We eventually found our hotel and discovered that we had been upgraded from a double room to a large family room, which is like a studio apartment with en-suite and a kitchenette. So at least we don’t have to go out looking for somewhere to have breakfast every morning.
On Saturday evening once we had sorted ourselves out, we ventured out onto the underground system, which seemed very complicated at first. We went out for a Chinese meal and ended up having a Korean meal!! Steve read in the Lonely Planet about this place where he could get really good roast duck, but somehow we ended up in the wrong place, however our Korean barbeque was a very pleasant surprise. It was still fairly early by the time we got out of the restaurant so we decided to get on the underground again and go further afield and find Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, which we did without any trouble. The Opera House and the Bridge were lit up and looked absolutely stunning. We walked around the Opera House and marvelled at the amazing architecture. We decided that we would return the next day and see what they looked like in the daylight.
We woke up to bright sunshine on Sunday morning which was a pleasant surprise after all the rain we’ve had over the last week. We decided that we would go to Parramatta (a suburb of Sydney) on the ferry, about an hour’s journey from Circular Quay. It was a lovely journey through the harbour and up river. Sydney Harbour is amazing!! When we got back from our ferry trip, we had another walk round the Opera House. It looked as good as it did in the dark. We also watched and listen to the buskers around Circular Quay. We saw more didgeridoo players there than we had in the outback. (We actually didn’t see any in the outback) We also walked round The Rocks area of Sydney, which is a touristy, restaurant and gift shop area a lot like Plymouth Barbican. On Sunday evening we went to the world renowned “Harry’s Café de Wheels” for something to eat. It was a real treat, the best pies we have ever had!! The Aussies love their pies!
Today we sold the car back to Travellers Auto-barn. They were exactly as good as their word and gave us the agreed buy back price. We really have had a good experience with them, I wish we hadn’t got involved with Wicked Campers and had gone straight to Travellers Auto-barn in the first place!! We actually did just less than 6500km, just a short road trip!!!!!!
After selling the car, we went to the Qantas Office in Sydney, as we had decided to try and extend our time in New Zealand and shorten our time in India. After much discussion and checking availability, we have radically changed our plans. We now fly from New Zealand to Fiji, then from Fiji to Hawaii and then home via San Francisco. Spookily it has worked out that we leave Fiji at Midnight on Christmas Day, and arrive at Honolulu at 1030am on Christmas Day. Two Christmas days!! How good is that? We also arrive in San Francisco with a 24-hour stop over on New Years Eve, so we will be celebrating New Year in San Francisco. We actually arrive home a few days earlier than we had intended, but I think that the change of plan is worth it.
Love to everyone; see you all in eight weeks!!!