|Another update at last! Sorry but we've been a bit busy over the past few weeks enjoying the fantastic city of Sydney!! It is everything we could have hoped for and in many ways, more. At the end of the day it's a city but it has so much to offer, as well as the usual - shopping, cafes, nightlife etc, it has culture, many beautiful and interesting sights and attractions, fabulous beaches and of course the weather! And most of the Aussies seemed to be very helpful, well that is when we found one (it was about 3 days before we even spoke to one, there are so many foreigners here!!).
We arrived from Singapore where we both met up safely as we had been travelling separately for a few days (Bexta in Thailand and CJ in Bali). Our first stopping point was Coogee Beach, which is 15 mins from the main centre of town. Coogee is a very laid back and chilled town with a lovely beach, and strangely enough seems to look very much like some English seafront towns such as Bournemouth and Brighton! (You only need to add a pier and you're there!!). We used this as a bit of a base to explore all the usual sights when we first got here - the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the Rocks, Aquarium, Darling Harbour, and one day we caught the ferry to Manly, another little small district just outside the town. Coogee also has plenty of cliff top walks that we explored during our stay for early morning(CJ!!)and early evening runs (Bexta) to burn off a few calories in preparation for the Xmas food!!! One day we took a lovely stroll along the cliff tops from Coogee to Bondi which is thoroughly recommended to anyone who ever comes out here! Coogee is great and we loved it. We stayed here for a few nights before moving onto our next home for Xmas, Kyle Bay.
We were very lucky in being invited to stay with the family of an Australian girl who comes from Sydney but was working in the UK when we met her, Rowie Doyle. Little did we know when we took her up on her offer that she lived in such a lovely area, right by a bay with a pool, beach access etc. We were in our element also with almost the whole of the run of the downstairs of the house with our own room (no more hostels for a few nights!!), bathroom, tv and bar!!!. The Doyles were fantastic hosts and made us feel very at home and part of the family throughout the whole of our stay. Xmas was a bit weird being so far away from family and friends, and of course the hot weather, it just wasn't right having all the xmas decorations up and singing xmas carols in shorts and t-shirts!! We even went to church on xmas morning to help us get into the spirit of things and wore flip flops!!!
On Boxing Day we went down to Watson's Bay and watched the start of the yearly Sydney to Hobart race where 116 boats battled out of the harbour mouth off towards Tasmania, little did they know what sort of journey they had ahead of them (apparently only a few of them ever finished.).
New Years Eve was a night we had been looking forward to for a few months. Normally we go through all the same motions each year, everyone sitting on the fence waiting for someone to decide what we're all going to do, and then at the last minute it all goes pearshaped! Anyway this year we were very lucky in that we knew an English girl that asked if we wanted tickets for a NY's Eve boat party around Sydney Harbour, how could we say no! The challenge then was to turn us backpackers into goddesses for the night on our measly budget, but we managed it somehow!! We had a great night, fantastic fireworks, and it was BYO booze (why don't they have that more in the UK??).