(NOTE - we've added piccies to the last entry now)
Happy New Year! - sorry its been a while but we had a little break for Christmas (or more to the point because of the excesses of Christmas)
On the 21st Dec we boarded the plane from Bangkok to Sydney and after some very dramatic freefall sessions when we went through thunderstorms (and a resulting sleepless night) we were delighted to land safely in in Oz. Although in truth we were both a little confused as it looked remarkably similar to Heathrow; grey, overcast and COLD!!! what a shock that was!
So once we'd liberated our fleeces from the long forgotten depths of our rucksacks we headed off to see the sights of Sydney. We didn't get far to start off as we were waylaid by a cafe selling 'full English breakfasts' - it was a taste sensation. Visited the Aquarium (Mrs P is a big fan of aquariums as the fish "can't get you"), Museum of Modern Art and the Convicts Musuem. Well to be totally honest Mr P did the last two on his own as Mrs P checked herself into the Spa for a haircut and some long overdue treatments! Backpacking needn't be a trial.
The next evening we did the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge walk (courtesy of the senior P's - thank you!) which was absolutly brilliant - we headed off at 6pm and where at the top of the bridge as the sun set.
On Chrsitmas Eve we headed to Mr P's Aunty and Uncles for Christmas - it was so nice to get to a real home for Christmas and enjoy the luxuries of carpet and clean bedding. Contarary to popular belief though it was not scorching hot as we were lead to believe - we spent Christmas eve sat on the deck with Uncle Terry and Auntie Liz and a gang of friends - the Ozzies were in shorts, vests and thongs! The pomms were in long trousers, fleeces and socks!
Boxing day we headed out to Watsons bay with Liz to see the Sydney to Hobart racing yachts pass by - enjoyed a great fish and chip picnic in the park overlooking Sydney and then the next day we visited the blue mountains which was great.
On the 28th we headed down the coast to see Mrs P's sister-in-laws family at Culburra. It was great to catch up with the McConville gang and stay at the each house they had on the beach.
On our return to Sydney we headed out to Coogee and stayed in possibly the smallest and most expensive room in the city. There was enough room for two beds (bunked!) and one very slim person at a time standing up. But it was a lovely spot and we did a long walk to Bondi where Mr P braved the sub-zero temperatures (are you picking up on the theme here?) at Bondi beach for a bit of full-on body surfing.
New Year was sensational - we went and stayed with our friends Barry and Julia who have an apartment overlooking the harbour - prime viewing for the fire works - great in theory but the party was so good neither of us can really remeber the fireworks. We spent the next few days staying with Barry and Julia who very kindly nursed us through our hangovers and took us to Palm Beach (where they shot Home and Away) and visiting friends around the area.
Just after New Year we became the proud (temporary owners) of a very nifty little campervan and we headed off down the coast to Melbourne and then onto Adelaide....more about that in the next installment.