I arrived at noon on a Monday and Fiona and Emma (part of the original Cambridge crew) were kind enough to pick me up and take me to lunch in Chinatown before heading out to the flat Emma was living in in Haberfield, which is about 30 mins from town by bus. The house had been her grans, and had a definite old persons house feel, winning points for having a log fire and a bath. Unfortunately Em had a deadline just when I left so was a bit busy with work all week, so on the first night I went out for dinner with Fiona, who was also staying there for a further night, to Newtown where we had an African meal. Next day Fiona left for Singapore with her family and was exchanged for India the cat, who was very talkative and friendly, and pretty stupid. The next day I failed to get up, then had a lazy bath and trip to the supermarket and before I knew it the day was gone. In the evening I met up with Irene and Rachel again, for the 3rd time in Oz, and along with their random cohort of hostel roomates we headed to the high class dining establishment known as "Scruffy Murphys" for a cheap dinner, which was actually pretty good. After that, and necessary faff breaks we all headed to the Shangri La hotel, which has a top floor bar with views of the harbour bridge and opera house. No I didnt have my camera on me. Yes they let us in despite out scruffiness. It was a rather nice spot and you almost didnt begrudge paying 10 quid for a cocktail.
Following day I was going to do all the big sites... but I failed again. Instead I managed to make it out to Bondi, a 3 bus trip, in the late afternoon and got there in time for sunset on the beach, whcih was really nice. The idea was to meet Louise, who Id last met in the Cameron Highlands, and go out for a drink with her and her English friends who live in OZ, in whose flat she was staying. We headed out to the Beach Rd Hotel which was a huge place with many bars inside, and I was kindly offered a sofa, with hotwater bottle, for the night, to save the long journey back to Haberfield and an early departure. I was also kindly offered to be showed around a bit of the city the next day, as I was sounding slightly miserable. So the next morning I went for a coastal walk from Bondi to Cogee then bused into town where I climbed the pylon of the harbour bridge. After that I mey Lydia, one of the flatmates and we had a bit of a wander, past the opera house and down to Darling harbour where we had lunch. After that I checked out the nearby maritime museum, where the star attractions were a destroyer and submarine that you could go inside and clamber about on. That evening I went back to Haberfield and hung about in the house. The next day I did nothing constuctive either, until going out to meet Paul and Maureen, the Scottish couple Id already met in Thailand and KL for many many beers in Wooloomooloo and Kings Cross. They are now working in Sydney for a while, he for backpacker publication of ill repute "British Balls" and she for the British Lolly shop, just the place if youre craving tunnocks tea cakes. Had a great night, and eventually stumbled back to Haberfield and nearly 4am.
The next day obviously required a sleep in and not much activity, and I did nothing, saving myself for the final day. I met Paul and Maureen after lunch and we got the ferry over for a stroll at Manly Beach and then back in time to meet Sean and Sally, more of the Cambridge Australian crowd, whod literally just moved back to Oz from the UK. We had a drink in a very nice location by the opera house before heading to Glebe for dinner. Had a firly early night as Sean and Sal were jet lagged, and the rest of us had plans to get up and watch the Euro 2008 final at 0445. Id actually moved my stuff to a hostel in town as Id be going almost straight from the game to the airport to fly to Chile. We watched the game in a bar in Kings Cross and it was remarkably civilised, and the first time Id ordered my first beer of the day at 5am. The trip to the airport was uneventful and I settled down for a long trip. We touched down for 1 hour in Auckland and got off the plane, but I dont thing I can count that as a trip to New Zealand.
Apologies for the lack of punctuation, I cant deal with this Spannish keyboard. The lack of exclamation marks is particularly disappointing.
The Opera House from the Pylon of the Harbour bridge.