Hello from Australia!! I had a wonderful, restful break in traveling at home, in central Illinois. I caught up with friends, cuddled some babies that arrived while I was away, and indulged in some foods I missed while on the road (Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, salty pretzels, ripe blueberries, and mom’s lasagna!) Now it’s time to hit the traveling trail again for my wanderlust vibe is itching and my mind is a’whirling with more adventures planned….although, it’s safe to say that I have no plans. I’m beginning this trip in Sydney, Australia, and have no idea where I’ll go from here. Quite honestly, this is my favorite way to travel!
Arrival in Sydney, Australia – To begin, I spent a lovely two weeks in Sydney adjusting to the “Land Down Under,” learning the local beers (Tooheys, XXX, Carlton Draught, and Victoria Bitter ), and figuring out the difference between “chips” and “crisps.” (There is no difference.) I enjoyed several long afternoons simply wandering aimlessly around Sydney Harbour, the major playground and port of the city and getting lost in Darling Harbour and Chinatown. The Rocks, or the touristy, cobblestoned streets near the Sydney Harbour bridge, offers plenty of small knickknack shops, overpriced eateries, and plenty of street musicians peddling their guitar talents. I did buy some souvenirs to send home and enjoyed a few “flat whites” (a.k.a – coffee with milk), but otherwise, I simply found a patch of grass or empty bench, opened my sketchbook and soaked in the sights of Circular Quay and Opera House. I even took a nap in the Royal Botanic Gardens one afternoon
Sunbathing on Bondi – Of course, no trip to Sydney is complete without a visiting Bondi Beach – the beaches of all beaches known among backpacking circles. I simply grabbed a bus from Bondi Junction and was dropped off quite nearly in the surf of Bondi Beach. I’m no beach babe (no sunbathing for me). I tried to lie in the sun with the other beautiful people, but my heart just wasn’t in it and I was eager to explore instead. Luckily, I had my own snorkel equipment so I set off for the Bondi to Coogee walk, an almost 10 k hike between the cousin beaches. Though the hike is steep in many places, there are plenty of alcoves and shaded resting spots.
Following one rather awesome snorkeling endeavor (I’m certain I saw a shark!), I ran into a crew that was filming a Foster’s Beer commercial. I found this to be quite exciting until I was told that no ‘true’ Australian would be caught dead drinking a Foster’s beer. There went my claim to fame! I saw some lovely views though and am looking forward to taking this hike again in a few days. Aside from some near naked men and topless sunbathers, the views along the coast are simply gorgeous!