Archive | April, 2013

Sydney drawing to an end

13 Apr

As the end of my time in Sydney is closing in I thought I should jot down some highlights of my time here. It has been a while since my last post, for two reasons. Firstly, it has been due to possessing a TV and a laptop in a comfortable apartment which has meant my motivation for writing a long blog entry has been pretty low, and secondly because much of my time has been spent mastering my trade in the juice bar. I have enjoyed working at top juice and still think myself fortunate to of got the job but it is getting to the point where the same daily routine is getting a bit tedious. However I do feel incredibly fortunate to have met my colleagues and will take with me some really fond memories of them and plan stay in touch with many when I leave.

The weather in Sydney over the summer was not quite as consistent as I was expecting, I always envisaged Australian summers would be scorching hot everyday and I would pretty much live at the beach. This was not so, in fact I have only been to the beach a handful of times recently, and many of my weekends off how been warm but rainy. However, when the weather has been hot, the beach days have been great and my bodysurfing skills have improved dramatically. One of my favourite times was when I met up with some friends in Coogee and went snorkelling in the rockpools. We didn’t find a huge amount but we did discover an octopus’s garden and coaxed him out for a better look. They are a weird and wonderful creature, changing colour and texture to blend in with its surroundings. We then decided to walk to another beach a couple of miles away which is more suited to snorkelling. It looks almost like a giant swimming pool, with concrete platforms either side but the water is deep and full of wildlife. We saw some stingrays, trumpet fish, an eel and a big-lipped fish which I forget the name of.

Another highlight was going up the Sydney sky tower which was something I had wanted to do the whole time I have been in Sydney. I would of kicked myself if I hadn’t gotten round to doing it, espiecally as I work in that very building and see the tower looming over me every day. It was a really cool experience, me and Tiffany went up in time to see the sunset and when it has fully descended admired the sparkling lights of the city. I also used the viewing binoculars to try and spy on unsuspecting people in the offices and hotels nearby but unfortunately didn’t see anything too interesting. When I got bored of this I quite fancied having a few drinks and getting merry but unfortunately our tickets didn’t get us into the bar area.

One place in Sydney I have enjoyed a lot of time is at Darling Harbour, which is somewhere I don’t think I would ever get bored of. It is picturesque, with bars and restaurants surrounding the water and the cities skyscrapers towering up in the background. It is especially nice at night, and a great place to have a few drinks, eat out or as I found out to smoke some shisha. This was a completely new experience for me but turned out to be a great way to ‘chill out’ for a couple of hours. I have also had a couple of good nights out in the harbour, and regularly meet Duffy for a drink when she finishes work.

Yesterday I went to Manly for the first time (at last), again, something that I had been meaning to do for a while. I arranged to go with Tiffany and met up in the early afternoon to catch the ferry. The ferry takes roughly 30 minutes, during which you get to enjoy some brilliant views of the opera house, harbour bridge and city skyline. It was during this short trip across the water that I realised I had forgotten my swimming shorts! Once docked on the island, we wasted no time in finding the beach as the sun was already getting low in the sky and I was desperate to do some snorkelling and try out my underwater camera. We found somewhere you could hire snorkels but only had an hour before they started packing up so rushed off to shelley beach, which is supposed to be a good spot for spotting marine life. Like a true gentleman I stripped off and left Tiffany on her own while I went off to see what I could find in the water. As I had forgotten my shorts I was forced to wear my pants instead, complete with snorkel and flippers, it was almost too much for some of the nearby females. As I have done quite a lot of snorkelling during my travels so far, I have seen rather a lot of cool fish, sharks, octopus, eels, stingrays, turtles etc. so I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed by the lack of exotic wildlife I saw. There were a lot of small fish and a couple of stingrays but nothing that I was tempted to wrestle. Fortunately on our way back we saw a water dragon, essentially a huge lizard which we were able to take a photo of, which more than made up for the snorkelling. On the ferry back we were lucky enough to enjoy a brilliant sunset. When we got within view of the city the last of the sun was creating a bright red sky directly behind the harbour bridge. It must of been one of the best views I have seen, and coincided beautifully with my cameras battery deciding it had had enough for one day. Typical!

At this current point I do not know how long left I have in the city, but it is between 3 and 6 weeks, which are bound to disappear all to quickly. The next step is to go and enjoy Asia for a month, if Forest’s arm is up to it or to go and be a slave on a farm for 3 months. During my final weeks here I intend to enjoy myself and make the most of the city before I leave. I still have a lot of things I want to do; the blue mountains again, the IMAX, laser skirmish, the rocks, Shangrila hotel, the aquarium, and many more. If I don’t get round to doing ALL of them, I wont be too disappointed as I am fairly confident I will be in Sydney before too long. I guess it feels like a second home already, and a fantastic city. However, I am excited to see what the future holds, and continuing on my adventure.