Day 1 in Oz - Sydney
After riding back to our hotel, we decided to do the tourist thing, mainly so that we would stay awake for the rest of the day. Sydney is quite beautiful actually and we had an easy time walking and riding the bus to a ton of great places.
Like any self-respecting tourist, we of course made it down to Sydney Harbour.
Convinced to stay by numerous endorsements of nearby shop-owners, we
further defied our sleep deprivation (we were completely out of our minds at this point) and stayed downtown for a special light show called Vivid. One shop owner trying to sell us a possum-fur, Russian-styled Ushanka
hat actually told us, “Vivid has changed my life.” How could we say no?
I’m not sure if either of our lives were changed because of the lights, but when we finally stumbled off the bus and fell straight into our bed, the feeling was other-worldly.
We woke the next morning feeling completely refreshed. While at breakfast, we ran into several players from the Bulls, a South African Super Rugby team. I am not a small man. I’m about 6’5” and 210 lbs. I’m used to being bigger than most people that I meet, but these guys absolutely dwarfed me.
The blonde dude pictured above (disclaimer: not our pic, obviously) was eating what looked like 2 dozen eggs, a rack of lamb, an entire pinneapple and gallon of Guinness for breakfast. He winked at me when I walked by with a piece of toast and a coffee…
Side note: we’ve now watched a ton of rugby because it’s on nearly every Australian TV channel. I think I may be hooked.
Anyway, after being emasculated by the giants of South Africa, we took the ocean walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach. Highly recommended.
Not a bad place to swim a few laps:
The world famous Bondi Beach. During the summer months, the sand is
completely covered with people. Apparently, on weekends there can be as many as 35,000 a day!
Due to the staggeringly high number of people enjoying the beach, Sydney has a healthy culture of life guards along with exclusive life guard clubhouses along the coast. The statue pictured below commemorates “Black Sunday” when 100 people were rescued in one afternoon.
Not a terrible place to have some fish and chips:
We grabbed a cab at Bondi and were reminded that taxi drivers are a great source of information about driving in a foreign place. We asked a ton of questions, most importantly about the numerous roundabouts that are scattered across all of Australia. Not so prevalent in the States. (No matter where you approach the roundabout, always yield to the vehicle to your right - genius!)
Next up - finally back on the road and it feels so good.