Tag Archives: Sydney

Sunday 29th September

1st night back in oz and the nocturnal noise it’s certainly very diverse. The wild life here likes to be heard if not seen.

A comfortable sleep after a great evening spent with new friends. We took full use of our en-suit, the luxury of a hot clean shower that’s not on a timer and shampoo and conditioner and and and shower gel. Lol like a kid in a candy shop. I’ve been washing myself and hair with a bar of soap. (Space and weight saving and doesn’t count as liquid on a plane). I’ve forgot how soft hair is after conditioning.

Breakfast of toast and I tried vegemite for the 1st time. Marmite is better!

And wash it down with English breakfast tea made properly with lose tea leaves.

It’s a Sunday and Madeleine and Jeremy have the day off so very kindly have offered to take us sightseeing.

We go for a lovely Sunday drive following a coastal road into a national park, with Madeleine pointing out places of interest and wild unusual plants. And it’s at least 10c warmer than New Zealand. Beautiful sunshiny day.

Lunch stop was in a cafe at Kurnell that has a plaque to commemorate captain cooks landing site in 1770 I guess he moved on from the place called 1770 in Queensland I should buy a Australian guide book.

The afternoon was spent relaxing and Madeleine cooked a delicious evening meal. We all eat together. Jeremy, Madeleine and their two sons Ben and Harry. Funny cheeky young men. A hard working family that all have to get up early for work. Tomorrow we have to leave but we have enjoyed our stay. We say our good byes tonight as we may not see them in the morning.

Saturday 28th September

A really bad nights sleep, well don’t think I slept, Mike definitely didn’t. We spent the night in a hotel, a nice clean room but yes it’s a budget hotel. The walls are paper thin and the room next to us were really noisy, music all night and people coming and going. Loud knocking on their door, heavy footsteps and loud conversations in Chinese . Not sure what was going on but what ever it was I’m sure it could of been done with a lot less noise.

Anyway up we get at 4:30 am ready for the shuttle bus to the airport not a problem. Managed to get that and we were the only ones on the bus nice and early for the check in.

At the airport we checked in hand luggage only, we are allowed one bag to go in the over head storage and one bag under the seat. We have less stuff going back and it wasn’t a problem coming so why leaving is it. They weigh our luggage and tell us that we have to pay $75 to check them in the hold. Money grabbing gits

The flight is 7am but it’s delayed, we finally take off at 9:30 am a three and a half hour bumpy, boring flight, no entertainment just sit and stair at the back of the chair in front. What joy.

The landing was pretty bumpy I thought that we were going to over shoot the run way. Mike recons it was a manual landing because it was so rough, but hay it’s a adventure I tell you.

Back in Australia and funny we had only been here for 3 weeks before we went to New Zealand but it felt like we were home. We picked up our hire car and drive to Kate’s house and pick up our bikes from her garden, frightening her poor daughter who she thought we were burglars sorry.

Next stop we had arranged to meet a face book friend mark. Mark lives in Sydney and is a keen cyclist, he has been following our face book page and offered a place for us to stay. Thank you mark. But as it happens we also had been offered a place to stay by someone else I love the power of the internet. Anyway we met mark and he very kindly brought us lunch and gave us a idea of a cycle route to do on our next tour.

After leaving mark we make our way to madeleines house our home for the night. Madeleine is also a complete stranger from internet land who offered us some where to stay.

Madeleine and family are lovely made us so welcome. We have our own room with en-suite in a beautiful house with a swimming pool. That’s it I’m moving in squatters rights. A lovely evening with delicious home cooked food and plenty of drinks the conversation was flowing. And funny but it’s been a long day and with the time difference it’s even longer not wanting the evening to end we reluctantly went to bed.

We loved it so much we are staying another night. We not going with out a fight!

Sunday 26th August

Today we enjoyed our last day in oz for a month. We spent the day wondering around Sydney. When we return we can get back into cycle touring. I’ve missed being on the bike, but so close to New Zealand we can’t not visit. Who knows if we’re ever going to be this side of the world ever again.

Sydney is a lovely city full of old buildings and public art. We did the normal touristy things and yet again the weather was excellent, just right for tramping around a city for hours.

We spent the night in a airport hotel and our flight is 9:40 in the morning.

Tuesday 6th August

We have landed in Sydney on Tuesday morning it’s 7:30am we didn’t have Monday with the time difference and a 15 hour flight, anyway I don’t like Mondays tell me why I don’t like Mondays I want to fly the whole day down….

First things first get out of the airport. We cleared customs straight away even jumped the long que because of our oversized boxes. The best thing to do is hire a car for a few days to get sorted rebuild bikes buy maps etc.

It’s winter here and to be honest the temperature is lovely it’s like a early summers day in England, we’re a bit worried that the campsites might not be open but it’s a adventure we will have to wait and see.

Car hired we drive to one of Mikes friends house 30 miles from the airport, Kate. Kate has kindly offered to store our bikes in her pool plant room for a while. She doesn’t use the pool in the winter so can stay in there for a while if we want.

We decided to leave the bikes there and do a drive road trip up the coast using the highway Pacific A1. That way we can get a feel for Australia, check out campsites etc as we certainly got Court out with the poor standard and expense in the USA.

We head north and drove about 200 miles before the fatigue set in. Not much sleep on the plane. We had arrived at a place called Coffs Harbour. A really nice seaside town. Following the directions to the tourist information centre.

She directed us to a campsite and re assured us that it would be open and tents are aloud. Apparently sites stay open all year round, that’s good to know.

The campsite is beautiful right on the shore very clean facilities and cheap let’s hope there all like this.

Tent up we headed to town for food I really thought that I might struggle to find good vegetarian food but no I had a lovely falafel salad, so fresh and tasty I’m liking Australia. Back to the tent it gets dark here at 5:30 pm I have to remind myself it’s winter even if I’m only in shorts and t shirts so early to bed with my kindle we need sleep anyway. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Sunday 4th August

The last couple of days we’ve not had any internet. A few days with a hire car around California. We drove from LA to San Francisco and back using the Pacific coast highway, highway one. Lovely coastline sight seeing and seal spotting.

Then the work began. We flew to Sydney Australia, but to do that we needed tickets, visas and clean and strip the bikes put them into boxes and clean the tent. We have heard horror stories about Australia’s custom officers they have strict rules to protect their environment.

Our flight out was at 11:15 pm. We had to leave our motel at 11:00am and the car had to be returned at 5pm it was going to be a long day.

Online visa forms simple enough instant visa and free. Plane tickets also online easy peesy. What could go wrong.

We leave the motel at last minute we are 40 miles away from the airport and that’s where we have to return the hire car. L A traffic is a absolute nightmare you have ten lane highways with traffic going nowhere but even so we should have plenty of time.

Our e-tickets arrived for the flight and we can do the online check in. There’s a problem and the error message informs us that we have to check in at the airport but didn’t give us a reason. Ok we’re make sure to get there early.

On our way we take the scenic route but really we are both glad to be leaving America. Time to explore new places nether of us have been to Australia before and the excitement has kicked in.

At the airport we return the car at 3 our bikes and luggage has to be transported to the terminal and there’s a shuttle bus but no trolleys to take our stuff to the bus stop, we can’t carry it all. The guy who took the car off us saw our dilemma and took pity on us and offered us a lift. With the back seats folded down for the bikes there’s only room for one of us, the other has to take the bus. I volunteered to take the bus so mike could lift the luggage out of the car at the airport.

Mike and bikes get dropped off at the right place terminal 4 departures my bus only can take me to terminal 4 arrivals 1 floor below I didn’t have my phone with me so I just hoped that mike stayed put and I would find him.

Reunited we went to check in. We were ages at the desk, the guy kept asking me loads of questions and apparently the computer said no. I wasn’t allowed to get on the flight my visa didn’t match up with my passport. We were there over a hour, he was asking questions and he kept rolling his eyes and tutting, he called a supervisor over they were talking ages but no one was explaining anything to us. I kept asking what the problem was and had we done anything wrong but no one would tell us. We were getting pretty worried by now.

After what seemed a life time he explained that my name on the visa didn’t match my name on my passport it was my mistake when I filled in the form under family name I had put my whole name and not just my surname. Mikes was fine he was aloud to travel I was not. If only he had told me that a hour ago I could emend it online. It took until 7pm but the Problem was sorted. Details online updated we checked in and checked the luggage in we’d packed the panniers in the box with my bike so my bike was 10lb over the limit so got charged $150 but we’re on. Just got to wait.

After a long flight we arrive in Sydney just need to get through customs we ticked the declare box as we needed to declare the bikes and tent. We were hoping that we had cleaned them good enough but still worried that they wouldn’t be happy and confiscate them or give us a bill for treating them. No need to worry mr custom officer was lovely. He asked if we had cleaned them we said yes and that was it straight through.

Welcome to Australia.