Figuring things out – Sydney, Australia

Arriving down under without a plan seemed like a good idea, and I still think it was, but there was some major soul searching to be done once we got here – mastering the art of chilling out. The first thing that hit us like a ton of bricks before we even left the airport in Sydney was that Australia is not a cheap place to visit. Our cab ride to Tracy’s friend’s apartment downtown was $50AU. Having traveled most recently in South America, the exchange rate is a little shocking. That $50AU works out to just that – $50. Ouch! Luckily, we had a free place to stay in Sydney while we got adjusted to the currency and the time zone. On her last trip to OZ Tracy met this awesome guy Julian on a plane and they’d stayed friends. Since she’d put him up in New York just a few months before, he was more than happy to let us crash at his place in Sydney for a few days. An awesome guy currently finishing up a documentary on the All Blacks, the best rugby team ever?

It took about 2 full days of wandering around in a daze trying to stay up as late as we could each night (about 8pm) before we really got caught up with our 18 hour time change from the west coast. Thank goodness we are going to be here for 4 months! While we were in Sydney it was sauna hot for a few days and then drizzly rainy for the next few so we did just what you’d want to do in that kind of weather – a lot of walking. Hoofing it for 10-12 miles a day we hit as many beaches and pools as we could find, a few art museums, took and few ferries, and Tracy and Caroline saw the latest installment of the Twilight series. I think my head might be injured, can someone please rip off their t-shirt? Sydney was, despite the cost, a pretty awesome city. It has the exciting energy of New York with the weather of Los Angeles plus the hills, views and boats that make Seattle so dear. That said, once we woke up from our travel daze, we realized that what really needed to do was get out of town. We’d been doing a pretty good job of cutting costs (free museums, making our own food and avoiding the bar scene) but there’s only so much you can see in a city, especially if you don’t want to spend too much money.

On Thanksgiving, Caroline caught a flight to Aukland, ready to take on New Zealand and start her first WWOOFing job at a small farm that just happened to be putting on a play, a perfect way for her to get back into the theatre scene. Tracy and I however still weren’t sure what we were going to do. Since the bike trip’s completion we weren’t really sure what our next step was to build the bike and brew empire. So we also decided we would also sign up for WWOOF (willing workers on organic farms – check it out if you haven’t heard of it, very cool organization) so that we could add some structure to our trip and cut some costs. The first place we found in New Zealand was perfect, an organic brewery! We also found a blueberry farm near Marlbourough, the wine region of NZ. For 4 hours of work a day, we will be staying in our own little blueberry cottage with a full larder of organic food and bikes to ride to the nearby wineries. I wonder if anyone owns the website bikeandwinenz.com yet? We lined up a few weeks of WWOOFing and then decided that if we were going to be in NZ for a while, we better get on with our Australia travels before we had to work! We decided our next stop would be the Gold Coast, where Australia goes on vacation and where I had another place for us to crash. I made some veal and pepper enchiladas for thanksgiving dinner and then Julian and I taught Tracy how to play Texas Hold’um, which she of course ended up winning, and then we went to bed early so get our 7am flight out the next morning.

Beers tried – Little Creatures Pale Ale, Crown Lager, Coopers Pale Ale

Bikes ridden – zero ?

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Hanging out with Julian in Sydney

Hanging out with Julian in Sydney

Preparing to part ways with Caroline... sniffle sniffle

Preparing to part ways with Caroline... sniffle sniffle


 
 
 

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