So we landed in Sydney and then spent some amazing time with our friend in Saratoga then caught a flight to Adelaide to see family, so I thought I’d write a post to update those readers who are interested in our actual travels and what we have been up to since our arrival on January 16th. Posting during this trip so far hasn’t been easy my mobile internet is slow and there are so many “dead zones” in Australia I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, although in truth I don’t mind because technological downtime means I get to take in the things around me without distraction for a while.
Firstly we were picked up from the airport by one of our Aussie gal friend Alana and taken back to the house that her and her partner Mardi are renovating, may I add with as little help as possible. Fair play the girls are doing well. Even with renovations and 2 amazing dogs (Kruse and Calvin) and 6 chickens (except Robin thinks she is a dog and can do what the dogs do) they were still amazingly welcoming and shared their house with us for two weeks and have foolishly said we can return whenever … they may live to regret those words! 😉
While in Saratoga for the first week we pretty much stayed around the house trying to recover from jet lag and sift through all our documentation to sort our bank accounts out, not an easy task in the least I will update my earlier blog posts about things to consider before you travel. We did go in to Sydney a few days but the journey was a bit of a soul destroyer and we will probably spend some time in the city in the coming months, our first day in Sydney we spent most of the day in the banks opening accounts.
Making friends in Saratoga
The STA opened a Commonwealth bank account for us but we later went to the HSBC bank and opened another joint account (click here to see this post and find out why) but we did see some pretty cool things shortly after and again on our second visit. On the first day we wandered through the Chinese Gardens and after a short trip in the wrong direction we found Darling Harbour, where we met the GIANT rubber duck in celebration of Australia Day … though I’m not quite sure I see the connection. I do keep blaming things on the fact we are upside down, though I’m not sure how long I can keep saying that in some of my dullest moments. The second time we visited Sydney we simply just walked around and took in some of the atmosphere and we actually made it around to the harbour and took the cliché Harbour Bridge and Opera House shots. We saw the busking Aboriginals who looked and sounded amazing with a didgeridoo and some wooden blocks, we saw a street performer who had a striking resemblance for Capt Jack Sparrow squeeze himself through a tennis racquet (not entirely sure why, again) and saw some rather random lunchtime joggers … with no shoes! The inner know it all runner and granny within me was screaming about poor support and joint pain and she was not happy with my decision to shut her up and move on without giving the poor boy a lecture.
What we saw in Sydney
So that was the short version of Sydney and then it’s back to Saratoga. We have been looking at guided tours, jobs and all other of possibilities of where to go next and the trouble is we are indecisive and still a bit wary of the “just wing it” attitude. I did mention it would be hard in an earlier post (it’s getting easier). We enjoyed Aussie day by the beach with some cider and ginger beer (BOOM – the gluten-free variety is a winner folks) and we frequently competed with the Yahtzee cup and tempers flared. Oh and we got to play and cuddle some absolutely adorable puppy dogs, Anita is now puppy broody!
Consuming naughties in Saratoga
While staying in Saratoga we took a trips to Newcastle and Cardiff … too confusing for us to have the two so close together in Australia! We also visited Terrigal beach and attempted an 8km walk to Erina only it was really hot and we didn’t really factor in the heat and a really, really, really long empty road! We may think about this when we get silly ideas in the future. Or maybe we wont.
Then the tropical storm hit and completely battered the east coast, it was sad and scary watching the news and hearing how people had died in the storms and we just had no idea what to do next. We had been here in Aus for just short of two weeks and getting itchy about wanting to explore and I realised my Nan was in Adelaide and had a week before she set off back to England, so rather than go east we decided to go south west-ish and catch a flight. The domestic flights are fairly cheap (we paid $139 for flight with checked luggage of 23Kg and 7 hand-held) and I certainly couldn’t complain about the service on the Virgin Australia flight that had free entertainments, headsets and was spot on with take off and landing time … to the minute.
We were met at the airport by my uncle who took us around the vineyard where he lives to spot kangaroos … and we did, it made our day! So we arrived home to see my Nan who I hadn’t seen in a few weeks since just after new year and my Auntie, Uncle and two Cousins who I hadn’t seen for just over 3 years and I cannot believe just how much Australia has changed the kids! They had put up a six berth tent with a queen double air bed and a lush cotton linen set looking out over the vineyard. We had no complaints.
As I write this post we have been in Adelaide 4 days and I have eaten gluten free meals in restaurants (See reviews here), seen Kangaroos, gone fishing, seen a wild seal play with some dolphins, been on a night time penguin watch tour on granite island, been on a dolphin cruise from Port Adelaide and been to the beach … I still have sand on my legs at this moment.
Sights and goings on in Adelaide
So, what next…
We are going to be spending some time with more family in Adelaide for just over a week and in the meantime we are pricing up tours or campers to get from Adelaide to Sydney in time for the must see Sydney Mardi Gras … it is going to be messy! Now time to actually get off my rear and get that beach body back and I will post as soon as I can with more updates on our travels!