Birthdays, Hobbits and a DeLorean

We’ve tried our first Cambodian food, trying out Yeay’s House in Tawa, one of Wellington’s suburbs. Very tasty. There is a bigger variety of chicken options available on a regular supermarket shelf for us here. We have found some amazingly colourful yams and buddha’s hand citron’s in a shop called Moore Wilsons here. Local lingo update: sweets here are all called ‘lollies’. There are many different names to get your head around and pronounce correctly. The letters ‘wh’ at the beginning of a place name (e.g. whangerei and whakatane) this usually denotes an f sound. Mastering quite a few train lines with all this suburb moving, I look forward to a pub quiz in a few years time that asks the names of train stations in Wellington :-). My fun Wellington fact – apparently 90% of Wellington’s residents live within 400m of a bus stop or train station… I feel for the 10%! There are some very steep, winding roads!

So what have we been up to? Well amongst the madness of job seeking and understanding visas, we’ve been doing our best to try out a few new places. With certain Belgian’s celebrating 28th birthdays we tried out Goldings Free Dive, on a list of Wellington craft beer haunts to be visited. Trying their pilsner, and old faithful maker’s mark, their food offerings are from Pizza Pomodoro next door. Highly recommended pizza! Very tasty, cool vibe, it is one of the only non smoking beer gardens in Wellington.

Trundling our way to another recommended craft beer bar – Little Beer Quarter – it seemed to have a better range of beer, especially that of the Belgian variety with Ben choosing a Birthday blue Chimay. A little bit off the Main Street, not quite as much atmosphere as Goldings, it was perhaps just the time of day we were there. Happy to revisit :-). There’s quite a big craft beer scene in Wellington. You can read more about it here. We’ll see how many we get through!

Heading north out of Wellington, chosen by Ben, the Southward Car Museum was a Saturday exploring choice. Many cars and bikes, my favourites were the Ed Roth creations, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen’s car and the Dodge brothers’ copper car. Very cool. Learning the troubled history of the DeLorean, a short video told me that they were going to use a fridge as the time travel device in the Back to the Future Movies – an item that was apparently very easy for kids to crawl into and lock themselves inside, so it was decided that a car would be a more appropriate and safer choice. Enter the DeLorean. Wasn’t enough to save it though. Finding the ‘Black Beast’, the largest motorcycle licensed for use on New Zealand roads, I also learnt the story of Thomas Edward Lawrence. Known as Lawrence of Arabia, and immortalised in the 1962 movie of the same name, he had a motorbike accident in 1935 and died. His neurosurgeon, Hugh Cairns, began research which ultimately led to the use of crash helmets and saved the lives of many motorcyclists as a result of treating him. Ben particularly taken with a 1913 24 litre Mercedes Benz, it was built by Count Zborowski whose cars became known due to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and claims to possibly be the only car ever built with water cooled brakes. Quite pricey at $18 admission but definitely worth a look. It was cool to learn of these stories :-).

To the South, we’ve made it to the Southernmost point of North Island – Cape Palliser. A lighthouse overlooking this southernmost point, there are 251 steps leading to it. The best part of Cape Palliser? The seals that were having a rest near the side of the road! Amazing! Very cute and snappable up close, I managed to capture quite a few pictures :-).

Doing a step challenge at work, it has inspired some lovely walks – getting a different perspective of the city from Mt Kaukau (a steep walk up, the steps don’t do your effort justice!).

Round the pebbles of Makara beach, finding a very bright reassuring rainbow, to Pukerua Bay where the road winds out of Wellington along the coast and also to Castlepoint on the east coast with crashing waves and another lighthouse. Very nice locations to achieve steps :-).

Managing even further afield, top of the bucket list, on Easter weekend we took a trip north to Matamata, not far from Rotorua, where Hobbiton is. I had had a woman warn me the traffic out of Wellington would be bad but nothing prepared me for what eventuated! One slow, narrow route out along the beautiful coast, it took us 2 hours just to get out the city…! Took us 7 in total to reach Matamata, stopping off in Taupo for some food. The furthest we’ve been in New Zealand so far, it was great to road trip and see New Zealand’s roads and surrounding countryside. And play 500 miles, in the middle of nowhere, loudly of course :-).

Also doing my best to appreciate the culture and environment we’re living in, I went with work colleagues to see ‘Meat‘ at the movies, a glimpse into NZ farming and a very interesting view of haggis! If you’re interested the trailer is here. Also got a glimpse into chicken showing with the movie Pecking Order, following the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in the lead up to the National Show. Trailer here. Both worth a look, it’s good to broaden our film horizons.

Until next time… x

A Last Word on Australia…

The plane climbs through the sky… The last of nine plane journeys ย in the last month… Out of my window I see a full moon in the sky. Watch the meandering route of lights below. Veering to the right, the plane turns, Scotland bound… Finally heading home after a very busy six weeks, granted a minute all to myself, I reflected on my travels since leaving Georgetown and following Australia’s eastern bounds.

First Townsville with its beautiful coast, funky chairs, foaming fountains, turtles and Reef HQ, learning about coral spawning, clownfish sex changes and being back in the big city after two months of outback Queensland. The slightly disappointing Magnetic Island. Though perhaps a hire car would have been more efficient than our choice of the public bus service for exploration of this island… Stumbling across the big mango ;-). For if it’s big, one has to stop and a picture has to be made :-). Sailing around the beautiful whitsunday islands. Circumnavigating the biggest of the 72 islands that comprise the whitsunday archipelago, we saw the only two that Captain Cook decided to name. With jellyfish in season, stinger suits were an addition to our swim to the shore of Whitehaven beach! Very colourful ;-). Relaxing in the beautiful Airlie Beach lagoon; exploring the quirky Mackay, we enjoyed a very tasty breakfast in a cafรฉ belonging to ‘Oscar’.

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To then driving the beautiful Capricorn Coast. Horses and dogs enjoying the water, I stood on the beach and got sandy feet :-). The town of Yepoon’s quirky shops and sandy edges drew us in for lunch and a wander. Very nice spot :-). On through Rockhampton, we diverged from the plan to see Agnes Water and the town of 1770, the second mainland point of Australia Captain Cook found. Beautiful sunset it was. Onto Bundaberg, the beautiful Botanical gardens were where we found turtles and dragons :-). Its rum distillery our next stop, a little more of the wise of the process, some tastings were enjoyed. A bottle of Royal Liquer rum may have left with me as well ;-).

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Hervey Bay keeping us only for one night, there was not much time to explore… Over 40 degrees in the tent at 7am, it was one of the earliest rises of the road trip! Then with a change of height, it was onto Rainbow Beach for a bit of skydiving! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Absolutely amazing. A beautiful return from 14,000ft :-). One of my favourite days in Australia without a doubt :-). To then day tripping the beautiful world heritage listed Fraser Island. A very tasty rainbow breakfast, a few hours stop in Noosa, then Cotton Tree caravan park hosting us for the last night of the road trip. Right by the beach, loved this camping spot. One of my favourites. A great last night of the roadtrip though my last time on a beach in Australia was a little bit emotional… I will really really miss my happy place. Onward bound, the road finding us Nambour’s big pineapple, the pretty glasshouse mountains (also named by Captain Cook) took us to our journey’s end in Brisbane, before heading onto Thailand for two weeks.

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It has been an absolutely unbelievable adventure in Australia :-). The so many different experiences that I was able to learn from. The diversity of places and scenery I was able to appreciate. The amazingly diverse collection of people I met. How so many of them opened my eyes or helped me let go. Each helping on various stages of the journey. The travel bug it has now infected me with and this new longing to see a new place placed inside of me. An embracing of having choices and being able to make changes and of how to create your own happiness. It is so clichรฉ but it’s true. I am so thankful that I decided to go. Even more so for all the help I had from many in making choices along the way. A few that led to amazing times after the not so good times… Contributing to an awesome journey full of life lessons and so many happy memories. Blogging for sure a big part of this, at times a very tumultuous task and not always so easy, it has been quite a journey in itself. One I’m glad I persisted with and am sure I will look back on with fondness. The support and continued readership much appreciated, I have loved sharing my thoughts and journey with you and hopefully shown you a little bit of Australia ;-).

Now back in Scotland with the weather making me miss Australia a lot, a globe that I bought spins on its base and makes a comforting, noise as it does. It reassuringly feels like it is ticking down to my next adventure… Back to another juncture in life, I am going to take a little bit of time to plan the next steps and make sure it is what is right. Perhaps bloggable, perhaps not, I may not post for quite a while. Perhaps the next will have a new tab on the page next to ‘Australia’. Can’t wait ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

For now, some pictures from adventuring in Thailand:

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The Beginning of the End…

My Georgetown song! ๐Ÿ™‚

It is now though bye bye Georgetown and hello road trip!!! :-). It is most wonderful to be reacquainted! ๐Ÿ™‚

My time in Georgetown has been interesting. As has listening to the preconception of the ‘backpacker’ here… Some lessons learnt for sure, I had to battle the itchy feet feeling more than once ;-). A friend’s wise words of ‘follow the money’ echoing, they kept me here and to my plan. Staying in staff accommodation for $80 a week with a pretty comfy bed and air con, having stayed in worse, it wasn’t too bad at all for staff digs. With an external bathroom, bugs roaming around, it has reminded of zucchini picking in Katherine a lot :-). My roommate not liking them at all, they actually don’t bother me unless they are of the cockroach variety… I actually find the geckos presence reassuring. The crickets have become familiar visitors and I’m always perplexed by ants in the sink… Got a death wish on their hands ;-). Or feet ;-). For they get washed away…

Managing to eat relatively healthily, cheaply and efficiently, it is probably one of my best efforts to save money whilst in Australia. Especially as we are the supermarket and my hard earned money returns to my employer…! You want to try and keep as much of that as possible! Taking a $100 shop with me from Cairns, definitely a good idea, pasta, tuna and rice have featured heavily in the past few months ;-). As have multi portioned meals. Spag Bol in particular ;-). One of the most expensive single things I’ve eaten? A $4.90 cucumber… $4.90 and I only managed half of it… Pretty sure they are about a dollar in the supermarket… Actual madness.

Some of the Georgetown randomness:

  • I have fallen out of love with timtams… I know Clem, I’m sorry, but I’ve decided mint slices are better… Don’t worry, I will still send you some!
  • I received some very strange advice – “If it moves and it shouldn’t – duct tape. It if should move and it doesn’t – WD40!” I don’t want to know ;-).
  • I was asked if we sell ‘Shoo roo’s.’ A whistling device that can apparently be attached to a vehicle to try and stop kangaroo’s jumping in front of you. Not a product we stock, I told the man he’d have to fashion his own ;-).
  • I was also asked for a saddle. Not for a horse, mind but for a wire ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • A customer looking for a container for bitumen bought five metal containers of milo (a drinkable with milk or water chocolate and malt powder), emptied it, put the milo into plastic containers then left ALL of the milo for us…! Madness
  • People watching, noticing some interesting people, I had to ask if two were just workmates or a couple? ๐Ÿ˜‰ A married couple working together as marriage counsellors was the answer! Wow. I want to know much more about their story now ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I’ve developed an aversion to cardboard boxes. I actually can’t cope with them! Retail bred through and through, the stock either needs to be on the shelf or out of the box waiting for it to be put on the shelf…!
  • I have watched a lot of the same adverts! A lot of them play EVERY ad break. I’m starting to sing the songs before they play ;-). One has become a Georgetown song ;-). What is most bizarre is the amount of ads for businesses in Alice Springs. Over 2000km away! Granted it is one of the bigger places to the west, but this is the equivalent of advertising Polish or Czech Republic businesses in Scotland as local ads distance wise! It is far away! Not so many adverts for Cairns, they must assume most people travel west through Georgetown…
  • Having to hotspot myself a lot, spending more than I would in a city with free wifi, I received a phonecall from my phone network provider, Telstra. They wanted to help me get a better deal for my money… Nearly two years after I started using them and three weeks before I leave the country ;-). Bit late now Telstra! If only I’d known how long I was staying I would have got myself a contract ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Rain!! Signalling the end of the dry season, twice with very heavy showers, smelling amazing, you certainly know you are not in Scotland when the locals are excited about it!
  • I was very angry at two boys who took advantage of a girl that wanted to leave the nearby mango farm. Charging her $130 for a lift for the same $26 journey by bus, upset and the next bus to Cairns not leaving for two days, we facilitated a lift for her and tried to give her some food. Not accepting a sandwich or even breakfast the next day for free, she gave us mangoes and wrote a thank you note and left it on the counter. Hoping she has a less stressful journey onward to Cairns, I hope the boys don’t rip anyone else off…
  • I managed to faint and bang my head… Yes silly Jane I know. I blame the heat and no breakfast… Julie taking good care of me, I saw the inside of Georgetown hospital and left all ok except for a very big bump on my head… Given the day off work, it took me six days to feel back to normal. Sporting a black eye as a result, prompting many an interesting conversation, I think I’m going to be remembered as ‘that one who fainted on us!’

A different kind of roadhouse, perhaps the biggest roadhouse supermarket between Cairns and Karumba, it is very much a retail focus rather than bar and dinner service. With a local pub in town, therefore no bar and closing at 7pm, not so many people hanging around with fewer staff members than the last roadhouse I worked in, it hasn’t been quite as much fun as my time there… There have been many reminders though :-). A few ‘maybe maybe’s’, and a fair few “thank you ma’am’s” have made me smile… Different things important at different times though, I very much have appreciated managing to sleep within ‘normal’ hours, have felt the benefit of being given a break during my shift and have done well in mastering the art of chilling out ;-). I’ve done far more swimming than I ever expected to :-). In a beautiful setting as well.

Road tripping our way back to Brisbane, where it all began, I can’t quite believe the Australian adventure is coming to an end… Only a few weeks left, one last stretch of Australia to go, I think I’ve done very well traversing the country! Stopping in on Thailand on the way home, stepping onto a different part of Asia, I’m very much looking forward to a change of culture ;-).

Next Stop: Darwin

My ride to Darwin!

This is the car that needed relocating from Broome to Darwin for only $5 a day… Not too shabby a ride is it?! Complete with tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear and a handy little fridge, it was ready to go on a roadtrip ;-). Finding travel companions through a facebook group and on my tour of the Kimberley’s, myself and an Italian, a German and an English girl headed east out of Broome. Not going to lie, there is not much to see between Broome and the first town east – Fitzroy Crossing. The landscape changing subtly from trees to shrubs and different contourings, we rolled into Tarunda caravan park as the sun was setting. Met by a fairly rude woman in the site next to us there is honestly nothing more challenging than trying to assemble a 5 man tent you haven’t previously assembled when someone is watching you with their arms crossed uttering not very helpful words of advice under their breath… We made it though. Good effort team. Knackered, I rolled into bed and fell straight to sleep.

Our beautifuuly assembled tent!

Day two’s drive held a little more variety… From low to high, green to orange to red, it was a nice drive to Halls Creek, where I learnt the story of Russian Jack. The high point of my day? Discovering cruise control on the car :-). Much better :-). Past many road trains, a few of the flashing, oversized, wide load variety, I was also met by many friendly waves. Taking a diversion down Duncan Rd, we found a China wall, some very big termite mounds and the pretty Palm Springs. The road switching to a northerly direction, we ended the night in Warmun roadhouse caravan park where all three of the staff working behind the till had different ideas of how much to charge us…! ($35 for site which changed to $15 per person and the other ‘just didn’t know’…) Worrying… Please do make up your mind… Aware of some stories from Halls Creek of a man picking up backpackers and leaving them in the middle of nowhere, worried about the car and surrounded by a cold cold night I didn’t have the best night’s sleep…

The next day, the drive turned to Kununurra. A word that Megan struggled to say! Very funny, one of her guesses was Kunnado :-). Made me laugh. It was a beautiful drive north. I had contemplated driving it in the dark to get to Kununurra a little earlier… I’m very glad I didn’t :-). The car felt very small driving through many high peaks. Feeling like you are merely a visitor passing through its gaze… Awesome scenery. We stopped in at Wyndham. A very good road led to it. A very pretty place, we found a grotto, the 5 rivers lookout and the big crocodile :-). Lunch by the lake in Kununurra, it was nice to relax in the celebrity tree park. I got excited for a second that this might be trees looking like or sculpted into celebrities… It’s not… Just trees planted by celebrities… Not so exciting ;-). Nice lake though and could have easily spent more time relaxing there :-).

From Kununnura the landscape changed. A dusty red road, quintessentially Australian, you can tell it’s the entrance to Northern Territory. Stopping by the welcoming sign of course, it was nice to be back :-). Happy NT memories were fresh in my mind. Megan chose music on my ipad that just happened to be NT music played picking zucchini’s which made me smile :-). The NT kilometres appearing to be longer than WA’s, the last 5km to Timber Creek caravan park seemed to go on forever… A long day, losing an hour and a half with the state/Territory time difference, absolutely knackered, it was genuinely one of the most amazing showers ever :-).

The WA/NT border

The next day, the names of the creeks continue to keep me well entertained… Brandy Bottle Creek, Cheese Tin Creek, Chinaman then Chainman (they just rearranged the letters at the next creek along?!)… It’s actual madness! We stop into the hot springs in Katherine for lunch. Enjoyed previously last year whilst wwoofing there :-).
Katherine Hot Springs

Kakadu national park was next. Bukbukluk look out; some pictures of the open road, there were lots of bush worn trees. A nice easy drive, choosing to drive slower than the speed limit to relax, I think it wore off on everybody ;-). Spending the night in Gagudju lodge in Cooinda, joined by an Australian man who apparently genuinely thought Scottish midges were midgets who were going to attack him, with some nice relaxed chat, cider and wine, it was my favourite night of the road trip. Didn’t hurt that I could see the stars through the open tent window either ;-). Awesome.

The last day of the road trip started with yellow river. Pretty and peaceful, lots of wildlife including birds and a snake were to be found. Anbangbang billabong (I know!) was next. Also very pretty but still no crocodiles to be found… Spending time at the cultural centre and learning of the stories of the people and the land then ending the day at nourlangie rock, viewing aboriginal art on the rocks and appreciating kakadu’s size, I think we had a good balance with only a few hours to spend there. It was then a long long road to Darwin on the Arnhem highway!!

Reaching Darwin, feeling significantly warmer than Broome, it is much bigger and busier than I remember it from last year… Perhaps I have just spent too much time in small places ;-). It is nice to be back and to remember the Darwin memories of last year… I still can’t quite believe I’m getting on a plane soon though!! The homecoming is starting to become a little bit more real ;-).

Homeward Bound Ramblings

Soon after I got to Broome I booked a flight home… Just for a month, to partake in some weddings and my birthday… Not going to lie, I booked the cheapest option available. Couldn’t have told you who I was flying with! I certainly do now…! Events from last week had me checking… Booking my flight from Darwin, wanting to drive up and complete my loop of Western Australia, I have found a relocation car and some travel buddies to reduce fuel costs. We’ll see how we go! The end of camel time coming around very quickly, heading off in the next couple of days, I am very much looking forward to driving rather than getting the bus!

Heading home for sure a difficult decision, it turns out August has more pulling me from Scotland than Australia and for the first time in a year and seven months I would rather be there than here… I am now really looking forward to going home! For sure when I get home and find it cold ;-), I’ll probably want to get straight back onto a plane but for now Scotland is capturing my heart and creeping into my days… I’ve encountered a man playing the bagpipes, received a postcard adorned with men in kilts, found irn bru and had quite a few conversations with a fair few Scottish people (my favourite held with a lady from Paisley about Santa Claus coming to town!!)

A reminder if Scotland...

Now that I know I’m heading back to Scotland, many thoughts have run through my mind. From trivial insignificant things to bigger, important matters…

  • Wondering what the response will be if I ask someone how they are goin? Maybe they’ll ask going where? Perhaps eliciting a response similar to how I feel about the Glaswegian ‘see you after’… ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Whether it will be weird to name things peppers and courgettes and the process of selecting on self serve supermarket tills. They are now most definitely now zucchini’s to me ;-).
  • What might happen if I tell someone to take off their pants and thongs?
  • I’ve been working inside and in the shade and looking a bit paler than when I arrived in Broome… I fear people will never believe I’ve been in Australia a year and a half!
  • I’ve come to quite like Jim Beam… Does that sit on bar shelves back home?! Does Scotland even have a bourbon that isn’t jack Daniels?! Neither me or the Scottish receptionist in my hostel can remember… I didn’t drink it before I got here… I know I’ll definitely have a tasting for it when I get home…
  • Important matters like wondering how many packets of timtams/mint slices to post? ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Whether chai can be found in the supermarkets to make chai lattes…
  • From stories you hear on the road wondering what I’ve missed and whether people will still be the same…
  • Looking forward to sharing your own stories but fearing if it will be of interest to everyone…
  • Whether people will understand what a journey you’ve been on…

The last few a little deep and meaningful, I’ll need to get home to find out… What I am most looking forward to though is:

  • Having a duvet. Yes a duvet. Not even going to call it the Australian doona. The sheet and blanket I’ve had for the last few weeks is driving me nuts! Hopefully also sleeping without a need for earplugs!!
  • Not being asked how long I’ve been in Australia for and hopefully most people being able to tell I’m Scottish!!!
  • Using a kitchen, without having to hire utensils and having many ingredients to hand. Genuinely my mum is not going to know what’s hit her with what I plan to cook to earn my keep
  • Though in saying that, giving my dad time in the kitchen to make his his homemade soup, his curry and a roast beef ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Looking forward to seeing the faces of those you remember so fondly. That have helped you from across the miles with some of the harder moments of your travelling journey… Who when you see them again it’s like you’ve never been apart… ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s going to be epic. With just a little bit of adventure left in me yet, another week or so til I get on the plane, WA has totally upturned my notion of starting to feel ‘done’ with Australia. There is still much I want to see… I’ll most definitely be coming back here… Steep point, Karijini National Park, the gibb river road, horizontal falls and Cape Leveque are now on my travelling bucket list for when I next come back to Western Australia. Exploring on :-).

Cockles and Mussels and in Need of an Umbrella…

I wake in the morning… I look out the window with some trepidation… The ever familiar sound of raindrops can be heard… My newly bought umbrella has become a staple item in my bag in Sydney!! Whilst still probably a little warmer than home, the relentless rain is certainly reminding of the UK… Making me want to go north pretty soon… I'll wait until I have a little more money to get me there though…

Spending my weeks working and my weekends exploring, I have settled into somewhat of a routine. Tuesday has become movie day. Cheaper tickets on offer at the cinema, it is my night of escape from the hostel, where I just relax and don't worry about cooking. Helping to also reduce my cost per use of my weekly train ticket, I get treated to the lights on the harbour and harbour bridge on my way home. It still makes me smile when I cross the bridge :-). Saturday has become lie in day… As has Sunday… :-). Then I try to explore and see different things… Last week I managed Glebe market and had an amazing chai white chocolate in Max Brenner. With plans to go west down the river last Sunday, admitting defeat to the rain, I chilled out and finished my book instead. Making Sydney the most readable city so far.

The Museum of Sydney and Sydney's fish market my exploring choices this weekend, the museum taught of the construction of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and told how the bridge was catapulted to worldwide fame by a paramilitary horseman beating the labour premiere to cutting the tape…! Hereafter, the bridge became synonymous with visions of 'Australia'. Learning of the aboriginal history of Sydney's land I also spent time wandering through an exhibition called 'Celestial city: Sydney's Chinese story.' Detailing the Chinese Restriction and Regulation Act 1888 and the subsequent 1901 Immigration Restriction Act (wanting to keep Australia 'white'), this Act excluded non Europeans by requiring them to pass a language test given in a European language before they could be admitted to Australia. Funnily enough most non Europeans failed. The Chinese living here were denied citizenship, the vote and the freedom to travel between Australia and China. Many were exiled in Sydney. Eventually phased out after WWII then abolished in 1973, I got back to my hostel feeling even more sympathy for aboriginal and cultural heritage and somewhat surprisingly walked into a conversation with a boy who has been here just a couple of weeks who asked what I thought of the 'British making Australia…?' Wow. I used some of the things I had just learnt in the museum with my reply…

Wandering my way to Sydney's fish market in Pyrmont, joining the throngs of people with the same idea, I explored one of the world's largest fish markets. Many colours and varieties, having been meaning to try since I got to Sydney, I dived in and tried oysters for the first time and bought a fillet of salmon for $6. Not too bad at all.

A nice interjection to routine, on Friday I had a reunion with my Western Australia road tripping buddy Sarah :-). With a lot of rain covering Sydney I suggested Govindas, an Indian restaurant with a cinema upstairs; a recommendation on a 'what to do in Sydney if it rains list.' Offering an all you can eat buffet for $19 there was only one problem… We genuinely talked so much catching up on the last six months we each had only one plate… Madness. Therefore not seeming the best value for money, it was entirely my own fault. I should have booked an hour earlier and eaten more!! Never mind I said… Better to have talked and managed only one plate than sat in silence and eaten four plates… ๐Ÿ™‚ It was most nice to catch up :-). The movie theatre was awesome. Comfy Chaislongue seats covered in comfy cushions, we relaxed back and enjoyed ‘The Monuments Men‘ :-). The movie cutting out near to the end the whole room started talking about what George Clooney might have had on his bagel and what was going to happen next ;-). Rather than being annoying it just added to the character of the movie theatre. It is a really cool cinema there. I recommend if you're looking for something different :-). Not overly impressed with the restaurant maybe I'll try again with someone I don't have so much to talk about with ;-).

In other news, a cyclone brewing on the north east Coast as well as a feeling that Cairns will be a money sinkhole has now set in motion a northwest Australia stop next with a view to work back east before flying home in August. For there are weddings and birthdays to be attended to… Informing one of my best friends that it is only approximately 118 days away, this thought is more than a little bit scary!!