Thursday, August 18, 2016

Australia - from the beginning

Australia!  Seven weeks ago we crossed the International Date Line AND the equator (almost at the same time), resulting in all kinds of changes, from summer to winter, from Thursday instantly to Friday, even from driving on the right to driving on the left.  Rather than thinking about any of that when we landed, we took a shuttle to the hotel and went right to sleep.  Except John went out for a quick run to keep his streak alive.  Can't let something like confusing international travel get in the way of that!

The next morning we had a nice walk over to the Jucy rental place to pick up our campervan.  We love our Jucy!  It has seats that convert into a bed, a pull-out camping stove, cookware and eating utensils and stuff, even a little fridge.  We slept well every night in our Jucy and enjoyed cooking from the back hatch whenever we didn't have a campground kitchen available.  Highly recommend (and they are available in California and Las Vegas).

First stop in Sydney was Bronte and Bondi beaches to check out the Pacific Ocean from this end.  Yep, still plenty of surf!  But the water (and air) temperature was much lower than on Maui, no temptation to get in it here.


Nice sand on Bronte Beach:


View from the path between the beaches:


A brave surfer (or would-be surfer, I assume he went ahead and got in):


Neat rock formations with water spilling over the top:


And yep, plenty of surfers.  They are wearing a lot more than Hawaiian surfers, but still, I can't imagine:


The famous Bondi Beach:


Fun murals at the beach:


Um, OK, didn't expect that as our first Australian animal sighting:


Yet another person running toward the water like this is a good idea (or maybe he's just running to stay warm):


Ice skating, a more appropriate winter activity:


Maybe at least the pool is heated - sure is a great location for one, anyway:


Jucy by the sea:


We stayed briefly with my cousin Shannon and his family (hi Shannon and Julie!), and Shannon took us to a rugby game.  John was excited about this, as he used to play rugby in college and doesn't get to watch it very often.

The game was held in Olympic Park, which was exciting for me as I always love visiting prior Olympic locations and cities.


Cathy Freeman Park and a fun sculpture:


ANZ Stadium where they held the Olympic track & field events:


A bit of rugby action:


A few things we learned from our first weekend: How to order coffee (we both prefer the "Flat White" version), how to drive on the left (carefully and always thinking about it), and how Australians speak English but sometimes it doesn't sound that way to us.  Yes, they really do say "G'day mate" occasionally, and no, they don't always understand us either.  But they are always friendly!

I'll be working my way through oodles of photos and slowly catching up on blog posts, stay tuned for more Oz travel reporting from Down Under...

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