When we first spied Australia from the plane and started gliding over the edge of it, I was struck by the fact that no one was on it. You could just see a country. No clusters of houses and roads, no patchwork of fields. Just a red country.
Wrinkly Australia - still 4 hours to go damn it
Turns out it’s quite a large red country, it took hours and hours to get to Sydney. When we did and had got through customs (they came back for Zappa cos he looks so dodge), we went to get our hold luggage off the carousels and after much waiting realised Zappa’s wasn’t going to turn up. On enquiry it was still in Kuala Lumpur but it would be there the next morning. Hopefully. I looked at my insurance documents and realised the maximum payout wouldn’t nearly cover the climbing gear in his bag and really hated myself.
Poor Ruth and Lili had been waiting for us for hours – it was so good to see them! We were treated to an amazing home cooked meal, shown our rather spiffing ‘room’ (it’s a whole annex thingy!) – I say our, it was Jake’s…er…sorry Jake… - and collapsed into the comfiest bed I have ever been in in my LIFE.
Yesterday was great – while Zap and Ruth went off for a walk, I chilled out in bed, then Jake cooked us all bacon and eggs. Ruth then took Zap, me and Lili off to Manly beach, which was gorgeous – that’s the beach in the first photo. Zappa looked at secondhand boards he could buy. We did some shopping for essentials – I got some cheap polarised sunnies, a hat that may actually suit me (it’s a cross between a panama and a trilby), some posh face suncream so I don’t get all spotty slapping on the factor everyday, shampoo, stuff like that.
After that I was absolutely exhausted so I went for a lie down and accidentally slept for 4 hours! Probably would have slept for about 12 if Zappa hadn’t come and woken me up. Must….get used…to time zone….
We reckoned I should probably do something so that I didn’t go back to sleep. Ruth offered to plonk us on another beach while she did some shopping for Lee’s birthday party today, which I was ever so up for. So we (Zap, Lili and I) went off to Freshwater beach, to watch the good, the bad and the downright beautiful surfers, chat about all kinds of things and demonstrate our cartwheeling abilities. Lili informed us that if we get married she wants to be our flower girl and would need us to fund her plane ticket to perform this role.
On the way back Ruth took us to Manly dam reservoir (don’t know if it’s called that but gives you an idea of it). It was really beautiful, with this forest of eucalyptus trees around it you have to go through. I saw my new favourite thing:
A swamp hen! I kind of want one.
And look I saw a real live kookaburra!
And I saw a real pelican and some birds that had knobbly knees and beaks like those long hair clips you can get. Ruth said they were like Australia's vultures.