The house I was surfing at is in Bondi, and is less than a 10-minute walk from the beach. Bondi Beach is a bit of a tourist trap, and is also where the beautiful people from the area come to be fit. I felt like I should participate in the local culture before I left the area, so on my last morning I got up and headed to the beach bright and early to do some yoga and running around. Luckily, my bright and early is about 10 a.m., so I missed the overly ambitious crowds who do their activities before work. Now, I’m not really one for working out. And many of your have heard my stance on running and how, as an isolated activity, it is just not fun. Every time in the past that I’ve convinced myself to go on a run, I’ve just been miserable. Apparently it is better on a beach. My version of “running” was a jog down the beach in one direction, stop for yoga, and sprint/walk back down. I’m sure people run up and down many more times than this. Running barefoot on a beach, evading rogue waves, and basking in sunlight is actually kind of fun. It also feels astronomically better on the feet, knees, and soul than running on hard pavement. This just reaffirms my theory that life is better with no shoes. F**k shoes! (Thank you, Dane Cook, for that timeless advice.)
Other things that make life better include bakery, cheap wine, and palm trees. Australia appears to supply all of these in great quantities. Australia also appears to supply hay fever, which makes life slightly less fun. I’ve never suffered allergies at home, but apparently I am allergic to spring in this country. Lovely.
Side note: My laziness in writing may lead to some incontinuity in posts as I tend to half finish one and then come back to it days later once more has happened and tack things onto the end. Please bear with, it should get better.
Due to a slightly less active couchsurfing community in Sydney than in Melbourne (strike one, Syd), and also my own slacking on sending out requests, I found myself in a situation where I didn’t have a place to stay and had to book a hostel for a couple of nights. Most of my hostel experience has been in southern Europe so the 30 AUD / night price tag for a kip in a 12-bed dorm was a bit hard to swallow. I stayed in Kings Cross, a quite central neighbourhood of Sydney, with easy access to all of your tourist stops. The hostel atmosphere was a nice change, as you get to meet a bunch of other travelers (lots of Germans, incredibly high proportion of people on Working Holiday Visas, several long term hostellers – don’t know how they do it).
Finally, on my third day in Sydney, I was off to be a proper tourist. The Sydney Opera House is a surreal thing to see. It’s an image you’ve seen hundreds of times. I had a strange mixture of familiarity and awe standing beside the iconic structure. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was, I was surprised to find, almost equally as captivating (after flicking through my photos from the last couple of days, I’ve realized this isn’t quite translated – as if it ever is.) It is, quite simply, huge. Standing by the Opera House, you have incredible views of the bridge; walking across the bridge, you have incredible views of the Opera House. Taking a ferry to Manly Beach, a northern suburb of Sydney, and you get both. Seeing Sydney by water is something you don’t want to miss. Though there are plenty of speed boat tours and cruises and whatnot, the ferry seemed to be an excellent option to me, and it costs around $14 return.
Though beautiful, Sydney is still a city, and I’ve realized I was right in my estimation that I don’t want to spend too long in one. My next jaunt will be to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains for some nature and hiking. I intend to come back to Sydney after two nights, hopefully with some couches secured, and stay for another week or so before continuing to chase my beach dream.