Headed Home

Spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Sydney. Finally had some oysters. They were pretty good! Not as good as Namibia but pretty good. I might fly to Namibia just for the oysters! Had to get packed and then enjoyed the piano player at my hotel.

And now a little breakfast at the airport getting ready for a long flight. I leave here at 11:10 am and arrive in LA at 6am.

Awesome trip. I will be back, hopefully in August to do some sapphire digging.

Tuesday

A quiet night except for all the animals making noise! I think it was birds and monkeys.

Saw some of the animals at the Wings Wildlife Center where we are camping. It started as a Tasmanian Devil rescue then other animals were brought, mostly orphaned and injured. They have reptiles and fish too. Wild animals and domestic animals too.

Had some Lamb sliders for dinner and some wine.

Tomorrow we get to see the other animals!!!

Thursday Katoomba

Today I hiked at the Blue Mountain Range from the city of Katoomba. This is a small backpackers town that caters to hikers, climbers and cavers. The most famous area is Three Sisters.

Way to the left of the left most sister is the first destination.

Back

The Legend

The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and ‘Gunnedoo’ lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.

These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry.

The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.

As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.

The colors of these mountain change all day and are spectacular at sunset and sunrise.

Hiking was incredible going from the top of the peak down to the Three Sisters viewing platform.

Then down deep into the jungle to see a waterfall. There had been a huge rain recently and much of the trial was washed out. This is the same rain that put many of the fires out.

The short cut was getting up to the road. The road had washed out and several houses on the cliffs were in danger of falling down the cliffs but the danger sign and no trespassing signs seemed optional. The road was gone and I walked through what seemed like quick sand. Lots of cool birds to look at a like huge Black Cuckoos and white parrots and some special Pheasant.

Back to the hotel for some pizza and beer. The town is pretty quiet on a Wednesday night.

Friday

It’s Friday! But this is news starting with yesterday.

Drove the hour drive back to the city of Sydney. Just like a normal busy city, lots of cars and people. I was lucky to find a great old hotel that housed the oldest tavern in Sydney. It was near the Rocks area and Sydney Harbor Bridge. But first a quick trip to Manly Beach and the former military training camp where there were awesome views of the city and some hiking around the WW 1 and 2 bunkers. Never know that they had ships sunk too, but they “caught” a Japanese sub. Didn’t know that the city of Darwin was hit badly too. The British sent their prisoners to Australia then hired them to fight their wars. Interesting.

Love the little pedestrian only areas. It makes it so much more of a community feel.

Bridges…

Then a little walk around the hotel area. Super close to the Sydney Opera House.

After a lot of walking I had my first kangaroo burger. I had mixed feelings about it. It was tasty enough but they are so cute!

People start happy hour very early and it goes on for sometime. The hotel I was staying at was called the Russell Hotel and had two bars, one more casual and one more formal. The casual bar had a fun live band that I could hear in my hotel room.

Today after a great brekkie, drove to Bondi Beach. Apparently they have a tv show like Bay Watch called Bondi Beach with a similar theme.

Lots of hiking on the shore. It looked like a fun surf place. People have been going to this beach for 200 years. This swimming pool on the beach was pretty cool with the waves crashing into it.

Similar beach scene as Manly Beach, lots of restaurants and shops. Cute beach back ground.

Back to the city and Darling Harbor and walking around the city.

Have to leave this amazing country tomorrow. Just a few more things to do. I will be back.

Wednesday Animal Envounter

Finally a shower for me. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. We packed up everything and waited for the animal encounters. First we went through several of the inside enclosures, the are a lot of rat, opposing looking animals here. First one we held was George a baby Tasmanian devil. He was very sweet. Apparently they have the devil name because when they came out at night before electricity, the candles of the early settles made their ears look red and their teeth were big and sharp. They called open their mouths to 180 degrees. That is a big bite.

Next we went to the Wombat pen. There were three wombats. They were super friendly. We held one on our lap and the other two kept climbing up.

Saw some birds and some of the other wombats and devils then in to the kangaroos. I was so excited!

Monday

A beautiful morning. Had a little coffee and decided that we needed better WiFi. My posts are a little out of order because of the spotty internet. Breakfast at All things nice Cafe. Great Big Brekkie and soon we will travel West to The Nut near the town of Stanley

We decided not to go to the Nut and headed to the Wings Wildlife Camp where we had a reservation. It’s a place where they take in injured animals and have a little farm with animals and cabins and camping. It was a breathtaking drive and we are in a spot away from everyone including internet for the most part. Saw some animals today and more tomorrow.

Tasmania

Time to head to the next part of our adventure. Had a a quick coffee with my new friend! Then an Uber to the airport. Delayed one hour then we boarded, then the “missing part” made us wait and wait, then deplane and then wait for a new crew, meanwhile our first plane left. Finally we were off.

I took some meat and cheese in my carry on. The flight attendants told us that we couldn’t bring fruits and vegetables and seafood into other parts of Australia so I wasn’t sure if I should get rid of it. I had looked it up on the internet and all sources said it was ok so I kept it in my bag.

Megan went to get the camper van and I went to get the luggage. My bag came out and then a woman with a dog was on the baggage claim belt and no more bags were coming out…..I decided that I better go toss my contraband. I had learned my lesson in Tonga! Megan was done so she went to get her bag. Somehow her bag was taken off the belt and we had to find it. Just a bit more for the day of delays.

We started. The drive to the south. We were headed to Eagle Wing Neck on the Tasman Peninsula. The drive was beautiful. We saw some kangaroos on the side of the road, hopping. We also, unfortunately saw a lot of dead ones in the road and other animals too.

It was getting dark so it was a little nerve wracking to not know where we were going. Finally we pulled up to a campsite. It was closed. There was a buzzer, with no designation of what it was for but I buzzed it and finally after a long time, a man came out and I asked if there was a site available and there was. It took a few minutes to find it in the dark and we never did find the electrical outlet. Had a little champagne to celebrate my birthday and then time to sleep!