A Travellerspoint blog

The Final Post

Good Bye Sydney: the last leg of our trip


View Katoomba, Australia & Sydney, Australia on David.SC's travel map.

“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes

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Many people have commited suicide along these steep cliffs. It is a long way down. Thank Goodness for counselors (and fences)

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“Not all those who wander are lost.”IMG_6073.jpgIMG_6074.jpg
take a closer look and you can see the Harbor Bridge in the background.

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Back home
"For travel to be delightful, one must have a good place to leave and return to." Frederick B. Wilcox

I am kind of sad to post this final blog. I have settled back into my normal routine and Jennifer is heading out to San Diego this weekend. Thanks to all of you for checking out the blog. "CHEERS"

Posted by David.SC 18:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Rocks, Manly, Shelly, & Bondi

Life on The Rocks


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Saturday finally arrived and the ladies were done with work. After checking out of the hotel at Castle Hills we all piled into Samuel's taxi along with our luggage. We dropped Donna off at the airport after scouting for a few last minute souvenirs. Donna was glad to be heading home.
Jennifer and I had other plans, more sight seeing.
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We checked into The Observatory Hotel which was located in the historic part of Sydney called The Rocks. The Rocks was in walking distance of the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. This was the nicest hotel I've ever stayed at; my first five star hotel. Reminded me of something you would see in a movie.
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This was the view from our room, that is Darling Harbor.

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I'd love to tell you that we were in this limo partying and living it up but we were actually passing by in a much nice hummer limo; I had the chauffer honk at them as we passed,ya know I had to rub it in.

IMG_5558.jpgthe Harbor Bridge

IMG_5582.jpgWe took a tour of the Opera House.IMG_5584.jpgIMG_5586.jpgIMG_5587.jpgIMG_5591.jpgIMG_5593.jpg
our tour guide

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"People watching" was particularly entertaining because you saw such an eclectic mix, especially near the Opera House, you'd see people in their tux's and evening gowns, business suits, tourists, fitness fanatics, etc. Also, the different nationalities.

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Just down the stairs below the Opera House was a line of bistro's, restaurants, and souvenir shops along with a view of the water.

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Earth Hour: The Big Black Out March 29, 2010
The news of this world wide event circulated through the news and media; posters were placed throughout the city. I couldn't believe our luck. We were in Sydeny, Australia at just the right time. I marveled at the idea of a "Black Out" where The Opera House, Harbor Bridge, and other local businesses in the city were going to turn off their lights for 1 hour in order to raise awareness of global warming. After having dinner at a fancy street cafe we found just the perfect spot to see everything unfold. Again, we were lucky because after we got settled people started pouring in around us. They too wanted to see the Black Out. " This is really a BIG DEAL", I began to form a picture in my mind. Finally, 8:30 approached. We were waiting in anticipation when suddenly a LOUD fog horn from one of the ships screamed out to prepare us....and then IT happened. IT was a BIG disappointment because only a few lights were turned off (so it seemed). The crowd sighed and I questioned "is that all?!!!" I guess there are sooo many lights in the city that when you turn a few off it doesn't make that big of a difference.
Check out the pictures below.

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Warning: the following photos are of taken at a nude beach. I repeat, Nude Beach warning.
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As you can see there were no participants; I later learned that this was an unofficial nude beach; we had walked a country mile to get there, our feet were hurting, and we were hot & sweaty. We had joked along the way that we better see a naked person to make this worth the hike. No such luck.

When they say it is an "unofficial nude beach" they mean it is tolerated by the public residents and local law enforcement.

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IMG_5819.jpgIMG_5822.jpgThe Australian Flag

IMG_5824.jpgWe headed back to Manly beach and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

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"Swim between the flags" the lifeguards scope out the safest part of the beaches and post flags to keep the swimmers safe.
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Macquarie Lighthouse: the 1st light house in Australia
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Bondi Beach: a world famous beach
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Posted by David.SC 18:47 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Castle Hills & Parramatta

escaping my fortress of solitude...


View Katoomba, Australia & Sydney, Australia on David.SC's travel map.

Castle Hills
We spent the first 2 weeks at The Hills Lodge in Castle Hills (this is another suberb of Sydney).
This is also the place where I began to feel like a prisoner due to the fact that I could not figure out the bus system. Luckily, I was was resourceful and was able to break free from my captor (my own fear). IMG_5506.jpgIMG_5518.jpg]IMG_5505.jpgIMG_5503.jpg

This is a burger that I ordered from room service one day.
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That huge yellow yolk staring back at me totally grossed me out. There were beets on there too but I removed them both. I don't care for beets or runny yellow yolk.

Parrametta
The following are a few pics from the town of Parrametta. If you remember this is the town that I took the bus to on several occasions. FYI, Parrametta is a suberb of Sydney located about 23 kilometers or 14 miles west of the city. Parramatta comes from an Aboriginal word meaning "the place where the eel lies down". Also, the Parrametta River flows into the harbor which gives it stong roots in history and is a means for transportation from surrounding suburbs to the city. It was on this river that we saw Russel Crowe's boat while we were waiting on the ferry.
Cool Tree
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While strolling through downtown, this group of senior citizens caught my eye. They were doing tai chi. You may not be able to tell but they are all Asian.

IMG_5463.jpgI took this picture to give you an idea of some of the stores in Australia. This was actually a shopping mall; I didn't see any Wal Mart's though. It was wierd that there was K-Mart inside a shopping mall.

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I loved this park, nice trees.
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This is the Parramatta River which flows into the harbor.

IMG_5484.jpg I splurged and went to see a movie while Jennifer was at work. One movie ticket was around 16 bucks. No Worries.

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line up
IMG_5486.jpg<br /> </p><p>Jump the queue same as saying jump the line.
Hungry Jacks is what they call Burger King

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chemist is what we call a pharmacist or the pharmacy

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I saw these signs all over the place down here; I thought to myself, "what is this, a tribute to Michael Jackson or something?" Come to find out this is the pedestrian sign.
Australian Sunset
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“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator ” Mahatma Gandhi quotes

Posted by David.SC 17:51 Archived in Australia Tagged lodging Comments (0)

A Special Encounter

sunny
View Katoomba, Australia & Sydney, Australia on David.SC's travel map.

Not sure if I believe in divine encounters or not but I had a neat experiance while walking to the store. I was still feeling overwhlemed with the whole trasportation issue. As I walked, I noticed a small group of people waiting at the bus stop; some wearing matching shirts. I thought perhaps they were hotel guests in town for the HillSong Church convention. As I got closer I realized that they were locals and I felt comfortable enough to inquire whether or not they were going to Parrametta, which they were. Of course, the first thing they noticed was my accent.
The first person to speak was JoAnn (atleast I think that was her name) she was going to the terminal in Parrametta and graciously allowed me to tag along. Then the group began asking me questions about America: What do you thnk about Obama? Did you go to the Oscars? Suddenly, I was the center of attention and I loved it (just kidding). I began to think that JoAnn may have been some kind of chaperone to a group of mentally challenged people. We chatted until the bus arrived. JoAnn warned me to sit near the front becuse a bunch of school kids would be getting on shortly. In the group with JoAnn was a couple, I'll refer to them as Nancy and Pete. I sat across the aisle from them on the bus and they began to talk and ask more questions. Nancy proudly showed me her watch and said she got it for working at the factory; she's been there for 27 years. I commended her and she blushed a little.
They went on about where they were from. Nancy asked if I had ever been to London. "No, I haven't had the chance to go there, have you?" Yeah, my sister lives there. "Did you like it over there?" No, it rained a lot. She was so honest and real. I loved the fact that they just accepted me as I was. I didn't have to try to impress them whatsoever.
I ended up moving across the aisle to sit with them so I could hear better, good thing because the school kids got on next. Apparently, it had been school picture day and we found ourselves surrounded by middle school chatter. Let me also point out that school students ride the city buses with everyone else. They don't have yellow school busses like we do. That was a strange concept for me to accept, but apparently it works for them. Also, all students wear uniforms over here, public and private.
When it came time to get off the bus Nancy asked me if I would be riding at the same time again tomorrow. I felt bad but admitted that I probably would not be. I wished them both well and got off along with JoAnn. She was an angel and pointed to where I needed to go. I walked around the city of Parrametta with a renewed appreciation for all kinds of people.
"Great is the man who has not lost his child like heart"[quote] Mencius

Parrametta

Parrametta

Posted by David.SC 04:54 Archived in Australia Tagged disabilities Comments (0)

Katoomba and Kiama

sunny
View Katoomba, Australia & Sydney, Australia on David.SC's travel map.

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This is Kylie, Ajila, & Jennifer
Kylie and Ajila were kind enough to show us some of the sites outside of Sydney. This is how we spent Sunday. Some awesome sites. Just so you know Katoomba and Kiama are south of Sydney.

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The Royal National Park is the second National Park ever established. The first was Yellowstone (which is in the US).
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March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 007

March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 007


We stopped for morning tea and had a lovely view of the water. Tea is often used synonomously for meal time, i.e. morning tea would mean breakfast, afternoon tea lunch, and just tea might mean dinner but it could also be used to mean a coffee or smoke break, or a light snack. Here is the real kicker, when someone mentions tea it doesn't neccesarily mean that they will actually drink tea. In restaurants over here they don't serve iced tea, just hot tea. Now, you can get it in a bottle at the convenient store, though. These next few pics are just some of the shots from the Grand Pacific Drive which took us through the park.
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I believe this is a cockatoo
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All kinds of wildlife out here
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March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 050

After our morning tea we hit the road again. I couln't believe my eyes at some of these next pics.

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These shots are taken at a place called Bald Hill at Stanwell Park. It is a popular place for hang gliders to make their leap. I didn't have the opportunity to hang glide but I think I would've jumped at the opportunity, MAYBE.
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Can you imagine flying through the air and getting a birds eye view of this...
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March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 089

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March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 103

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We stopped at beach but didn't have our swim suits.
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We had a pic nic for afternoon tea.

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March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 240

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I'm infatuated with the trees.
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These are some of the pics of The Blow Hole, it is mad of volcanic rock.March_21st..ama_257.jpgMarch_21st..ama_259.jpgMarch_21st..ama_260.jpgMarch_21st..ama_263.jpgMarch_21st..ama_271.jpgMarch 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 273

March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 273

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We did risk our lives, apparenty.

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March 21st - Trip to Wollongong and Kiama 299


More trees
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Ajila and I had a great time. We watched Dora and Micky Mouse of DVD.
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Posted by David.SC 06:15 Archived in Australia Tagged photography Comments (1)

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