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Last Day in Australia

After the physicality of the previous couple of days we really did take it easy on our last day. In the morning we paid a trip to the US consulate to have a document notarized. Our US passports leapfrogged us to the front of all lines/queues so it didn’t take too long.

Later, Helen and I took the free bus around town to kill a bit of time. We got off near Chinatown for a cup of coffee.

Later in the afternoon/evening we met up with Brian who was working in Sydney. He took us up to the O Bar, a rotating bar/restaurant with fantastic sunset views of the city. We then visited a couple more of Brian’s favourite haunts in the city before retiring around 1am.

Saturday’s trip to Hong Kong was straight forward. City to Airport Transportation at each end is polished so there was little struggle.

We’re now well rested and ready for our first day out.

Looking back it’s hard to imagine we really went through the last 7 months in Australia and that we have now left the country. For now, it’s holiday mode. We’re going to focus on enjoying this break.


After a lot of walking about the City on Monday evening and Tuesday we felt we needed a change. So we took the bus towards Manley, alighted at the Spit Bridge and hiked 10km along (and up and down) the coast to Manley. The walk was really good and we would recommend it to anyone into hiking. It was hard to tell we were so close to Australia’s most populated city. But there we were walking the coast in wonderful isolation, passing hidden beaches and sometime passing what were probably multi-million dollar coastal properties. The weather was a bit overcast but this was perfect for us as there is no way could I have broken my distance record in the heat. (At this point I will also confess to walking around the city in the morning chasing Ingress portals to much frustration).

I was pretty exhausted by the time we reached Manley but this was soon forgotten when we met up with Dee and Mark who we met and got to know at the Manta Ray pass in Fiji in 2011. We’d always hoped to meet up again but circumstances have obviously turned out a little different to those expected.

Dee and Mark insisted on buying us a late lunch and the driving us around the area to see the sights. They showed us some of the East Coast beaches and took us down to North Head. It made us a little sad at we had expected to sail in between the heads to first see Sydney but what the hell. Being alive is a pretty good consolation prize.

We took the ferry back to Sidney getting more views of the bridge and Opera House. Rather too many pics in my albums but believe me, I’ve deleted at least half the ones I took.


The flight to Sydney was neither late nor eventful. Lugging our luggage from the airport to the hotel was a pain but we made it. We both took a rest in our room before heading out and walking around Darling Harbour. The area was definitely thriving. The pics, when I get to upload them, will hopefully give a sense of the place.

We ended up eating out at a Malaysian restaurant getting a free bottle of wine to boot. Very nice.

Today we’ve been on a stretch. Before 10am we walked to the Botanic Gardens, had a wander around there before walking to the vicinity of the Opera House. The whole area was pretty stunning. I messed around with the Ingress game while out and about as the place was littered with portals. I’m still so far behind it’s hard to get going but I’m learning.

From the Opera House we headed down to Circular Quay where we had lunch. Next we headed up through “The Rocks” up to the Harbour Bridge where we eventually found ourselves at the base of one of the pylons. For $11 each we got to visit a museum and climb to the top, almost as high as the folks who pay 10 times as much to climb to the top of the bridge. We were pretty happy with our choice.

From there we walked over the bridge to the north side before catching a train back to our hotel.

The weather was very pleasant so no heat exhaustion. We’re ready for more tomorrow.


I feel as though I should have blogged again before now but we’ve been a bit busy.

We’ve both been focussing on clearing our plates before leaving our home for the last 7 months. We aimed for being finished by Thursday but it took until Saturday morning. We made it though and now we can enjoy the next couple of weeks without worrying about admin or chores.

We did have some fun. On Friday evening when we went out with the family to watch a couple of Australian Open matches. Despite both being one sided it was a great evening out. A great buzz in the atmosphere.

On Saturday we left home and the family. It was another of those moments of mixed emotion.

There was a very strong parallel to setting sail on a long passage from a place we’ve grown to love. The best example was when we left Fiji after 5 months there. The moment of departure is sad but as the island disappears over the horizon and our faces point to our destination there is a sense of exhilaration as life moves on to new unknowns and exciting things.

We also feel like we’re going on holiday.

We’ve spent the last couple of nights with our friends Brian and Janine before we catch the plane to Sydney. The first night we joined Janine’s mum and brother for pizza. Yesterday we were out for a walk and had an Ozzie barbie. Pleasant company throughout.

Then it’s off to Hong Kong and South Africa. We’re looking forward to every moment.

!!!! Complete Remission !!!!

Sorry. I just like the sound of the words. My way of shouting it out to the world – at least the bit that matters to me.