Continuing from last weeks blog post, I left sleepy Coffs Harbour late at night and travelled through the night for several hours on the Greyhound bus. I will say now, this seemed convenient at the time but on arrival into Sydney I had pulled a muscle in my back from trying to sleep in the uncomfortable seats and quite honestly felt all the symptoms I can remember as being a hangover. I arrived hoping this would all be worth it. Making my way to my hostel with my heavy bags I was disgruntled to find I couldn’t check in for a few more hours and even worse than that I couldn’t even leave my bags at the hostel until then. Tired, thirsty and grumpy, I took myself and my oversized bag pack (still working on those minimalist goals!) to the cafe across the road and set up camp there. As I ate my Avo toast and sipped a coffee (it was essential at that time) I watched all the local business type folk come and go, the morning was hot and busy and I felt like I was the only one on a real go slow.
Finally I was able to access my hostel, I dropped of my bags and immediately headed to the Harbour, I was excited to see the opera house. The 45 minute walk down to the harbour was full of all the sounds and smells of a big city. The sun was shining brilliantly though and I immediately felt in good spirits again. The peaks of the opera house came into view like the snowy caps of distant mountains and I walked with a refreshed sense of eagerness. She was everything I had hoped for. Stunning shapes and crisp white sails in the brilliant Australian sun. I never thought myself much of an architecture fan but it seems to have become an underlying passion of mine.
A quick view of the bridge (unfortunately bridges do not spark my architectural interest) and then off to the botanical gardens. Now I must say since arriving in Australia 3 months ago I have found some of the most magical gardens, simply beautiful, the kind of places that make you feel as though you’ve been whisked away to another land. I did however feel that Sydney’s botanical garden was a bit disappointing. Mown lawns and a few flower beds didn’t really cut it for me. I went back to the hostel and settled down for a very chilled evening and some well needed sleep.
My next Sydney adventure was the Coogee to Bondi walk. An absolute must for anyone visiting the Sydney region. Taking a bus from the city centre to Coogee, you are immediately greater by white sands and crystal clear waters. As you follow the coastal route it just gets better and better, each beach being more picturesque than the last. Finally arriving into Bondi the hippie beach lovers town had quainte little shops and plenty of vegan options for me to replenish myself with. As usual for Sydney in the summer, the sun shone intensely all day and regular top ups of sun lotion were imperative.
The plan of action the next day was to visit the blue mountains. It was a Sunday and in Sydney on Sunday’s you can get cheap travel on your opal card. $2.60 for a two hour journey to the mountains ain’t bad at all! This particular day there was a heat wave and temperatures peaked at 41 degrees. It’s fair to say I was covered in sweat the moment I arrived (TMI?) but the breath taking views distracted me from any discomfort I might have been feeling.
The adventures continued on Monday morning with a quick ferry ride over to Manly. I must admit I adored a cute little seaside town with just enough going on to keep you busy but not so hectic you feel like your caught in the city bustle. I also found Manly to be quite an Eco conscious place with water fountains absolutely everywhere, plenty of vegan food and health stores and well protected coastal areas. I felt like I could have been very much at home here.
As you can probably imagine, by day 4 of constant moving, hiking and exploring I was pretty pooped! I dedicated my last day in Sydney to slow living, something I’m not always that great at. A had a lie in, showered, enjoyed a slow breakfast, wrote in my journal and got ready to walk around. Even on a slow day it’s important to get outside, no matter where you are. I had been advised by friends in Coffs Harbour (see last weeks blog) that the Chinese Garden of Friendship was a must see when I’m Sydney city centre. So that’s where I headed! Costing only $6 to get in, it was absolutely worth it. Beautiful oriental designs throughout with a thriving koi pond, well fed ibis and a fairly lazy population of water dragons I genuinely felt as though I’d like the city and travelled to rural Asia. The perfect end to a face paced 5 days.
I’m not a city girl, give me mountains and oceans any day. If I could summarise my time in Sydney, I’d say I enjoyed the times I got out of the centre the most. Sydney is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and I’m pleased with how much I managed to fit into my 5 days in the area. Playing tourist in the city was fun for short periods of time however I was glad to be on my way when I left.
Thank you again for reading my blog this week. For more pictures and videos of my travels through Australia please follow me on Instagram @zero_hero_movement
Next week I’ll be talking about ‘Australia Day’, what I found out about the historical culture of this country and the conflict of interests this day brings.