We’ve made it!!
We landed in Sydney late Saturday night and took a cab to our Airbnb in Maroubra. It was a little weird showing up for our first Airbnb so late at night without cell service and without really knowing where we were going. The cab pulled up to the address, dropped us off and that was that. Luckily it was the right house and Vilma, the host, was awaiting our arrival. It turned out really well. The house was exactly as pictured, the room clean and comfortable and Vilma and her daughter, Giselle, could not have been nicer. It was so good to just sleep in a bed that night after such a long full day in Dubai and then heading straight on to the 14 hour flight and then arriving in Sydney at night—it had been ages since a real sleep.
Sunday morning we woke up and had coffee with Vilma and Giselle. They recommended some great spots for hiking and walking around the area so will definitely be checking those out. Dad and Carter: They both had done El Camino and had so many cool stories about it.
Unfortunately Sunday was TERRIBLE weather. Like, really terrible. I was very skeptical that I wouldn’t need lots of warm clothes and Australia was going to be hot and sunny all the time—and maybe that was with good reason. Sunday began as a light drizzle and ended in a full on downpour. It was REALLY really cold. But we didn’t let that stop us.
After coffee with the hosts we walked down the street from their house to buy Opal cards and hop on the bus into Circular Quay. It was about a 30 minute bus ride but was kind of a nice way to take in the surroundings. Lewis was happy because we passed about 5 different sporting arenas/fields/etc. The bus dropped us off right in front of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It was awesome to see in real life, even with the clouds. We had lunch at the bar/cafe underneath the Opera House which was a cool little spot and I can imagine that it would be even better on a sunny afternoon. After lunch we checked out the Sunday craft market at the Rocks which was pretty cool. Apparently they do a food market on Fridays and Saturdays which I definitely want to go to.
On Sundays you can use public transportation in Sydney as much as you want for a flat rate of $2.50 which was a pretty sweet deal. When we got home Sunday night we figured out that if it hadn’t been a Sunday we would’ve spent close to like, $25 or $30 just on trains and ferries and buses in that one day.
After the Rocks Market we took a ferry to Watson’s Bay which Vilma recommended as a cool little beach area with shops and stuff. It was definitely very cool and seemed like there was lots to walk around and see but the weather was getting worse and worse so we turned around to head home pretty quickly. We ended up stopping by a supermarket to buy some soup. Yes SOUP IT WAS THAT COLD, to warm us up for dinner. We repacked our bags and went to bed early because our Ultimate Oz tour started early the next morning.
On Monday morning we packed up all of our stuff and said goodbye to Vilma and Giselle.
Literally we had been laughing because despite the fact that we’ve been calling ourselves Backpackers and saying we are Backpacking Australia we hadn’t actually had to wear the packs on our backs until this morning. We’ve just carted them around the airports and in taxis so far. It took us ages to walk the 100 yards from the Airbnb to the bus stop, but the funniest thing was literally no one gave a second glance to the couple with about 500 pounds of luggage on their backs. Must be a tired sight in Australia.
We got back on the bus, and then the train, and found the Wake Up Sydney Hostel pretty easily! So far we’ve been really impressed by what a well-oiled little machine this place is. This hostel has pretty much got it all covered, and everyone is so helpful! We got our phone and sim cards sorted out in a matter of minutes after arriving at the hostel. Everywhere you turn there are people waiting to help you plan a trip to Thailand, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Vietnam whatever and wherever you want to go or do. And not even in a sell-y kind of way, they legit just want to talk about it and help you figure it out. It’s cool. It’s also just got such an exciting kind of vibe because every one here is so amped up to travel and see things and have conversations about traveling and seeing things with everyone else.
We met up with our group which is pretty massive, probably about 50-60 people, and did a walking tour of Sydney which was great because today was actually a beautiful day and the whole city looked entirely different (better. Lewis clocked I think about 21,000 steps on his fitbit from today. We made friends pretty quickly with two of the guys staying in our room, Jack and Stan, both from England, and everyone else seems so nice as well.
Tomorrow we’ve got a meeting to go to the bank and get banking things sorted and then we’re off on a booze cruise around the Harbor. More videos coming soon!!