A Travellerspoint blog

And who said Sydney Bridge Climb was tough...

I don't think so, try Katoomba

sunny 23 °C

Today, I have a treat for all my faithful readers….a blog from Dean…enjoy! I have three great pictures to upload but I don't have strong enough reception here so you will have to wait until I get stronger reception.

From the Verse of Dean- A wise man once said lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink.
Well on the bushwalk today we went down what they call “The Giant Stairway” mainly because…it is a giant stairway..duh! The stairs consists of 900 stair of all shapes and sizes. By the time we got to the bottom of the stairs, we had stopped 12 times and drank half our water….Not to mention our knees felt like we had skied moguls for 2 hours. The trek along the bottom was fun and easy. One of the best sights all day long was the Scenic Railway that was going to take us to the top. Best 10 dollars I ever spent. Minus the Skid stains in my shorts. Oh yeah it was the steepest railway in thee world, the railway was a 52 degree incline. And played bad Indiana Jones music…Shizza!!
The whole way around Mom and I led and then found the water. But the fastest speed PaPa every hit was when we said we were on the way home…Comes the saying … “ like a horse on his way home”!
By this time we are all very tired and I thing deliriousness had set in because then next thing I know Mom is in a shopping cart and wants me to push her up the near hill! I made her pay by sending her on the ride that should have been worth 22 coupons, Spins and bumps and even the occasional scream call from her loins…Hahah. Overall a great day!! And its only 3:30 but the old people are crashing and burning. The old folks thought they were in good shape for the shape they were in but it takes a seasoned bushman to show them up…This guy might go and soak up some sunshine!! Cheers to all!!!!!!!!!!!Skid_stains.jpgUnder_one_..e_girls.jpgIMG_5876.jpg

The way down-900 steps

The way down-900 steps

Coal Mine car

Coal Mine car

Posted by Bada Bing 22:50 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Up, up and away on the Sydney Bridge

sunny 28 °C

March 15

Waiting, waiting…Dean was supposed to be at our hotel at 8:30 and by 10:00, he still wasn’t here. He was the one who laughed at us when I blogged that we got lost finding the hotel…duh! Well, he was late leaving Bondi after a hard nite but he also got lost from the train station to the hotel….ha, ha. Not as easy as he thought! He said he even ended up in a parade!

We started out shopping again at Peak or Paddy’s Markets as Dean wanted some clean clothes. Guess he hasn’t washed in a bit and for those prices, you can throw away your dirty clothes and buy new ones. Proceeded down to Hyde Park as they had a huge celebration for St. Patrick’s Day (Dean found this out when he was lost in the parade). Chilled out there for a bit and enjoyed people watching and listening to some good Irish music. Then off to venture to the Habour.

Then we did it, we climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Bridge at the summit is 470 feet from the water. The hardest part (which wasn’t really hard) was climbing 5 sets of vertical steps to get to the walking area. (naturally had to climb them down also). Oh, and we had to strip our pockets, watches and stuff, put on a wonderful hot jumper, put on a talking device (to hear our guide), put on the tethers (lanyards) that wires you to the cable all the way and then finally we were able to go. Our guide was really really good. We stopped and talked and learned lots of informative information several times on the way up and the same on the way down. As we climbed the wind felt pretty gusty so it was good that we were tethered, further up we had to put raincoats on as it started to rain, then it quit and it was just cloudy. Interesting info that we learned was that the bridge was built from 1923 to 1932-took that many years to build it. The bridge climb only started ten years ago. The bridge climb operation is owned privately by 3 rich men and they pay the state of New South Wales 3 million per year to do the bridge climb business. Each climber pays approximately $200 per climb, each group is usually 12 people and people climb every 15 minutes. Our guide said they had the biggest day this January which was 1600 people. I guess that day certainly helped to make their yearly payment. It is a toll bridge and approximately 160,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. The monorail also uses this bridge. Only 16 people died in the construction of the bridge and only one died from falling from it and the rest were just construction accidents. Remember in those years, safety was not the huge issue as it is today, you just used your common sense to keep yourself safe.

Oh and guess what…when the Biggest Losers went to Australia and climbed the Bridge….they didn’t do it all the way. Some areas are relatively narrow to walk through and so they had to use an elevator to get them up to the stage when they could climb the stairs and then walk on the gentle incline to the top.

The views from the Bridge are fantastic. You can see all the way to the Blue Mountains to the west and you can see the mouth of the entrance to Sydney the other way. The amount of tour rental companies that do cruises, etc. are wild and plentiful from all docks and it was interesting to be up above them and see how many are down there.
At the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge

At the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Bridge and Opera House

Sydney Bridge and Opera House

Dean and John checking out the Opera House construction

Dean and John checking out the Opera House construction

Sydney Bridge

Sydney Bridge

On the Opera House steps

On the Opera House steps


We also did the Oprah House (as John called it) aka as Opera House. A very elegant outstanding structure.

After having walked 20 blocks down to the harbour, climbed the bridge and then walked back to the hotel, we were all pretty pooped. Off to Bondi to laze on the beach tomorrow and then we’ll hit the Blue Mountains tomorrow night. We are sleeping in a hostel again and Dean says this one is really nice….I hope so!

PS...Just arrived and this hostel is not at all like the Arts Factory...more to come soon

Posted by Bada Bing 04:12 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Sydney and stuff

all seasons in one day 28 °C

March 14

Walked across the street to check out the Paddy Market’s. We are on the edge of Chinatown in case you were wondering. Well, let me tell you, did we find a bonanza of clothing, purses, shoes, jewellery, fresh fruit and vegetables, outlet stores, cell phones, cds, dvds…anything you would want. The prices in the market in the basement were fricking unbelievable. Most absolutely everything was $10. It must have been the right prices cause even John went crazy shopping and you know that’s gotta be good when a man can get excited about shopping.

Went for a walk down to Darling Harbour and checked out the sites and sounds. This is a special week celebrating something but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was. Guess I have to start carrying a pen and paper….NOT!

Some very beautiful areas down at Darling but didn’t do it in depth as we are waiting for Dean. Saw the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House…can’t wait to climb that bridge... tomorrow, I think after Dean comes on over from Bondi. This weather is like Alberta, hot as blazes and then lightning and thunder and it pours for 20 minutes, then the sun comes out again. As I type this, 5 hours later, it has again started to rain and the thunder and lightning are again giving us a show. So bad, that I can’t access the wireless internet.

Have you watched the news about the oil spill on the gold coast in northern australia. It's the big news of course! It is terrible ...230 times worse than was first reported.IMG_5767.jpg

Posted by Bada Bing 14:21 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Hitting the rails

all seasons in one day 23 °C

March 13

Caught the early morning bus to Casino and then jumped the train down to Sydney. Quite interesting as neither John nor I have been on a passenger train since our teenage years. You can’t believe how great it is to travel without a seat belt, to be able to get up and walk around. We decided to try the train (after all we did pay for the backtrackers pass) although it is going to take us 12 hours to reach our destination. Oh, well, gives me time to catch up this journal. We may take a plane from Sydney to Melbourne to speed things up as travelling certainly does shorten one’s stay. We are totalling looking forward to stopping for more than 2 days in Sydney. Plans are to be a tourist and sleep in a real hotel room. Dean has friends in the area and is going to stay in a hostel at Bondi beach. I am finding that hostels for a couple are not much cheaper than hotels and they have no amenities (hot water, towels, etc).

Musings on Aussie’s sayings: Translation
Dean’s camera got stuffed up Dean’s camera stopped working
Ta Ta Bye
Toilet restroom or bathroom
Taking the piss Just joking
Ripper drunk
Give way Yield sign

So after a long day, we arrived at Central Station. I had booked a room in Aaron’s Hotel which is supposed to be 800 meters from the station. After saying tata to Dean (he’s off to stay in a hostel in Bondi Beach), we tried to locate our hotel. It definitely is nice to be in an English speaking country as we musta asked 4 different people who didn’t exactly know but give us directions to the street. Actually people were more than helpful in getting us lost!

After calling the hotel from a noisy, ear splitting, little corner bar, we turned a few corners and sure enough, there it was. Looks like a hole in the wall from the outside (like New York did) but the hotel inside is very nice. Our room has a double bed plus two sets of bunks….who would want to stay 6 in a room with one bathroom? Naturally by the time I booked the regular rooms were all taken so this was next best and of course extra money! It is quite roomy and that will be nice to sort out the suitcase for the first time since we started! Maybe I will find those lost clothes down at the bottom.

IMG_5744.jpg

Posted by Bada Bing 07:26 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Out to Murwillumbah

semi-overcast 24 °C

March 12

Grabbed the Country Link bus from Byron to Murwillumbah. Once there, we were picked up by Alex (female) who runs the farm stay where Dean woofed. Dean took us out and around the farm and I was amazed at what they are developing out there. It is at Stoker’s Siding and that is in the midst of a huge volcanic crater which was created 23 million years. It is idealic conditions for a serene country stay. Loads (or should I say Heaps) of lush greenery, a pond with heaps of lily pads, separate cabins on stilts around the pond, a huge Quonset type public building which houses the gigantic kitchen, eating areas, meeting areas, internet room and showers and washrooms. There is also a dvd player with heaps of movies and a library with many, many books. Alex’s husband, Ivor is a sheet metal journeyman so you can imagine how much metal has been incorporated into all of the building. We slept in A framed huts with brand new bedding, duvets and mattresses. Alex and Ivor are only 2 years into this operation and that is why Dean was woofing…getting the place ready for it to finally be able to make some money. The way I see it, she should not have any problems. I was really quite impressed.

We got to feed Shirley (the goldenorb spider) that the woofers found in her web on the eaves of one cabin. Apparently, she is one of the best fed spiders around. It was very interesting to catch live bugs throw them into her web and watch her move from the centre of the web, munch them and crawl back to the centre. I got some pictures but unsure how great they will be. Came across a beautiful green frog and John got some great pictures of her (or him).

We had a very nice short visit with Alex, Ivor, their neighbours and some of the same woofers that Dean worked with there. I would highly recommend anyone stopping overnight or more at Hosanna’s Farm Stay. It will be well worth your stay to enjoy the peacefulness of nature and the beauty. Alex is a 6 foot, slight woman who is smart, hospitable and never stops talking. She is an Austrian who came to Australia in 1971 for $10 (good deal eh). She met Ivor and the rest is history. She very much takes control and is the controller on a very nice level.

Speaking of pictures, I have heaps but unless I really have some down time, I plan to post them all after I get home with labels and the such. We are just on the go so much that I haven’t found the fast internet or the time to spend to upload the pics. So stay tuned after I am home and I will give you the address to my Flickr pics (if you don’t already have it).

Panarama of Bondi Beach

Panarama of Bondi Beach

IMG_5694.jpg

Posted by Bada Bing 07:21 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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