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A Dream Come True Finally I am off on a dream trip that I dreamt of for many, many years. I flew from London Heathrow on 2 October 2008 to Delhi I will continue my journey to explore many places for the next 8 months:) And years to come......


INDIA | Saturday, 2 May 2009 | Views [505]

It feels like I am back in the Western society! I arrived in Sydney and spent a couple of nights here in a youth hostel, I am now a member of the YHA as this is the only acommodation I can just about afford in Australia. So from now on I am cooking my own food, washing my own clothes and sharing rooms with different people every night and no more private bathrooms for a while. My first afternoon and evening in Sydney I spent with Gina, a women I met in Laos that also has been travelling around the world. We were travelling to more or less the same places but Gina was always about a week ahead of me. However we were both in Sydney on 9th April, so we decided to meet up. Had a great time, we sipped wine down in the harbour by the opera house, this was magical, first of all I haven't had any descent white wine since I left UK back in October, so this chilled Australian Savignon Blanc tasted like magic. Also seeing the opera house was amazing. I have seen it so many times in pictures and on television and here I sat and viewed it for real on this beautiful sunny afternoon chatting and comparing travel stories with Gina.

I also spent a day on Bondi Beach watching all the surfers and had a nice coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee beach before flying to Melbourne to visit Simon and Bronwin. Simon I met in Nepal when I was trekking the Anapurna Sanctuary and got invited to go and stay with him and his fiancee Bronwin in Melbourne.

I had a wonderful time staying in their beautiful home in Fitzroy a few hundred metres from Brunswick St which is a lovely road full of cafee's, restaurants and nice little shops and a walking distance to Melbourne City. I felt so looked after and so comfortable in their home with wonderful home cooked food, champagne and nice wines. Accompained Simons and Bronwyns good company and their two beautiful cats.

During my time in Melbourne I visited Queen Victoria market, a great food market, drunk coffee in several of Melbournes cafe's, had lunch at the Stoke House a wonderful Oyster bar in a district called Kilda in an beautiful old building facing the sea, here we drunk champagne and eat the best oysters I ever tasted yummy. One morning Bronwyn took me to her local gym, where we went for a swim in the heated 50 metre outdoor swimming pool. Something really funny, or embarrasing at the time happened there. From my trek at Mt Kinabalu in Borneo, I got a loose toe nail, this nail got looser and looser as I was swimming up and down the lanes and I got a bit worried that I would loose it in the pool, but continued my swim. As I got to one end of the pool I asked if the guy there wanted to go before me as one do, he said " no go on you go first" I swam about 10 metres and suddenly my red painted toe nail fell off, so I stood up and looked around for it but couldn't find it, I would have imagined it to float, but I just couldn't find it. The guy asked if I lost something, I felt I couldn't shout across the pool "I lost my big toe nail" so I walked back towards him, another guy said once I told them what I lost, feeling very embarrased, that "there probably are worse things than a toe nail in the pool". One of the guys even offered to look for whatever I lost with his goggles, that was before he knew what I lost. I can laugh at it now:-)

Later that day we drove out to a wine district called Yarra Valley. We visited this amazing art gallery(I loved the design of the building), tasted some wines and had a wonderful lunch, looking over some beautiful country side.

Melbourne is known to have four seasons in one day, I never got to witness this as there were clear blue skies for my entire stay in, it was like a perfect British or Swedish summers day, I think I was very lucky.

From Melbourne I flew to Brisbane to visit my friend Paulina and her boyfriend James, Paulina and I used to work together in London. Again I was so looked after by them both with lovely food and a nice home. We did a day trip in land from the coast of Surfers Paradise where we did a Birds eye view walk in a rainforest which was interesting, especially seeing the rainforest from above.

I then travelled by bus to Byron Bay where I stayed for a couple of nights, I did some lovely walks there along the coast line up to a light house and relaxed on the beach. It is amasing wathcing the surfers and how much it is a way of life for many here in Australia. I saw some little children, they couldn't be more than 4/5 years old and so confident on the surfboards as they were taking lessons. The coast line here is fantastic with long sandy beaches and the waves beating into the shore. After Byron Bay I went back to Paulina and James for another couple of days. We then went on a day trip north of Brisbane to the sunshine coast, we visited Noosa and did another walk there along beautiful coast line.

I then continued my journey up the coast, flying to Cairns. I stayed in Port Douglas for 4 nights. This is where I did my trip to the Great Barrier Reef snorkelling. What an amazing experience this was. A completely different world under there, so colourful and quite. I even saw a shark swimming just a few meters away from me. Port Douglas is a very posh resort, with lots of rich people and this was reflected in anything sold in the shops with horrendous price tags on everything. I continued up to Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation which was a completely different feel to the place in comparison to Port Douglas. Daintree Rainforest is a primary rainforest, which I really wanted to see as the rainforest in Borneo was secondary. I saw some really big spiders, a green tree snake, not dangerous I am glad to say. I also saw a lot of beautiful butterflies. When I went on a boat trip on Daintree river I saw Big Fat Alfred as the locals called him. He is a 6 metre long crocodile, we were so lucky seeing him lying on the riverbank sunbathing, it was pretty amasing. One morning I went out sea kayaking with a group of people, this was great, what I realised is that some of my fears for things in life must have dissapeared because I felt no fear at all kayaking in pretty strong headwind and rolling waves, I loved it. I think about a year ago I would have been terrified.

Finally I spent another 4 days in Sydney and what a wonderful city this is. I walked everywhere, I visited Paddington market which is a wonderful market with arts and crafts and some food. After this I walked down some really wonderful residential roads in Darlington district with beautiful houses and corner cafe's and restaurants. I walked all the way down to the Botanical gardens and out along the harbour past the opera house. It was an amazing day with clear blue skies and a slight autumn chill in the air. Another day I tood the ferry out to Manly which is another part of Sydney and did a 9km walk along the coast throught forests, beaches and again beautiful residantial areas, round Manly a lot of the archietecture is much more modern than in Darlington, sometimes mixed with old houses. Many of these houses have amazing views over the harbour, what a place to live. I also visited the Blue Mountains one day and did another walk. I think I am getting fitter again with all this walking.

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