Arriving in Sydney, we very excited to meet an old friend, Russell. Me and Steph met Russell on a Contiki tour in 2008 and most of the tour has stayed in touch even though were a world apart, the tour had a big impact on our lives and the friends we made are very important to us.
He kindly came and picked us up from the bus stop and took us to see the famous Bondi Beach and Kings Cross. We then go on a ferry to Manly, a beautiful part of Sydney, on the way seeing Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
At Manly we stopped for fish and chips on the beach, I had Barracuda which is beautiful. Then stopped at a pub before traveling back to meet Russell’s mum and see our home for the next few days. After chatting for a while and getting to know our host, who made us a beautiful cake to welcome us to Sydney, we set off for a night out in Sydney in a suburb called The Rocks, which was really old style and a nice place.
The next morning Russell had plans to take us to the river on his boat for a bit of water skiing, unfortunately the boat did not want to go so we decided a picnic at the side of the river would be a better idea, as it was a nice day for the time of year. Steph was extremely excited as Russell had her dream car, a 67 Chevy Impala (the car from supernatural) for all you non car fans like me.
I must admit driving through the country in this beautiful car was like being in an old movie and I can see why it’s Russell’s baby, he’s worked very hard to do this car up and it shows.
With it being mothers day here in Oz we all went out for a meal with Russell’s mum and sister and his girlfriends family to a very big Irish bar, just outside of Sydney. More Contiki people met us there, Matt and Amanda and we had a good old chin wag about the Contiki adventure which gave me the travel bug in the first place.
Meeting 3 Sisters in the Blue Mountains
Next sightseeing experience was the Blue Mountains, in the right light the mountains do look blue, hence the name! The range went on for as far as the eye could see and we got views from all angles, stopping at a high view point and then catching the steepest train in the world to the walkway in the mountains. It was like being on a roller coaster.
After walking through the rainforest and spotting some coal mines, we got the steepest sky rail back up to the top and headed back to Russell’s to be spoilt again by his mum. If there’s one thing me and John have noticed whilst in Oz, it’s that Australians are the greatest people to stay with, we’ve been spoilt by everyone we’ve stayed with and are extremely grateful.
Russell’s mum has cooked up a feast for us to try, we had Kangaroo steak, Kangaroo kebabs, Venison sausages, Moroccan lamb sausages and more… Kangaroo is delicious and a must try if you ever visit Oz!
Sadly we had to leave Russell’s lovely home and hop on yet another overnight bus to Melbourne, to see yet more old friends from Contiki.