Ahh Sydney…where to start…
I arrived at my first hostel in Sydney – at the Rocks. The Rocks is essentially the Portland Old Port of Sydney. The rooftop had an amazing view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. I spent the next couple days exploring the area and taking in the beer and food festivals going on! I also managed to catch the ferry out to Manly and explore North Head National Park and hike around to Manly Beach. The trail was not well marked, and sometimes not marked at all so it was a fair amount of backtracking and guessing – but I made it! I passed Shelly Beach – which was essentially a party beach. Everyone was using the BBQs and the beach was packed!
I spent Monday – Friday at Bondi Beach – at the Bondi Beach House hostel. This was surf central. I signed up for 3 surf lessons – I recommend spacing them out with a few days in between. The first two days were amazing. I was already on the shorter board making turns and taking on green waves. By day 3 I couldn’t move my arms. I had to call it quits a little before the lesson ended because it really wasn’t safe for me to be out. I was physically exhausted and because of that and the extreme surf, I had already taken a surfboard to the head, inhaled about 3 gallons of water and fell so hard on the sand bar I’m pretty sure I had an instant bruise on my ass.
My hostels in Sydney and Bondi were 4 people and 6 people. For the most part it was good. I’ve met some really interesting people from different places. Everyone asks about the current political climate, as they are extremely concerned about what will happen and what he worldwide implications will be if a certain individual lacking political experience becomes president of the US. That has been a hotter topic than the death of the Great Barrier Reef.
Just made it to New Zealand and am thankfully staying at and AirBnB in Queenstown for the next couple weeks. Chris, a friend from Portland and was actually able to join for a couple weeks so I’ll have some company exploring the South Island of New Zealand!