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Greg + Amy’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 12 Jan 2006

Location: Manly, Australia

MapHello all,

Have not written on here for a while, so thought we would update you all with what we have been up to. Since Christmas, things have been pretty busy, starting with New Years Eve, which we spent in the harbour, watching the fireworks. The fireworks were fantastic, mostly fired off the Harbour Bridge itself, had a long wait but was worth the wait to see them. The next day we lounged about on Manly beach, with Sydney having it's hottest New Year's Day ever, temperatures in the mid to high 40s.

I then finished work last week which I am very happy about, particularly as got a kayaking trip around Sydney Harbour as a leaving present, which I am going on this weekend. Last weekend it was also Amy's birthday so on the Saturday night we went to the Opera House to see Madame Butterfly (a bit cultured for us I know, but had to see something at the Opera House before we left Sydney). I think Amy really liked it (I thought it was great) and was a great experience especially having half-time drinks with a view over the harbour, before going back into to see the second Act. Then on Sunday (Amy's birthday) we went on the OzJet which Amy's brother Tom and his girlfriend Amy had bought for her. Was a bit white-knuckle, as it goes bloody fast and the guy driving it takes it into 360 spins and the boat took off several times as we went through the wakes of other boats. We also got absolutely soaked, having decided not to wear ponchos (let's be honest they do look bad and are a bit Disney), it took about 5 hours until we were dry again. Thanks to Tom and Amy for the present, was great, although felt a bit battered and bruised when we got off.

The next day we got up dead early to go on a 3 day eco-tour up near Port Stephens, about 250kms north of Sydney. We camped by Myall Lake and near several huge, beautiful, unspoilt beaches with hardly anyone on them. Over the three days we did kayaking, snorkelling, surfing (yes I tried again, still hopeless), bush-walking and sand-tobogganing amongst other things, as well as having camp fires in the evening where we toasted marshmallows and chocolate-covered bananas, as well as learning how to play the didgeridoo. Remarkably we were both pretty good at this, even though it is a bloody difficult instrument to play. Amy is already chatting about buying one, but I am not sure I really want to be lugging around a 4 foot long wooden didgeridoo for the rest of our trip! The tour was really good, although on the last day when we had to pack the camp up the heavens absolutely opened and while Amy sat in the van keeping dry, Russell (the guide) and I spent about 45 minutes getting absolutely soaked and covered in mud, trying to take the tents down, pack the van etc...

That just about brings things up to date, we have now got 3 days in Sydney before my Dad flies out to visit us on Sunday, then on Tuesday we all fly up to Cairns to see some of the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef amongst other things. We hope you are all well and that English winter is not proving to be too depressing!

Laters,

Greg and Amy.

PS As of Tuesday 17th we are leaving our apartment, so the address at Manly and the land-line number are no longer in use, although we can still be contacted by mobile on +61 423 646491.