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Vanesa/ Nicole’s Travel Diary

Friday, 05 Feb 2010

Location: Sydney, Australia

MapSo we arrived safe and sound in sunny Australia!

Well that was quite an experience just to get into the country. Apparently, if you are from the USA or Canada you are allowed to take two pieces of luggage to New Zealand; however, if you want to go from New Zealand to Australia you are only allowed to take one piece of luggage. How does that make sense? So with our luck, because you all know that we have so much of it we got a check in clerk who was straight by the book. You ladies are 9.5 kilos over the limit so you will have to either get rid of some stuff or pay $182.00. Geez, they want us to pay $182.00 to get 9.5 kilos of stuff over, that is more than our plane ticket to Australia.

We opted for the getting rid of some stuff option. After a long debate and rummaging through our bags in the middle of the airport we managed to get all of our stuff down to one suitcase each and only 23 kg. Now what do we do with our extra empty suitcases?

Nicole says, “Let’s just leave in the middle of the airport and run!”

Vanesa says, “Nicole, we can’t do that. They will think it is a bomb and evacuate the whole airport and then our flight would be delayed.”

Nicole says, “Oh! Ok, let’s not do that.”

Instead we see a group of teenage boys standing off to the side. We approach them and say “Hey boys, it’s your lucky day. You have just won two free suitcases courtesy of Canada.”

“Alright, thanks Canada. You guys rock!”

Now that our bags are weighed we are ready to jump on the plane. Security check done and we are in the terminals. We are now on the plane and go figure that the person sitting next to us is also Canadian.

After a quick 3 hour flight the captain comes on the radio and says “Cabin and Crew please prepare for decent into Sydney, Australia.” Upon arrival, we were shaking in our boots preparing to go through customs. We were told that Australia has one of the toughest customs to get through. It turns out that there was no need to worry. It was the easiest customs we have ever been through. It must be because we are Canadian!

We picked up our bags and made our way to the taxis. As soon as the airport doors opened it was a rush of humid air. Apparently, earlier in the day it had been 43 degrees out, and we could still feel it in the air. We jumped in our taxi and made our way to Donna and Helder’s place. Donna is the niece of Vanesa’s next door neighbour in Lively, who now lives in Sydney. We couldn’t have asked for a more gracious hostess, they took care of us for the week and showed us around a great deal of the city.

During the week we had the opportunity to meet up with Nicole’s friend Emily who is also from Canada. We walked along Circular Quay and she showed us the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

It appears that we arrived just in the nic of time as we got to experience Australia Day. This day consisted of a great number of festivities scattered around the city. Free concerts, displays, food, entertainment and evening fireworks. It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day. Unfortunately, as our bodies were not yet adjusted to the weather we were absolutely dying of heat and had to leave downtown early to head to the beach to cool down. We got to take our first dip in the ocean in Australia, which is significantly warmer then the water in New Zealand.

On our first weekend Donna and Helder took us to Darling Harbour one evening. We got to experience a new type of food, Malaysian and tour the famous harbour.

On our second week in Sydney we met up with Nicole’s friend Adam (from Disney Cruise Lines) where we are currently staying at the moment. His family has currently adopted us, and have been ever so accommodating. He grew up in a family of 6, so his mom says what’s 2 more. Adam is an interesting character to say the least. There is never a dull moment with him or his friends around.

Adam left us no time to get use to North Sydney before he threw us into a group BBQ with his friends. Jason, the host of the BBQ turned out to be a Butcher and prepares all his own special meats. He had mango and chicken; as well as, chicken and cheese sausages which were all very tasty.

We felt instantly comfortable with Adam’s group of friends and could be ourselves and joke around immediately. They thoroughly enjoyed pulling our legs and cracking Canadian jokes. The main joke of the evening was that our blood smelt like maple syrup and would attract all of the sharks to attack us, so we better watch out. Haha, so funny! It seems like we have already made a good group of friends.

During the week we were very fortunate to have him and his friends show us around. We went on a 30 beach tour of all the Northern beaches. Adam made sure to give us the low down on the history and significance of each one of these beaches. It is neat to get the inside scoop from a local. During our tour we stopped off at one of the beaches for a swim as it was extremely hot in the car. The waves were approximately 4 feet high and so strong out there, we had heaps of fun jumping over them and fighting against them. On our way out of the ocean Nicole spotted something blue in the water. She just thought that it was a piece of garbage. She got too close and was stung, which felt like a quick electric shock. You would think that her immediate response would have been “OW.” Instead she screamed out “Adam” really loud. It appears that our dear friend Adam forgot to warn us to look out for the tiny blue things in the water. They are bluebottles, kind of like a smaller version of a jelly fish. After listening to Adam’s suggestion of urinating on the sting to remove the pain, Nicole opted for approaching the lifeguards for some ice.

The beach tour ended on famous Manly Beach, no this is not a male only beach it’s just the name of the beach. Weird, we know. On our drive home Adam took us to one final destination, a trail to some beautiful lookout points where we could view downtown Sydney.

The rest of the week has been a little frustrating as we have been very determined to find a job, but we are persevering through it all. We are very thankful for Adam and Tim’s patience as they have driven us to every possible suburb in North Sydney and Bondi Junction to apply for jobs.

Who knows what a new week has in store for us, stay tuned to the Adventure’s of Nicole and Vanesa!