A One Fine Day in Sydney

My last day in Sydney was full of blunders– and quiet surprises.

I was trying to recall how terrible my last day in Sydney was.  I was convinced of it because I have blister scars on both my ankles from walking all day–well alright, I had a gelato stop at some point– along with a fatigue/flu that rendered me useless for a week because as luck would have it, it also rained at the later part of my fateful day.  Doesn’t sound good, right? Well, maybe it wasn’t so bad either.

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Gold Rush

The coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Bronte casts a spell during magic hour.

It was the early days of winter in Australia, with temperatures fluctuating throughout the day, like a bloody wind vane on a hurricane.  It’s a confusing climate, to me at least.  There I was in my jeans and thick cotton jacket, obviously dressed for the cold but eating a chilled Açaí smoothie bowl because somehow, I also felt quite warm.  I was sat under a tree in a school courtyard in Bondi, a beach town just a few kilometres from Sydney’s city centre.  Every Sunday, Bondi Public School becomes Bondi Markets– the school courtyard transformed to an outdoor food court, replete with colourful plastic chairs and wooden tables and surrounded by food stalls along the perimeter; the main school ground is dotted with stalls selling artisanal and vintage goods showcased by enterprising and artsy folks.  I managed to buy a delicate gold necklace with a Bodhi tree pendant for $15.  Not exactly cheap, like most things sold here, but the craftsmanship is beautiful.   I thought it can serve as a good luck charm for the rest of my trip in Australia and particularly for my adventure that late afternoon.

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Sand Surfing in Stockton Beach

  (Published July 2011, from The Quarter-life Travels blog. )

I have long been amazed and been into the water sport of surfing that when someone mentions the word “surfing”, I instantly know that they meant getting stoked on the waves out at sea; whereas before I would link surfing as synonymous to browsing the WWW.  Can you imagine what a complete dork I was?  Not that it changed, obviously I am still an Internet junkie.  But now it seems that a new kind of surfing is here to haunt me: Sand Surfing; and of course, Australia has a place to do that (act surprised).  As that country/continent where riding the waves is a natural past time, it is inevitable that those surfing skills will find a way in the massive sand dunes of Stockton Bight in Port Stephens, NSW.

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Dazzling Orient Cave at the Jenolan Caves

(Published July 2011, from The Quarter-life Travels blog. )

There was a  previous post about Blue Mountains in NSW last month and in it, I mentioned Jenolan Caves is one of the national parks you can visit in The Blue Mountains Heritage Site Area.  The Jenolan Caves is one of the world’s oldest and astonishing cave systems in the world.  It consists of ten caves open for tourism but there are also many other caves in the area only accessible to cavers as they are quite complex .  Some are even believed to be undiscovered.

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The Blue Mountains, NSW

(Published June 2011 from The Quarter-life Travels blog.)

 I have to admit, scenic mountain ranges is not what comes to my mind when Australia is mentioned.  Instead I have always pictured the great outback with a legion of Kangaroos and Wallabies hopping around, or maybe long stretches of sandy beaches with cute surfers bumming around.  Blame it on Outback Steakhouse and Billabong ads. These are, after all, perceptions coming from me who also once thought that Japan is where inter-galactic monsters take residence when on earth and that everyone at Alaska lives in igloos (I was in pre-school, alright?  I assure you I do not carry these views up to now).

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