A Travellerspoint blog

Manly

More beach going


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Slept till 9am today. Finally some normal waking up time. Looks like it will be a hot one today. After breakfast we're on the bus to the ferry terminal. Today we're going to yet another popular beach spot - Manly. Easiest way to get there is by ferry that leaves from Circular Quay. While waiting for the ferry we got to enjoy a bit of aboriginal performance.

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Manly was full of people. I guess it's like that here on the weekend. On the way to the beach we stopped at the markets. It was the more expensive kind. They had really nice things. Mostly art and jewelry and what not, but a bit out of my budget. We had to walk quite a bit to find a free spot. It was pretty windy as well, the beach tent was a bit of pain to put up. Once it was up the sand kept coming in. We brought some food with us and just relaxed. Before caching the ferry back we had a bit wander around the shops, but didn't really buy anything. Highlight of the trip was obviously drunk man loudly proclaiming his love to all foreigners.

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Before dinner I had a swim in the pool. Very refreshing. It's handy to have an indoor pool, especially one with a nice view. After dinner we got dropped off to Homebase Backpackers. It's right next to the Central Station on Elizabeth Street. The place looks a bit run down, but the room is well equipped. Lovely yellow walls, window doesn't close, but oh well, it's only $30 a night. The horror starts in the bathrooms. Nothing locks here! Not going to mention kitchen. Haven't seen any people so far. Seems to be a big place though. After checking email on uber slow computer we decided to have a wander around the town. The best thing is that it's nice and warm. We managed to find a Monorail station and did the full circle before coming back to hostel. By then it was 11 pm and my feet weren't feeling any good.

Posted by martenia 12:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Coogee to Bondi

On foot...


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Yep, as I suspected I have plenty blisters on my poor feet and today there's more walking to be done. By 9am it's pretty hot and sticky but the sun is hiding away. Before our beach visit we're off to Balmain for some yummy late breakfast then we're on our way to Coogee by bus. The walk from Coogee beach to famous Bondi Beach is about 8km along the coast line..up and down. The sun is out now and no matter how hard we try to cover up we still manage to get burnt. Typical. Some amazing views along the way, no mentioning all the topless ladies. About half way though we stop at Bronte Beach for a bit of rest and oh lucky me. I get pooped by the bird right on my forehead. Luckily my face was covered with bandana that went straight to the bin after that incident. Another half an hour and we're at Bondi, quite a long stretch of sand full of people. Finally we made and it and can have some proper rest and enjoy scenery. Surprisingly the sand wasn't hot at all.

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At around 5pm we make a stop at the local mall. It looks amazing with all the Christmas decorations. It's pretty huge, but unfortunately we're too tired to stick around only buying some groceries and wine. Sushi for dinner tonight. But before that we had a dip in the spa. Just what we needed. Plan for tonight was to go King's Cross but we're too wasted for that and instead opt for a quite night by the Darling Harbour with wine. The night is very nice and warm, unlike Auckland where even summer nights can be chilly. One last attraction of the night is the visit to the nearby casino. Our shoes were not appropriate enough for the place but we manage charm our way in anyway. After loosing $2 each on 2c machines we have enough and head home around midnight accompanied by some huge cockroaches trotting along the street. Yuk!

Posted by martenia 12:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Off to Sydney

They say it never rains in Sydney..


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I got told I'll fry over the ditch. Not so. Of course it was noticeably warmer when we landed, but not quite what we were expecting. We managed to get off the right train station to meet our friend. Then 40 minutes on foot to friends place. 14kg in my suitcase is making its toll on my little exercised muscles even if it was only pulling it. We made a stop at the shop. OMG, they have real yoghurt here. CBD looks great. There's lot of well dressed people around. It's Friday afternoon, so it's busy in the bars and pubs. It's nice to see women wearing dresses. You don't see a lot of that in Auckland. I'm sure warmer weather helps. Other thing I've noticed there seem to be lot of anorexic looking women.

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The place we stayed in is nicely located. Close to the fish market, motorway, buses, bridge and 5 minutes away from the Darling Harbour. After quick shower we have dinner and head off to town. Walking of course. By the time we reach Opera Bar it's raining, to our surprise. It doesn't help wearing a spaghetti straps top made out of synthetic fabric. It's a great place, just underneath Opera House, but most of it is outside with lot of people clinging to any dry spot under umbrellas. $35 later we're of to Oriental House - 3 level joint, very suspect. By that time my feet are giving me lots of grieve. In turn I complain away to my companions, who are not very happy about it. I wasn't prepared for that amount of walking, especially in the rain. In Auckland there's no such thing as walking. I'm sure I'll have few blisters in the morning. On the way back we stop at the bar near Darling Harbour. That was the best place of all with great music. We got back at 1am, which is 3am NZ time. Maybe it wasn't such a great idea to go wild on the first night, but it's too late now. Rain was definitely disappointing. We brought bad weather from Auckland it seems.

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Posted by martenia 09:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Last day

Wednesday


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Feeling a bit sick today. I'm sure it's all that wind finally getting to me. I take the care back and head back to town for the last time. Need to finish my gift shopping. Visit to the museum is on my agenda as well. It's not huge, but worth seeing nevertheless. $2,50 donation for entry. On the way out I notice there's a University building hiding between trees.

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I give Salsa Cafe another try. They are less busy and I order straight away. 20 minutes (not a very long wait by the island standards) my Gumba Ya Ya. Yummy, worth the wait. My last meal on the island. This time I chose to go anti-clock wise on the bust. Not the best idea, apart from the fact that it takes longer it was chocker full. By the time I got back it was raining again. I packed up and spend few last moments reading my magazines. I noticed a huge spider just above my bed. Luckily I won't have to sleep here tonight. Tonight it's $7 steak night at the local so I get ride to the airport with everyone. The duty free prices here are crazy. $20 for most 1L spirits. I buy two bottles. One for Magic and one for me. I managed to score a window seat and could admire the view from atop. Lights only around the island where the main road is. I get home by 1am. No work for me tomorrow...

Posted by martenia 04:15 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

Round I go

Tuesday


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Oh my.. blue sky. My had is not too well this morning, but I make an early start and head to rent-a-car place, so I can explore the island a bit more. The only car that's left, that's not manual, is a yuk green convertible. At $70 for 24 hours I take it. Of course there's no petrol in it. I put in $15 hopping it will last. What a great feeling to be driving again. The buses here are not bad, but I can see more secluded places with no need to wait an hour for the bus.

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First stop the Papua (Wigmore’s) Waterfall. The road leading to it was really narrow. Luckily there was no other cars passing by. The waterfall itself is not huge, but is nice enough to take some photos. Then I have a bite at a cafe near by. All the local dishes are out and I settle for a chicken wrap, island style. Not sure what's so island about it. I'm off to Hospital Hill where there is lovely view of the island down bellow. On the way to black rock I stop at the palace at Arorangi and few beaches.. just because I can. Off to do some groceries at Avarua. Next off to ancient Marae. The map I have is not very accurate, but after two tries I get there. It's not very exciting either. Few rocks sticking off the ground. Nice picking spot. By now I'm on the East side of the island where the sea is pretty rough, no reef there. It seems very windy as well. There's another old Marae on the way to the bay where, the legend says, canoes launched to travel to New Zealand. I stop at the Pacific Resort to take some photos, but the clouds are at it again. The photos won't look very impressive when I get back home, which is a shame. I get some gifts and head back to backpackers. I manage to catch some sun before the evening and have quick swim in the sea. Feels great after long day sightseeing. I get back just in time for curry night. $6 gets you a plate of yummy chicken curry. Then a DVD, a british comedy.

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The excitement of the day doesn't end there. Tonight it's jet blasting night. That's new to me. We situated ourselves on the sidewalk just next to the airport on the plane's path. It's pitch black. Behind us water, in front road with cars passing by and just above that air strip. Patiently waiting for the plane. Finally, after 20 minutes a small aircraft flies right above our heads blowing hot air. It was a bit freaky for second. As soon as we got to our pick up point it poured from the sky. Luckily we had shelter. Another 30 minute wait. After that exciting day I go straight to bed.

Posted by martenia 04:07 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

It's raining in paradise

Monday


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Clouds again. Doesn't look like a good day to rent a car. I go to town instead. First stop shopping centre. Can't decide what I want to buy for gifts. Clothes are pretty expensive here and half of them are NZ labels. After visiting yet another black pearl shop I find one that has what I need at a OK price. The pearls are not perfect, but that's the best I can do with my budget.

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Time to eat. I head to a nearby Salsa Cafe. It takes some time and nagging to even get the menu. After 15 min of being ignored I decide to move on. By this time it stops raining. Near by I find Blue Note Cafe with slightly mediterranean feel to it. Yellow walls with scrapped paint, big wooden tables and chairs. I order eke (octopus) with root veggies and island style spinach. The sun is out so I can sit outside. I'm surprised to see people eating the same, old food while overseas. I'm always keen to try new things. I was even more surprised when my meal arrived. The octopus was massive, not the baby variety I'm used to. The meal proves to be tasty, once you go past the scariness of it. Afterwards I make my way around the town, that's not very big. I leave the museum visit for next time. I'm keen to get some refreshment in the lagoon. Nothing beats the clean, shallow water with no waves.

Tonight is the party night and it's all happening at the RSA, as weird as it sounds. $3,50 for a pre-mixed drink is not bad. We get a ride for $6 both ways. There's 8 of us going. The place is already pumping by the time we get there and I start on my vodka's straight away. I had way too many, but I had too much fun to notice. The music was great and I danced the night away. At the end of the night there was a local dance competition where alcohol could be won. Unfortunately at midnight the place was closing and we made way to our meeting spot. After that we stayed up till 3am drinking some more and talking. At 1am my new roommate arrived, from Japan.

Posted by martenia 03:16 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

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