The Australians get up early. Very early. But arriving at Freshwater at 7am on Sunday (where it is usually moderately busy at that time), it was jam-packed! The Surf Iron Man Qualifying series was being held there - so not only was it busy in the car parking areas and streets behind the beach, the water was chocablock and after only a short surf T and his mate were asked to get out of the water as the event organizers were closing the whole beach!
For the past few weeks the shops have been full of paper cups, wacky glasses, caps, towels, bikinis, napkins... you name it; all baring the Australian flag. You could even buy an inflatable kangaroo, or perhaps a blue, red and white cap complete with solar powered fan.
It was all in the name of Australia day, held on 26th January each year. The official national day of Australia; it is the largest civic holiday in Australia.
With T working for a Canadian company, we didn't get the day off to celebrate; but it turned out the weather was decidedly more English than Australian. The grey clouds grew darker as the day progressed and with that the rain became more persistent.
T and I decided to varnish the outdoor table as it had only been oiled when we bought it and so when it got wet it leaked brown stains on the chairs, came off on the bottom of glasses and plates.
We did a great job! But then I decided to plant some herbs...and the soil blew on one freshly varnished leg. We had placed newspaper underneath the table to catch any varnish drips...and the wind blew it so it stuck to two of the legs.
We now therefore have a table with one soil -covered leg and two paper-covered legs... Oh, and we didn't varnish the underneath so it still drips brown onto the cream chairs.
The top looks better though...
The thunder subsided to allow us to go on the wildlife tour at 5.30pm.
The resort had just taken the reigns of a very substantial army-vehicle-type bus (the wheels weighted a tonne each!) and were eager to put it to the test, so we were the guinea pigs. The driver had been out that afternoon to check the vehicle could indeed get up the hills and through the creeks... once...
The Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Wallaroos (all Macropods - members of the kangaroo family) all came out to play, but were a little confused at the sight of the big bus rather than the previously used vehicle!
On a roasting hot Friday, after dropping Albie off at the cattery at the vets, promising him there would be no injections or flights (which I don't think he believed...) we set off - to where, I had no idea...!
Two hours later and we were in The Blue Mountains looking for a spot to have a picnic. Spotting a sign for a scenic picnic spot, we turned off the road down a dirt track. Bumping up and down for 5 minutes there was still no sign of an area in which to pull up and eat, and we were worried our little low car would get stuck in the deep loose stones, so we gingerly made our way back to the main road.
And our holiday week is nearly at an end.
It started with the sounds of an ice cream van on our street, right outside the apartment. We had heard it a couple of times in the past months, but it had always been down another street - and that street was either down and then up a - steep - hill, or across water. Both the big and little kids on the street were all very happy - especially the big male kid in our household...
We are totally fruit-caked out! The last crumb has just been demolished of our 1 and a half (!) Christmas cakes. Yes there was just the two of us eating...
So you may be thinking: we were in Sydney for New Years, so surely we stayed up until midnight and watched the spectacular fireworks on the harbour...?
Well, we did watch the midnight fireworks, but that was on TV...
...The following day.