Thursday 17th Dec
We hadn’t been to the beach at all since we landed in Australia which is quite surprising, so on Thursday we headed down to Bondi Beach. We took the train to Bondi Junction and then had to catch a bus to the beach – about a half an hour journey.
It was about 28 degrees which was absolutely perfect weather for sunbathing and relaxing on the beach with the sea there to cool us off. Bondi truly is such a gorgeous beach and I really enjoyed spending the day lounging about and getting my tan on! It also gave me the opportunity to read more of my book. Kill two birds with one stone, eh? 😉
When I had finally decided that I’d been in the sun for too long, Alice & I went into the water. It was freezing at first but after getting my whole body in I quickly adjusted. The water was so nice, especially with the warmth of the sun on my shoulders. We swam and splashed about and almost drowned from the huge waves but we were happy and enjoying where we were. I loved floating over the waves (I just love floating in water in general) until I went under and got salt water up my nose and down my throat!
We came back out and the sun quickly dried us up. After sunbathing some more and having another swim, we got our things together and headed to a picnic bench to eat. I had my leftover noodles from the night before and Alice bought some bok choy.
On the way back Alice and I passed a travel agency and we knew we had to book our Whitsundays island tour so we popped in to have a chat. After speaking to one of the staff members for literally two hours (if not more), he had come up with a ‘plan’ for the rest of our time up the east coast including tours and packages. He wanted us to pay then and there but I was still unsure about what I wanted so we each put down a $50 deposit to secure our boat instead. It was getting pretty late at this point and we didn’t get home until past 10pm and Alice still had her UCAS application to finish!
We both didn’t get to sleep until past 4am buuuuut Alice had finally sent off her UCAS application and all her emails were sent to the relevant universities. YAY!
Friday 18th Dec
Because of our extremely late (or should I say early?) night, Alice and I were absolutely exhausted and didn’t wake up until past midday, let alone get up. The day was fairly productive, however, as I spent it finishing my Great Ocean Road post which took absolutely ages due to the dodgy wifi.
Someone also knocked on the apartment door during the day and delivered a massive parcel. Alice and I were both expecting post but this definitely wasn’t what either of us had in mind. We thought it might be the owner’s parcel but when I picked it up I found it was addressed to me?! Turns out it was a cute Christmas hamper from my family back home.
Saturday 19th Dec
It was so good to get out of our apartment and do something active. We took the train and bus to Coogee beach for some swimming and sunbathing before doing the 6(ish)km walk to Bondi Beach. It was already half past three in the afternoon by the time we actually got onto the beach and didn’t start our walk until 6pm. We had initially planned to go back to the travel agency to get confirmation on our booking and to sort out the rest of our plans out but unfortunately it was far too late.
The views on this coastal walk were beautiful and there were plenty of photo opportunities!
We finished the walk at around 8:30pm and popped to the shop for some more food. Alice sprained her ankle walking down the steps pictured above so we weren’t too sure what we would be doing the next day: it all depended on how Alice’s ankle was in the morning.
Sunday 20th Dec
Alice’s ankle seemed to be alright when we awoke bright and early at 7am so we hurriedly got ready and left for the Blue Mountains (a 2 hour train journey away). We arrived at Katoomba station at 10:30pm and took the half an hour walk to the Three Sisters (saving those $$).
The Three Sisters were quite surreal and I loved learning about the story behind them.
According to aboriginal legend:
The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and Gunnedoo’ lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.
Alice and I took one of the walkways down to the bottom of the Three Sisters to see more of the rock formation. We got to one of the platforms and, not realising this was it, carried on further down. The steps were narrow and quite steep and really were never-ending. It was thirty six degree heat and as I was walking down on a step, I must have done something to my knee as it started to ache and twinge. Uh oh.
We continued down a little more but soon realised that there wasn’t much point if we got to the bottom, and having spoken to a couple of people coming back up, we decided to turn around.
It was about 2pm and we were bang in the middle of the day; the sun was unbearable. We wanted to get out of the heat and so after filling our water bottles up, we made our way to the nearby cafe. I got a falafel wrap which was really good although I had eaten fairly recently (all that exercise made me really hungry…) and kept my leg up on the chair beside me.
For a number of reasons, we both decided not to go on any of the longer trail walks.
- The sun was way too hot.
- We didn’t have enough water.
- My knee was playing up and so was Alice’s ankle.
- It was getting fairly late and the shortest walk was about 2-3 hours.
Instead, we took the bus back to Katoomba and hopped on a train to Leura (a nearby village). We both wanted to get smoothies or milkshakes but most places were shut and there didn’t seem to be anything else worth buying. A quick stop at the toilets and we were back on the train to Sydney.
I spent the remainder of the evening researching Chinese visas and how to renew them as well as apply for new ones completely. It took a good three hours and really did my head in but I’m a bit clearer on what the options are for us.
I’ll stop there for now but I will be writing about the last week in Sydney, Christmas and our stop off in Port Macquarie!
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Peace and love,