Thursday, June 18, 2009

The final day in Sydney

Well we knew this day would come. Sad to think that we spent some great times with friends and are now headed back to the US, we wish we could stay longer. But rather than sit and be sad about the fact that we were leaving, we still had places to see and souvenirs to pick up.

Now, Heather and I have been married for almost a year now and we have found out a lot about each other and the family cultures that we both come from. One difference that I came upon this trip was the importance of souvenirs and gifts for the family. I think it might stem from one of Heather's love languages because she is much more into the fun little gifts than I am. With that said I do enjoy a good souvenir but prefer all the pictures I take to be what I bring back from places.

Anyway, the day began at Eva's once again. We saw a few familiar faces and lots of new ones as well. Thankfully we found a parking space on the same block so it wasn't far to take the luggage. We had breakfast at the first cafe' we ate at in Sydney, Joe's. It was so good the first time that we had to go back, that and we had to say thank you for the great advice for the walk we went on. I had french toast again with english breakfast tea and Heather had the eggs and toast with bacon, wow it was good!

We then loaded the car and went to find a post office to buy stamps and we found one right around the corner. Heather did a great job at parking the car with me spotting because the whole parallel parking thing is really different with the steering wheel on the other side.

Next it was off to downtown Sydney and a "quick" stop at a shop for some gifts. Problem was the parking place we found was really confusing and didn't look right and there was no street parking so after becoming a little frustrated Heather and I switched as drivers, she stayed to get the souvenirs and I drove around the block. That worked well. But we still had to find parking so we could go to Malny Beach on the ferry. We found a spot right near the ferry dock at a hotel parking lot and hurried to grab the ferry. We sat in the aft (back) part of the ship and watched as the skyline and Opera House disappeared in the distance.

We then switched to the bow (front) of the boat to see the Manly Warf come into sight. We also noticed that to our left we could see out into the open ocean. "Wow" I thought, "the next big thing that direction is South America". And with a little bit of the open ocean came some pretty good swells. The boat was rockin'!

We arrived at Many Wharf and walked the short distance to the beach where we saw a beautiful and very empty beach. Normally this beach is packed with people at all times of day, but apparently last night and this morning was one of the coldest days in Sydney on record so that made fewer people want to come and be outside. For Heather and I it was beautiful, cool and crisp. A beautiful day for a walk on the beach and some frisbee.

Our time was short on the beach because we needed to get back and catch the ferry so we could catch our plane eventually as well. So we started back and Heather wanted fish and chips so as she waited for them to be done I went and looked at post cards. Time passed and passed and I started to be a little concerned that we were going to miss the ferry. Out window of time was not very big and we needed to begin picking up the pace so we would make our deadlines. Heather agreed and we bolted as soon as she had her food. We crossed the street to the wharf and arrived just as the boat was pulling out...we missed it. This was not good. We needed to have the car back by 1 pm and the ferry ride was 15 minutes and the next ferry out was 12:45. Things were starting to look a little too tight for my liking. But there was nothing really we could do about it, so we walked back to the gift shops and bought a few post cards and Heather noticed that this shop in particular had all the things she purchased earlier in the day. We were not very happy with the way things were going.

We did make it on to the next ferry and got the prime seat in the front of the boat. We sat down and watched as the skyline came back into view. It was a beautiful day and the view of the harbour was amazing. I loved the ride.

But the moment we landed we were off and running again back to the parking lot and into the hotel to pay for the parking. We got back into the car and prayed that we weren't too late and wouldn't miss our plane. We punched in the airport on the GPS and we were off. We really needed to fill up the car as well but nowhere along the way could we find a gas station. It was frustrating so we bit the bullet and paid the refill fee as we pulled into the car return. We dashed into the ticketing part of the airport and realized that we had no idea where to go. It was totally different than anything I had ever seen and we most likely looked like a pair of chickens running around without our heads. We found the United counter just as they were getting ready to close check-in and said we were going to San Francisco. We got our tickets and express pass through security and were off again. It's a good thing we had been walking a lot this past week because we felt in shape for the rush across the airport. We arrived to a friendly looking gentleman who told us to relax and take a deep breath and that the plane was not going to leave without us now...whew we made it.

The flight home was enjoyable and seemed to go a little quicker than the way over. I saw three movies and a few shows, took quite a few naps and Heather and I witnessed a woman fainting wile we were up for the toilet. Heather almost caught her and I rushed for the flight attendant who was serving drinks. His cart was quickly parked and spilled at the same time. So I cleaned up the mess while he attended to the newly fainted women. I was glad she fell in one of the few open spaces in the plane so she could be helped. She was fine, but all I remember thinking was "where in God's creation are we going to land if we have to?"

The rest of the flight was uneventful and with a small layover in San Fran we were on our way home to Minnesota. It was a truly great trip and I really can't wait to go back and see more someday.

Thanks for everyone who kept up with our travels and pictures. I am still on sabbatical until the middle of July but I have lots of thoughts coming my way from things I am reading and learning. I will post some of them here. Check back often.

God Bless and I hope you are having a wonderful summer,

dain and heather

Monday, June 15, 2009

Canberra to Sydney

Our final day of traveling in the car and it proved to be a doozy. We said our good-byes in Canberra and realized that we needed to perform the age old Minnesotan ritual of "warming up the car" as the temperature had dropped to near freezing last night. We had a quality frost on the car, one that truly meant it was cold outside. So with the car warm and us on our way we found a petrol station and filled up.

Our next stop was Wollongong in New South Wales to meet with Pastor Fred. Now Pastor Fred is a friend of Heather's and was a contact of her Youth Encounter team when they were in Australia in 2004. They spent a week or so in Sydney at St. john's Lutheran Church and Pastor Fred made a wonderful impression on Heather that she thought it would be nice to look him up. Fred has since moved away from Sydney to a really southern suburb, if you could call it that, and taken an extended leave from the ministry so he had lots of time to sit and chat.

We made it into Wollongong around 12:30 in time for tea and lunch so we sat at the kitchen table and talked about all kinds of stuff, mostly having to do with the frustrations in Pastor Fred's life at the moment. We heard stories about how Fred felt empty spiritually and unfed. And when it came to reading the Bible or anything with spiritual connotations rather than filling him up he felt as thought it passed right through him and into something he could use for a sermon. He was more concerned about the spiritual life of others and had been neglecting himself. The amazing thing I realized while watching and listening to Fred was how true this was for most people in the ministry including myself. I felt sorry for all those wonderful people out there that never get the chance to recharge their christian battery like I am presently doing on sabbatical. So when Fred said that he was leaving St. John's it wasn't because of some big falling out or another calling per-say, it was because he felt the need to spend some quality time with God that he had been missing for who knows how long. It was a very refreshing statement to hear.

Fred said one thing that really stuck out to me in our conversation. He was concerned that even in the Christian church we have drifted away from a Christocentric and preaching a more universalistic mentality towards God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. One example he gave was in the songs we sing. He noticed that in a normal grouping of songs in a Sunday service it was a rarity to hear the name of Jesus sung. Now this is not really the problem, the songs are good and about our saving Lord but what about the people in this world of different faiths? Fred told us a story about how he was at a Lutheran gathering and he noticed an Indian woman at this conference he was attending. Fred listened intently and realized that Jesus specifically wasn't really being talked about by name. There were tons of references to God, Lord, Savior, Love and helping your neighbor but the name of Jesus wasn't hardly heard. So Fred approached the woman he saw before and found out she was a Hindu among other things and asked what she thought of the speakers. She said that she could agree with most everything that was said today, and that really made Fred think.

Fred continued to talk about how he felt the Christian church he a part of in Australia was so focused on being inclusive and "seeker friendly" that they had taken Jesus, the real reason we celebrate and are saved out of the picture. Wow, this was interesting and I could have listened to him talk for a much longer time, but Heather and I needed to be off. So after a quick tour of his house and new construction projects we were on the road again to Sydney.

View of Wollongong from the bluffs above!

But before we got to Sydney we had to make a few stops. The first back out in the Blue Mountains to pick up my tripod that i left in a cafe' we ate in and then to Hillsong Church for an informational night about the church.

The Blue Mountains were great again and we found the tripod, whew and we arrived just in time for the program to begin at Hillsong. We found out lots about the church and the best part for me was to feel very welcomed and even recognized from when we were there last week. It was amazing that a huge church that has 4 campuses in Australia and 3 others across the world could feel so small and wonderful. In the end it made me miss being at Word of Peace because even though it was a great experience I realized that I missed the community I was a part of back home.

We left Hillsong and found ourselves at the mercy of the GPS again and a few toll roads and the Harbour Bridge later we were downtown Sydney again headed back to Kings' Cross for one more night at Eva's Backpackers.

Have a wonderful day, tomorrow is Manly Beach, crazy downtown driving, and the trip home.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Canberra Day 2

I think the best way to describe this day was "nothing major really happened." For once we didn't head out the door at an early hour, or go to see all the sights, or even walk anywhere. It was so nice to have a day where we sept in and had a leisurely day talking with Tanya and taking care of Liam. The conversation was wonderful and the stories ranged from what has been going on in the Lutheran Church in Australia, to the local Bible camp happenings, to weddings to the death of Tanya's best friend Amy. It has really been an up and down year for Tanya and family but the Lord has really provided in marvelous ways.

Little Baby Liam

The two best parts of the day were the food and the movie we watched. First the food. For lunch we had pumpkin soup. This is a fantastic Aussie dish that is made from Butternut Squash or Yellow Pumpkins as the Aussies call it. It was so good and well worth the adventurous spirit it took just to imagine a soup made from pumpkin. Dinner was also good with a roast, steamed and baked cheesy vegetables and some really good soda drink.

Afterwards we looked at wedding photos and then sat down for desert and a movie. The movie we watched was a very Australian movie called The Castle. It was a movie mostly about a family who lived next to the airport and their house was going to be repossessed by the government to add to the runway. The court battles and family hyginks that ensue are rather hilarious and touching. I am looking forward to finding it and showing it to some of our friends.

The day ended after that knowing we were headed to Wollogong the next day to meet with Pastor Fred so it was off to bed with us. Another great day in Australia.

Melbourne to Canberra

Now begins the journey from Melbourne back to Sydney. We rented a car and under the instruction of Rory we are to get the car and head through the Roundabout of Hell to Jenny's place of work to drop off the key. No problem right? Well, we did get the car and we did manage to also get a GPS unit to help us find our way. The way was through the roundabout of hell and I was quite nervous. Heather was the first to drive and I had my head on a swivel so that we didn't run into anything or turn the wrong way.

We made it to Jenny's work place and then it was off to Rory's school to say good-by. It was a lovely and very modern looking school. Most of the classrooms were exposed to the outside and very open. So if anyone were to ask, "can we have class outside today?" the answer would be, "we are outside!" After a couple of hugs and some direction of how to get out of town and a quick stop at a cafe' for lunch, we were on our way north to Canberra.

The eight hour drive proved to be uneventful and very beautiful. We spent the first 3 hours looking at the countryside and the vast amounts of grazing pasture for cattle and sheep. We were told to keep our eyes out for kangaroos as they tend to hop across the road and be obliterated by cars. We were hoping that would not be us. Luckily, we came upon none to speak of.

We arrived in Canberra around 11:00 pm and found our friend Tanya's house with only a few missed turns. We stayed up talking and catching up while ogling over the new 5 week old Liam.

Finally after a long day we decided to go to bed and be ready for a nice day with Tanya and Liam in Canberra, the capitol of Australia.

Note: I am writing this from the comfort of the United States as we have returned on June 12th. Stay tuned for the final days of our trip.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Melbourne Day 2

Waking up and not having to share a bathroom or wait a really long time for one to open up is really a luxury. I really like staying with Rory and Jenny.

Today is Queen's Day, God save the Queen. Where Australia celebrates the birthday of the queen. God save the Queen. And it is a national holiday, God save the Queen. And you have to say God save the Queen after everything, God save the Queen. The funny thing is no one really knows why they do this holiday and even if it is her real birthday and nobody says God save the Queen. So basically it is a holiday that everyone loves because it makes for a long weekend.

We took the morning to have pancakes and got ready for a cold rainy day. Our plan was to make the footy pilgrimage to the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). This is a fantastic stadium that holds 100,000 people and today Melbourne was playing Collingwood. We arrived just in time for the first bounce and the game was on. If you don't know anything about Australian Rules Football (Footy) then here are a few things to know. Basically the game is on a huge oval playing field (pitch) and there is a goal for each team. The game consists of each team working the footy (football shaped ball that is not as pointy on the ends) to their goal and kicking it through the middle part of the goal. You can pass the ball with a volleyball type bump or by kicking it and if you catch it off a kick that is called a "mark" where you receive a free kick or you can run with it. This game is full contact, which makes it rather rough. So in the end it is a combination of Ultimate Frisbee, soccer and hockey.

The game was not close. Collingwood smashed Melbourne who has not won a game this season. The rain fell hard and we were very thankful that we were under cover. We stuck it out for the whole match and had a great time rooting for everything! A great time was had.

After the game we headed down to the river and had a BBQ. The city has gas grills set up in the parks that are free so we took full advantage of the grill and cooked some fantastic food including veggies and kangaroo meat. It was all good! The meat was not as "gamey" as I thought it would be. It was actually very close to beef in consistency so I enjoyed it a lot.

It was then off to the Melbourne Center for the Moving Picture, which is a nationally and internationally known museum for movies, right up our alley. The museum was closed but we were there for something else, Fanboys! Rory, Heather and I are huge Star Wars fans so we thought it would be awesome to see it together. It was great and the ultimate Star Wars geek movie.

We spent the rest of the night walking around Melbourne seeing the sights and stopping in cafe's for some great coffee. We also saw the Crown casino, a huge casino that makes a lot of money for the city and is very lavish. They even have this fireball display in front that shoots huge balls of fire into the air. It was pretty cool.

The end of the night came when we arrived at home and warmed up with coffee and scones. It was a great day and we had a blast seeing and being "normal" Ausies for a day.

Tomorrow we drive in Australia up to Canberra...pray we don't forget to drive on the correct side of the road.



For the second leg of our trip we headed to Melbourne to visit our friends Rory and Jenny. We got up crazy early (4:00 am) so we could catch the Sydney shuttle at 5. We were out and ready to go at 10 till and we waited and waited and waited till we started to get a little worried. There were plenty of taxis passing by the hostel but no shuttle. We were relieved when the shuttle rounded the corner and we climbed in with the other passengers. Turns out because of the holiday weekend everyone was out for the night and since Kings Cross is the "place to be" for dance clubs and strip joints and since the clubs were beginning to close, well that made for really bad traffic and a lot of drunk people. We eventually made it to the airport in plenty of time and had a great flight to Melbourne on Quants.

Once we arrived we were greeted with open arms by Rory who took us back to his flat in Ivanhoe. We spent the morning relaxing and catching up until the four of us headed out for the afternoon of touring Melbourne. We headed downtown to the markets and stores that were quite numerous. We tasted all kinds of fun food and almost bought lots of stuff...but didn't. We stopped at a cafe' and had some great coffee, something that Melbourne is know for.

Later that evening we headed to church with Rory and Jenny. We had dinner at a house nearby with some friends of theirs. The church service was quite good and fun to see a group of young adults worshiping together. Rory and Jenny really like this group and I can see why. After hanging around for a while after the service we went to the favorite pizza place, which was very active because of the long weekend. The pizza was great! I had a capsicum or red pepper pizza, Heather had mushroom, Rory had a salmon pizza, and Jenny an olive version. They were all good. I tried a local beer too, very nice. It was hard to carry on conversation because of the noise so we were homeward bound. Another hour of chatting and having fun and it was time for bed after a very long day.

It is great to see good friends. Tomorrow footy game and Fanboys!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sydney Day 4

A truly fantastic day! I think we have finally had the good weather Australia is known for. It was beautiful, warm cloudless and a slight breeze from the ocean.

We started out the day heading over to the Harbour Bridge so we could climb one of the pylons that hold up this massive structure. Inside was a museum of the construction and history of how long it took just to get the thing built. In the end it is not the longest steel arch bridge (it missed it by 38 cm) but it is considered the biggest because of the sheer size and weight. It was build during the depression (yes the depression was not just in the US) and it was considered the thing that got Sydney if not Australia through it. It is truly an amazing structure. We climbed to the top of the pylon and got some amazing views of the Harbour, downtown and the Opera House. The number of sail and motor boats in the water was beautiful.

We finished the climb and headed to The Rocks, a quaint part of old Sydney just by the bridge where an outdoor market was taking place. We found all kinds of great stuff including some great food. And apparently there is a scent and a tree called the Daintree, who knew? Answer: the crafty people that made some awesome smelling potpourri.

After that it was off to the Paddy Market (the one I mentioned in an earlier post) for a time of souvenir shopping. I think we found something for almost everyone, and for those who we didn't find something for, it's not for lack of shops. We successfully saw every store and had fun listening to people barter and try and sell there wares. (with Lebanese accent) "I guarantee these carrots will last two weeks in the refrigerator if not you find me and I will give you $200!" That is a good selling point if you ask me.

Finally we had to get on a train for the Hills so we could go to church at Hillsong. We caught the train then hopped on the Hillsong bus and with some friendly people onboard we took the 20 minute trip from the train station to the church. We eve got a snack on the bus! We arrived to a parking lot full of cars and entered one of the buildings. We were not in the main "convention center" which was fine, because it was a smaller service.

The evening was great, we felt very welcome and met a few other people from the states. The music was good and the message was fun to listen to. The atmosphere was very laid back so it was just good to be there. Afterwards I met with Nick for a few minutes, he is the Youth Pastor for Senior High. I am looking forward to talking to him some more in the future.

In the end, it was a short visit, but a good one. We took the bus back to the station with another snack and arrived back at the hostel where we were greeted by a hoard of people in the kitchen/eating area. Tomorrow it is off to Melbourne to see our friends Rory and Jennie.



Friday, June 5, 2009

Sydney Day 3

If we thought we had walked far before, day three proved every day before to be nothing in comparison! We began the day where we left off - back at Darling Harbour and the Wildlife World. But on the way there we decided to actually walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens rather than just around it. We were not disappointed. It was amazing. There were plants from all over the world and in such huge form too. I can't believe some of the things we saw. The cactus and tropical plants. The sheer number of different types of Rhododendrons was crazy. Some of the plants were in bloom but because it is "winter" most of the plants were not in bloom. But I could only imagine what it would look like. We even stopped to smell the roses. They all smelled different. Who knew? Answer: a rose connoisseur.

Next we walked to the Wildlife World where we saw some of the most amazing and dangerous animals on the face of the earth. The animals were all native to Australia. Some interesting facts. There are more dangerous animals than non-dangerous animals in Australia and 65% of the animal activity in this country happens at night. The highlight of the day was when we got to see Koala's being fed so they were awake and very cute! We even got to pet one. Very awesome. We continued seeing huge spiders, yikes and a number of Kangaroos. It was a great time.

When we finished at the Wildlife World we headed over to Chinatown for dinner and some needed rest. We found a food court in a "mall" and started looking at all the pictures of the food, thank God for pictures. I found my favorite (sweet and sour pork) and Heather found hers (Wonton Soup). Both portions were amazing and we didn't finish the soup because it was "the combination" with shrimp, squid, wontons, vegetables, beef, pork and a heap of noodles in this wash basin of a bowl. Truly well worth the money. "It was the best Wonton soup in the world" - Heather

Next was the walking tour but along the way we ran into an indoor flea market that put all markets to shame. It was quite the place with tons of booths and cool stuff. We hardly had time to look before it closed down. We are going to go back on Saturday.

So the walking tour was next. Sydney is putting on a night time walking tour called VIVID that shows off some of the great places in Sydney by lighting them in really cool ways and then having modern light art between locations. We started by getting lost and going the long way to the observatory but ended up finding some awesome views once we made it to the start of the tour. All in all we ended up at 25 different "exhibits" of smart lighting that were all very fun. The culmination was the Sydney Opera house lit a huge work of modern art or a lizard. It was amazing to look at.

We finally decided that the day should be done and we should get home because of our extreme tiredness. We still had a few miles to walk to get home to the hostel but we toughed it out and despite sore feet, knees, calves, and bodies we made it and crashed. Hence the reason I am posting this blog a day late.

What a day and we got tons of more pictures that will slowly load over the next few days. Check out my Flickr page for more pics.

Blessings and Blue Mountains tomorrow,


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sydney Day 2

There really is nothing like a full nights rest! And that is what we got last night. Comfy bed and not too much noise outside helped as well. Breakfast in the Hostel and then it was off in the rain to the Opera house and whatever else we wanted to do today.

The path we took, as recommended by Joe was fantastic. There were all kinds of paths and walkways that were right on the water. We walked by Woolloomooloo wharf were we had to dodge the rain quite a bit. I also had a first today, aside from the fact that everything is a first since I've never been to Australia, but I was standing on the side of the road, well actually it was the middle of the road on a median and I was splashed by a truck that drove by. It soaked my already soaked pants and, well, I laughed.

Next we continued down the path along the wharf and came around the corner to one of the most amazing views of the harbor, opera house and harbor bridge. It was beautiful. We took lots of pictures and waited out the rain that came back. It's a good thing we brought our rain coats.

Next it was through the Royal Botanical Gardens and past tons of people jogging. It seemed strange to me that there were so many people out jogging in the middle of the day and in the rain. Don't they have jobs, but maybe not. Maybe it was a early lunch break of something? We eventually got to the Opera House itself and looked around at the amazing building that it was. Very Cool!

The walking tour wasn't done yet. We went to the Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, downtown Sydney and the world famous Aquarium. They were all awesome, but I love the Aquarium the best. The animals and fish and shark and rays that were all twice the size of me astounded me. We got to go underwater to see them. The tunnels led us into a land that few get to see. A great tour. Plus on top of all the cool stuff we got to see Nemo, Dory, Marlin, Crush, Bubbles, Gill and the whole crew from Finding Nemo. It was a star studded day!

Heather taking a nap with Crush!

Finally, it was back to the hostel and make dinner together. We made a chicken stir fry and it was tasty.

Looking back on the day I realized that I finally felt like I was in Australia when I came around the corner and saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Strange that the accents and constant reminders that I am in Australia didn't do it for me. But the moment I saw the iconic locations I had finally arrived. Seeing it up close was amazing and changed my perception on what the building is and that it in fact three buildings. Also, it's not white. It's actually a cream and grey combination. All in all a beautiful and amazing piece of architecture.

Have a great day, I am looking froward to tomorrow and maybe some more sun.

Once again you can check out more pictures on my Flickr page: Click Here



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sydney Day 1

What a wonderful first day in Australia! Really, I couldn't think of a better way of doing it. Arrive at 6:30 in the morning and then have the rest of the day to bum around and get our bearings. Throw in a shower in the morning and a nap in the afternoon and've got yourself a first day.

Heather and I started our adventure with breakfast at Joe's. Turns out, Australians can make a great French Toast and bacon. The eggs, tea and chai were also fantastic. Joe also gave us a map and some great ideas for tomorrow as we are planning on seeing the Opera house and some other places on the harbor.

After breakfast we walked around Kings Cross and saw the sights. Fantastic and lots of things to see. Turns out we are in Backpackers heaven because not only are there tons of places to stay, but also lots of "adult clubs" if you know what I mean. I am already glad that Heather and I are staying a little off the beaten track.

Next, because we are staying at a hostel we want to cook some of our own food. So we went on the look for a grocery store. What we found was Woolworths, a very fine establishment and all underground. A bit different than we are used to but a great variety. We got our breakfast fixings and have our spot in the fridge where we are staying.

The rest of the day we devoted to Hyde Park and Downtown Sydney. It was awesome, a beautiful city and pretty easy to get around. Here are a few shots of Hyde Park:

But I did learn a few things about traffic in Australia. First, look right. Traffic is coming from a different direction than I am used to and I almost got hit a few times. Talk about looking like a tourist straight away. (Straight away is Australian for immediately). They even have help because apparently I am not the only person that has no clue.

The way you know to cross is signaled by a Green walking guy rather than white, and a laser -beam sound coming from the button I just pushed. So to sum up: look down so you remember to look right, and wait for the laser.

Finally, dusk came and I got some awesome pictures of a huge Catholic Church and the down town area. The panoramic pictures are from the roof of Eva's where we are staying.

Now it is off to bed to try and get some real sleep, meaning laying down and not in an airplane.

You can check out more pictures of our trip on my flickr page:

Blessings and good night,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Made it safe!

Well, our first day is Australia is here and we are ready to go. After a shower and getting used to the hostel we are staying in I think we will head out on foot and see what we can see. We already had a bit of a Mr. Toad's wild ride on the way here. Straight through downtown Sydney and stopping at all the other Hostels in the area (we had a few riders in our shuttle) and then it was off to Kings Cross where we are staying at Eva's Backpackers Hostel. Not a bad place. Nice and quaint I think. We have our own room and a nice view of the city out our window. We are planning on heading out on foot after we get our feet under us again.

More to come soon,