Here we go...

It’s hard to know how to start this really, not being someone who writes a lot or at all really (unless its a shopping list!). I know they say everyone has a book in them but I am starting to think more realistically a bullet point list?!?! But I will give it a go on this little Blog!

I have copied all the background to my adventure from my facebook if anyone fancies reading how I got here feel free..

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

My Last week in Australia

Well after a good flight from Melbourne and trains and ferry rides I arrive back in Manly to spend a relaxing day at the beach and visit Liz and Caylea. I have a few things lined up for my last week but mainly just saying goodbye to friends and getting organised for South Africa really. I spend a few hours with my South African friend Ryan trying to call up some hotels and tours and get an idea what to do when I get to Johannesburg on the 4th Feb. At the moment I am very organised, but I have a lonely planet so am sure that it will all come together fine!

I start to organise hotels and book tours, Kruger and the like and am seeing loads of stuff to do in Cape Town so it should be a fun packed month. In the evening I head over to the CYCA for my last twilight race, it should be interesting as Ed is skippering, Stu and Tom are there so I remember a few people and Lana comes along in the evening for drinks. We come 9th this week which apparently is about average given the boats handicap, but it was great fun. Ed takes it very seriously, but it was still fun and there were quite a few people along for the ride. Just me Stu and Tom were trimming, I was tailing on the jib sheets... Stu was giving me advice with the strong winds on technique to make sure I was tailing quick enough, only problem was the "technique" ended up with me running across the deck and having a little accident with a winch! I now have a rather large bruise on my arse as a result and was just lucky at the time that the winch handle wasn't around... hmm!

As ever wet and bruised after just a short race and its off for a few drinks with everyone, a little fun and then trying to catch the ferry... not very successfully! Its a pain to miss it as you have to wait ages for the next one. But some good points were that the girl behind the bar in the CYCA remembered me from Xmas Day (hmmmm.... I wonder why!) and that I was bribing staff for their Sydney Hobart shirts. Well it would seem that there are a few left over and she tells me to pop over Sat to pick them up.. cool, another souvenir... I know that Steve (from the crew) will be dead jealous because he was the one who really wanted the shirt! So sometimes it does pay to have a few drinks before the race and be a little cheeky.... ha ha ;) !

Next day, despite my winch injury I get going for my surf lesson. Its a group lesson, there are quite a few of us and to start with only one instructor. Its funny you get 5 minutes instruction and then you are off. Basically fantastic fun but a congestion nightmare, the guys would push you off a wave and in front you would have 5 Japanese tourists just staring at you waiting to be run over.... half that time you are falling off to avoid a collision! (thats my story anyway!) After 2 hours beating through waves and jumping up on the board I realise I love it but am not really getting anywhere. I think the only option is to keep going until I get it and can stand up! I was well and truly battered by the waves, had a few washing machine moments not to mention the board smacking me in the face... hmm! Thankfully the boards are kind of polystirene or something so no damage. I have to say though, I am getting into the beach life and all these adrenalin sports...

In the evening Liz gets a night off, yay... and we go for a lovely meal at Bluewater (cafe... not shopping centre.. ha.. ha !) have a few drinks as she is allowed a couple in the evening and is easily tipsy. We have a fun walk home and relive our travelling days with a typical visit to the kiddy playground where we go on a kind of round about thing.. hard to describe, and hard to sit on easily with my current bruises! Liz suggests lying on my front in a star shape... apparently its fun (easily led I do this !), but fun is not a word I would use... scarey springs to mind.. so for risk of further injury we soon stop (plus people have started to stare a little as if we are mad!) don't want to hurt myself before I get to stand up surfing those waves.

Anyway, the next day I get my private surf lesson with James brilliant fun and much more chance of standing up.. which happens eventually, its a great feeling even though I think it lasted about a second before I piled into the water again.. hmmm, its not easy this surfing lark

I head to the CYCA on the Saturday on the off chance of picking up the staff Sydney to Hobart T-shirt and am lucky to get 2, then its a trip down memory lane in Kings Cross with a few drinks in the Bourbon and beefsteak... , then back to Manly for drinks.

Sunday in Manly is the Cole Classic with hundreds of swimmers doing the ocean swim between Shelly and Manly beach, more leaving drinks on the wharf, followed by dinner with Richard and his wife,

My last day is spent with Liz and Caylea in Coogee, more memories and a trip to the old Dundas street house, shame to see it is being completely gutted and there is a skip outside picking up what is left of the old place. Then finish off with dinner with Liz on the wharf before I pack and head off for another adventure in South Africa... can't wait!!