*Photos to come*
Well I very nearly didn't make my flight to Auckland to start off with. I'd booked with Jetstar and despite having flown with them before and knowing their check in rules, this was the first time I received an email from them on the day of my flight with the first sentence saying 'you have selected auto check in'. After reading that my mind thought that I was already checked in, so when I finished work and left for the airport, I skipped the whole check in process and went straight through security. It was only when they started to board the flight I realised I had no boarding pass. Whoops. Luckily they bent the rules a bit and let me on.
After a night camping in the airport, I slept the whole way over to Sydney. When we landed I expected sunny skies and warm temperatures. Instead it was pouring down and 9 degrees. Brrr. I hadn't packed for that! Our plans for that first day ended up being perfect for the weather. We visited Auzzie World and the Aquarium, both at Darling Harbour and both indoors. Both were good opportunities to get up close to all the animals you think of when you think 'Australia'. Kangaroos, koalas, dugongs, salt water crocodile, sharks, snakes... I couldn't spot the platypus though.
We stayed the first couple of nights at the YHA near the railway station and on the same block as a wee cafe selling Colombian street style food. That was the first of many yum meals. I think I spent most of the holiday eating, suprise, suprise.
Of course as soon as I forked out for an umbrella the rain disappeared and Sydney put on a gorgeous afternoon. We headed to Circular Quay to see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House - we took photos of each other in front of them of course, like proper tourists.
That evening we headed to Hyde Park for the Friday night noodle markets - part of the food festival. Oh my god, was that food good?! I haven't had much experience with Asian food so it was fun to a little something from several of the 50-odd stalls that were there. I tried peking duck pancakes, bbqed octopus, prawn on betel leaf, tapioca pudding, bbqed corn, dumplings, steamed pork and duck buns etc etc. I'm definitely a convert. There were chairs and tables set out and fairy lights/lanterns in the trees. I had a glass of wine (Katy had a sip of her's before the wind dumped the contents over the grass). It was a really awesome night out.
Wiped out, we headed to bed rather early. The next morning we headed out to Bondi Beach to do the Coastal walk to Coogee. I'd packed my togs but it was still windy and pretty cold so I skipped a dip in the waves. The walk was great - taking us along the cliffs past several small beaches, some with salt water swimming pools. All up I think it was about 6km - not a bad walk in jandals.
The afternoon we spent looking at some shops in the city and then it was time to head back to the hostel to get ready for dinner. We ate at Morena, a modern Peruvian restaurant. It was the reason I wanted to go to Sydney. My parents shouted us the degustation menu each (with matching wines for me) for my birthday present. I hit a quarter century next month. The photos don't do the food justice at all. I didn't want to use the flash as I thought it might disturb the other guests.