Two flights and a 4 hour stop-over in Singapore later, we arrive in Sydney. It’s 7:00 am local time (4:00 am Bangkok time) and we haven’t slept a wink.
We wait for our luggage at carousel 4, watching other people’s luggage pass us by. As the heaps of baggage diminish, our apprehension grows. My biggest fear at every airport carousel is that my bag will be the one that doesn’t appear. But alas, there it is, the very last bag to make it’s way down the shoot and around to where we stand. Curtis’s bag is nowhere to be found.
The Singapore Airlines staff are more than helpful – turns out his bag is still in Bangkok and will arrive tomorrow. They give us $100 and a men’s toiletry kit for our temporary loss. His bag shows up the next day.
We exit the airport into the Sydney sunshine and freeze! It feels so cold here after Asia even though it’s probably about 15 degrees. We get used to it after a couple of days and the temperature rises to a nice mild 20 degrees (we’re in jacket and sweater weather now though after acclimatizing to Asia’s 33 degree heat).
We discovered a great website called Couchsurfing which is a brilliant way to travel. People host travelers, giving them a free place to stay and allowing both parties to have a cultural exchange. When said travelers are back home, they become hosts themselves.
Our first couchsurfing experience is with Jessica. She works at the airport so we wait a couple of hours for her shift to end and drive back with her to her house in North Sydney. After a little breakfast, it’s time for a long nap. We wake up at dinner time and Jess has made homemade pizza dough so we make our own pizzas and settle in for a long chat. Our weekend couchsurf with her turns into a week when she asks us to stay on because we get along so well.
She lives beside a National Park so we go bushwalking and start back onto a regular fitness routine of running every other day. Our excuse in Asia was that it was too hot – but I fear our lazy ways might be more of our true nature.
Sydney makes me homesick for the first few days. Everything about it feels so much like Vancouver – the air, the smells, the neighborhoods. It’s my first serious bout of feeling homesick but luckily it passes soon enough. My parents were supposed to come meet us for a few weeks in Australia but their plans changed so I feel the loss of not seeing them for another 8 months.
We settle in comfortably at Jess’s though and have lots of fun making dinners for each other and staying up late watching movies and chatting. We all go whale watching on Canada Day and spot 5 humpbacks, which is an incredible site. They aren’t shy and seem very playful, splashing around not far from our boat – waving at us and everything!
You can tell when the whale is about to surface because you can see a turquoise glow in the water.
It’s very exciting waiting for them to blow and rise out of the water.On our way back to the harbour we also see a pod of dolphins.
We go for dinner and find out that there is a Canada Day celebration on at one of the pubs so decide we must finish our night off there. There are lots of fellow Canadians, the DJ plays only Canadian artists for a few hours, bottles of Kokanee are on special (and get sold out) and they have a contest where people try to shoot a stuffed beaver into a hockey net.
The best quote of the night goes to Jess when she said, “I accidentally touched tongues with the guy while we were kissing the beaver and I had to apologize for my poutine breath.”
A good time was had by all….