Hello People, Long time no new's! So how are things back home??
Well ventured to Merimbula to learn to surf, having speant quite a few lazy afternoons watching people on 10ft waves we had convinced ourselves it can't be that difficult!! How nieve were we! (well might have just been typical Loughran male attitude on my part). To build ourselves up to the surf lesson we decided to enjoy the luxury of the amazing campsite we were in. And spent a day lounging by the pool (we were the only people at the pool all day, so we aptly adopted it and called it our own) I had also decided in preperation for the surfing i had better crash some swimming in, topping out at a feable 10 lengths i was a little stirred at how hard this surfing lark was going to be!! Leanne by the way, simply sat by the side of the pool and continually laughed at my attempts of trying to recreate my year 6 school swimming lessons!!
The lesson all went well we had an early morning lesson, very very enjoyable, unfortunately it quickly became appartent to us, the instructor and the other person on the lesson (stacey by the way!! What are the chances) that we are not natural born surfers and being able to snowboard dosen't mean you can instantly surf!! Lots of falling over splashing around in the water and fighting against measly 3ft waves (feels like a brick wall hitting you when you are out there though) After 2 hours of surfing we decided we liked it and it was going to become our mission to become pro's by the time we leave OZ. At $50 dollars a day to hir the gear we also quickly decided it a good investment to by some gear. After a 2 hour session in the sea we crashed, (for those of you that know, the sleep that followed was close to the sleep that followed skiing return at christmas!!)
Spent the next few days in merimbula lounging by "our" pool and shooping around for some surf gear. With the purchase under our belts we headed straight to the beach to practice, Still not pro's!!
Left Merimbula for Batesman Bay, where we had booked into a nice campsite with a good pool and the beach...........Mix up there end and we couldn't get in, mini drama as it was Easter weekend and everywhere was rammed, we found the last spot in another site (not such a nice one) but hey we were in! The next few days the weather wasa a bit mixed up so we just got on with it and surfed in the rain and we also filled a pretty overcast afternoon with some local cinema action............My god was that everntfull. Imagine going to the cinema 15 years ago in England and thats what it was like, our TV & cinema system at home was close to the effort of screen two at the (ready for this) "bay city cinemas complex" (was actually only 2 screens, so complex might be over selling themselves abit) but for your rainy days back home "horton hears a who" is pretty funny. Ours was filled with kids. The biggest highlight for us of Batesman Bay was the internet cafe, it was run by what looked like a 15 year old kid (complete with headset and joystick) who's main clientele was his mates, As we were happily sat there checkingout flights to NZ lea heard a shout from behind us " I f-ing love this gun, man" shocked we turned around expecting some kind of small town store robbery, but instead we were met with no less the 10 kids all playing some internet war game against each other. Now we are geeks at the best of time's but some of the quotes that were coming out of this room were even to much for us. So we ran.
We head for Kiama, we stopped at a place for lunch outside Kiama called werri beach, (pretty famous surf beach) and it was such a cool little place we stopped over for a night. Even treated ourselves to dinner. Kiama was cool, lots of surf beachs ( Werri beach was very close to kiama in the end) and pretty little country side villages. We found a really good beach for beginners called 7 mile beach, by the name you can tell there was plenty of room for us to find our own little spot to practice. I got stuck in my first rip (thats where the tide pull's you out) leanne paniced as i tried my hardest to get back in (unfortunately my 10 lengths practice wasn't holding much ground against the current of the sea!!) We decided to do some touristy things in Kiama and go see the famous (hardly world famous, but OZ famous none the less) blowhole (...............insert your own rude joke if you wish) funnily enough the small one was bigger than the big one!! Wierd must be something to do with the water spinning the wrong way round the toilet!!
Next stop Sydney, Now bearing in mind all the advice we had been given about the driving in Sydney we were prepared for the worst...........London! Wasn't actually that bad i think the roads were worse than the drivers! Our campsite was on the north side so we decided to stop and Bondi beach on the way through. Bondi was cool, very trendi (see what i did there) and some great people watching. About as close to the posers of miami as you can get i think! Took a drive up oxford street (most of Sydney is named after England, and especially London) which had all the designer names on it and was a nice mix of oxford street and covent garden (England) with much better weather. We spent the first day driving around north Sydney's beach's looking for our surf spot. Palm beach was my fav (summer bay, Home and Away) but lea got stuck in the rip this time and knocked her for six straight away, so after a little surf there we decided to head on. This is where we found the gem (not my sister), Manly was a cool place, and we found our spot on the beach. Good waves, great people watching and a relativly up to date shopping town!! So we surfed the first day away. Still not pro's but standing up more freaquently on bigger waves now!!! Small steps We head to a small little spot on the river opposite the city for some night shots of the city and our real look at the skyline. Pretty good picture spot even though we were both shattered from the day in the sea!!
Up bright and early for our City day, jumped on a ferry and headed into the city, was a cool way in as we went right past the Opera house and Harbour bridge, needless to say the camera almost started working by its self. We had a casual stroll round the opera house before heading round the harbour to the Bridge where we had booked a climb!!!!!!!! So with all the gear strapped on, (amazing jumpsuits) and through more securty than at the airport we started the climb. The views at the top of the bridge were amazing and, unbroken 360 degree's on a sunny day and we could see for miles. The funny little guide (a mix between the penguin, from batman and a woman, wierd) gave us fact from head to toe and took tuns of pics of us (obviously no cameras were aloud) nearly 1500 steps later we were back on the ground and after a few moments of "jelly legs" (lactic acid build up made lea's legs resemble oscar's) we crashed out back outside the opera house for a well deserved beer. Passing through a weekend market at The Rocks, very trendy area between the bridge and the main harbour. So we pretty much just chilled out and watched the sun go down on the the city. Luckily it was the 80th Hour power out in the city that night so we sat and watch as they turned the light's off on the city!
This was offically our favourite day of the trip so far and the first time we have both thought (get ready for it parents) we could live here!!!
So our final day Sydney we decided to head back to Manly for a day back on the beach. It was the weekend now so it was much busier. People watching was at it's highest. Followed by more surfing. It was a bit like sardines in a can though as all the locals were out and not the 7 miles of empty learning space that we were used too. But none the less we found a spot and started, we now have a body board too so the person not surfing can mess around as well! As we were both enjoying the waves a feint tannoy system could be heard from the sea, but one word grabbed lea's ear SHARK. (I would like to add hear that the shark couldn't have caught up with lea if it wanted too) Like a dart lea was was flagging from the side, people had emptied out of the sea in seconds (althogh i was a little curious to see it) i too was out of the water with a shaking lea in my arms. Lots of people including us were just sitting on the shore staring out. Some nutters just carried on surfing with out a care in the world as a speed boat raced up and down the length of the beach. One man even decided to get in for a swim!! We sat and trembled for a while before following the surf school back in (we figured if they have taken a group of kids in it must be pretty safe) As we got it it suddenly dawned un us how many time we have got in un-patrolled beaches and how silly we were being!! Whoops (so mum's ignore the photo's of us in the sea by ourselves)
We left Sydney loving it completely. We headed north again to Port Macquire, which was originally just a stop over as we covered some ground to get to Brisbane. One leaflet however changed our stay, "Pet a Koala" being favoured over the Kangeroo we decided to give it a go and stop in. Port Macquire was really nice once we got here this little stop over place really surprised us. Petting a Koala and also feeding more Rock Wallabies, surfing and even seeing the Ironman entrants in training, The competition is this weekend, so we miss it but we still saw them all in warm up.Mental people, 225km triathalon, whislt we are bumming around on a surf board. I know which one i would rather be doing!
Moving on and heading north again towards the long awaited Gold Coast.......................We break down.
After 3000km Shazam is dead.
After being picked up by a tow truck and having me and lea share a bench seat in a pick up for 20ks with two slightly (please add lots of sarcasm) overweight mechanics, he actually said you (me) sit up there and put your missus on your lap, as he squeezed in after us sandwhiching us between them, (please try and think of the nutty professor when he gets fat again the car and thats what it was like). The funniest thing for me was when the rescue mechanic said yeah its f*#ked i'll call you a tow truck. Then twenty minutes later the same guy pulled up in a tow truck. It was like he radio'd himself in this little town and then came out himself. Wierd. Lea's highlight was the 25 min silence with 4 people in a cabin made for 2 1/2 people. Sat on my leg brushing against the fat smelly man next to her with every bump. (just cast your memory to everytime you have seen people in a tow truck with a face like thunder and thought to yourself i would hate to be there!!!!!!!!!!!!). Dad it was the altenator so it was fine once it was running, sound familiar!!
So we are in a place called Grafton between somewhere and nowhere trying to kill time as they call in a part from somewhere or nowhere. We checked into a pub/hotel/bookie's/restaurant last night (literally opposite the garage, hoping that as soon as we hear shazam fire up we can wheel spin out of here) Sitting at the bar last night i was called up (insert your own hillbilly OZ accent) "you holding the pool table" i said no (not knowing what the guy meant) he was challenging me, with a little fear of being hustled i entertained a game, he won!! Not knowing the local etiqutte i bought a game back, I won. He then asked lea if i was allowed to play a decider game. (rare thing a aussie man speaking directly to a woman, un-heard of in these parts) He won. Oh yeah i forgot to mention the man i was playing against was a bit drunk.............................................................and only had one arm!!!!!
I dont know what was funnier the fact i lost to a drunk one armed man or the situation!
So sitting waiting for shazam parts and we have truely topped out the activities for Grafton. Who knows whats next.............
Miss you all lots
Love to hear some family news
(Oh yeah for the record, i do NOT have a job in Sydney and sorry for the April fools mum, Love you)
Love matt and Lea xxx
Lea couldn't take anymore
Matt flapping as fast as he can
To stacey lea on the rocks reconstruction
Lea, I'm really doing it!!!
Oh yeah matt's put on abit of weight
At home in Shazam, by candle light
By the power of greyskull
Bondi beach, great lookout.
Only a spec on here but the coastle pacific highway
Lea found a tree, ran from the spiders though
Please no photos!
Matt, I'm really doing it!
Opera House (just about)
Sydney city (by night)
Matt, Home and away (please sing that bit)
Summer bay............closer each day!
Sydney city (by night)
Matt, Home and away (please sing that bit)
Summer bay............closer each day!