Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Well, what can we say about Sydney. It's one of the most iconic cities in the world. We had a lovely four days exploring this very windy city.

We strolled through The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney. We found a bronze pig called Il Porcelino outside Sydney Hospital. Apparently, rubbing its nose brings good luck. Surprisingly, another part of the pig's anatomy was also quite shiny.

The magnificent State Library of New South Wales had an exhibition on Charles Darwin. The Botanical Gardens were beautiful with a large colony of fruit bats and some enormous trees.

Getting ready to be back in the UK, we found a cheap hairdressers to sharpen our appearance. Unfortunately these hairdressers were very good at mass scalpings, whilst customers looked on in horror. Our cuts were no different. Jen staggered out with a whole new look. Andy went to another salon to get his hair fixed. What a disaster!

We've just experienced our longest day ever – 34 hours in length, by flying from Sydney to Santiago, Chile. As the plane took off, Andy was nine hours older than his identical twin brother. However, as the plane landed in Chile, international time zones meant he was five hours younger.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Coffs Harbour and around

Sue and Howard, our friends we made in Nepal, were exceptionally kind and had us to stay for a few days. Their dog Bluff was great company and he accompanied us on lots of local walks. Howard had just bought an impressive new camera and his pictures of the local wildlife - water lizards and fruit bats - were excellent.

On a walk along the beach Howard also pointed out some Grey Nurse Shark eggs, which had become dislodged by a recent storm. We also discovered a dead puffer fish, identical to one we had seen being caught in St Kilda, Melbourne.

Sue had been inspired in Nepal by Andy's Mullet hat and had bought one for herself. Perhaps this is a the beginning of new fashion trend...

Jen discovered an excellent ice cream parlour in Coff's Harbour. She looked like the cat who eaten all the cream as she tucked into a regular sized mango sorbet. A rare treat. A bit further up the coast, Woolgoolga has an old helicopter for a War Memorial.

Read our Mount Warning and Washpool National Park posting.

Mount Warning and Washpool National Park

Sue and Howard also took us into the bush to do some walking. One of the highlights was Mount Warning, named by Captain Cook. The peak is at the centre of the world's second largest caldera, the first being in Aso, Japan. The mountain was steep enough to have chains at the top. We came down in the dark and the rainforest looked magical as it was filled with glowworms.

On our second day we headed to Washpool National Park and the Dandahra Crags. The crags were beautiful to climb up. We had stunning views of the native rainforest and swamp as the late afternoon sun began to set. Fortunately, we didn't encounter any highly poisonous taipan snakes as we returned via a frog laden swamp.

In the evening we camped under the stars with a great wood fire.