Today (being Friday morning) officially marks 1 week since we landed in Sydney. It’s crazy to think we are already almost a week into the New Year. Other than the first day where we mostly slept after lugging our bags across town, we have been pretty much non stop.
Today we were planning to head to Bondi beach for a relaxed day, but it’s currently pouring rain so I’m not sure if we will get there. The rain should clear out around noon so maybe in the afternoon we will head out, otherwise I will be using the day to catch up on writing and doing some yoga, which doesn’t sound too bad either.
I really feel like I have been successfully living in the present through this journey of traveling. Our days are planned out maybe 48 hours ahead of time. I still have no idea what we are doing most of next week other than I want to get some outdoor lap swimming somewhere. While normally not having a plan would stress me out, I am really trying to do this whole “fly by the seat of my pants” thing. I don’t think it is always the best. I am hoping with this rain and downtime today that we get some flights and places booked for New Zealand in a week, but otherwise, things haven’t been too bad. I think it has helped that I haven’t set many expectations other than to enjoy the time. It is also nice to not feel rushed. With 2 full weeks in Sydney, we have been able to just enjoy the time.
In just the first few days in Sydney, we covered many places I didn’t even go to 5-6 years ago. It has been nice to have a balance of touristy things and just trail walking and exploring towns. One day we took a bus to Hermitage trail and walked along the trail passing by many beaches (I wish I had had my swimsuit with me) and then walking all the way to Watson’s bay and the Gap Bluff cliff area.
We had no idea we would walk that far during the day. We even waited at a bus stop for a bit to hop on a bus part of the way, but then it would have been a 20 minute wait, so we decided to walk and see how far we would get. We took our time and took breaks. The nice part about passing popular beaches along the way meant there were plenty of public bathrooms and places to fill our water. The views were gorgeous and the water was so blue and clear!!
After that long day, the next day we took it easy and went on an Opera House tour (another thing I didn’t get to the first time I was in Sydney) and then headed to Manly beach. I didn’t take many pictures as I simply was enjoying laying on the beach and hopping waves. We realized jumping waves quickly worked up an appetite and I got a chicken kebab to share before we made our way home for dinner.
Then yesterday, we were up early, at about 6am to catch a 6:30 train to the Blue Mountains. It’s a 2 hour train ride up, but the cost of the train is less than $6! I took a nap on the way up as I was still tired. It was misty which then turned to a light rain for most of the morning unfortunately, but it didn’t stop us. We went through the scenic sites that were not very scenic during the morning and then we ate mid morning to make up for a lack of breakfast.
By the time we finished eating, it was raining a bit harder. We took the skyway and walked a path to Katoomba falls. Little did we know how long this path would be. We just kept walking and walking through the rain. I stuck to taking pictures on my phone as that was easier to pull out and put away in my rain jacket pocket.
About halfway through the hike the sun was really trying to come out and the clouds were clearing in the distance. We came to Katoomba falls and had the most gorgeous view.
Luckily we ended up on the path going down, as we eventually passed some people making the trek up and there are a TON of stairs. By the end of the day, my fitbit told me I climbed about 100 flights of stairs.
As we went farther and farther down and reached look out points, it was amazing to look up and realized how high up we had started. We made our way back to the scenic railway and took the steepest train going up which was fun and definitely an easier way out than walking back up all those stairs.
During this hike I was so thankful to have worn my new hiking boots. They are waterproof up to the ankle and they certainly were put to the test. They kept my feet warm and dry and it would have been an entirely different experience without them (as in I would have been cranky with wet soaked feet). I have learned it is best to invest in the right gear and things will go a lot smoother.
We ended our day at the Blue Mountains by taking the skyway across again when we could actually see and then stopping by the famous Three Sisters. I originally took a bridge photo there in 2011, but it was crowded so I took one right by there on Echo Point.
We then walked up the road (more uphill!!) and stopped by the chocolate shop for some dark chocolate for the road. This was consumed within 5 minutes though as we hopped on a bus back to the train station and headed back into Sydney.
It was our longest day yet as we were gone for 14 hours. We had to stop at the grocery store for a few items and then we made our way back to the apartment finally and we cooked up a late but delicious dinner of beef burritos.
I love having a kitchen and making breakfast and dinner each day as it saves us money. So that’s a few of the things we have been up to in the past few days here in Sydney. We have also been to the aquarium and wild life zoo. We are heading to another zoo tomorrow and then Sunday will hopefully be a nice beach day especially if we don’t make it to the beach today.