Sydney PART 1
Sydney. Part 1.
We arrive in Sydney and after dropping the van at the Caravan Park up in the Sydney Hills, the first thing we do is drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's a Sunday and we are surprised to see $15 parking right behind Circular Quay, so we stop and get out for a walk up to see the Opera House. We've been to Sydney before of course, but I never get sick of looking at that bridge with wonder. How 85 years ago they had the forethought to build it so wide and to engineer it so beautifully. It is quite amazing!
Work life! The very purpose of this adventure is to spend as much quality time together as a family and to avoid Reece going back into a fly in fly out situation. Money doesn't grow on trees unfortunately and we certainty haven't won the lotto (As my mother keeps asking), so eventually we knew some work on this 'holiday' would be required. We could financially support another three months or so on the road if we run a tight budget and probably miss Tasmania. That would be enough time to get back to Perth and then Reece would probably find some kind of employment but we doubt it pay very well. We'd be fairly broke and I think the pressure would be on.
There's an opportunity for Reece to work for the biggest Surveying firm in Australia and head up one of the train stations for the new Sydney light rail project. Reece hasn't worked in rail before and they will train him, he'll get a new ticket, the pay is good and he's home evenings and weekends. We've decided to stay in Sydney until June 30th and take this time to top up the bank account before we head towards Victoria. Perhaps by extending our time on the road we will give the economic and employment situation in WA a little time to improve. But we are doubtful of that too.
How do you explain to a 2 and 4 year old that after so long of having Daddy home every single second of every single day, constantly exploring, climbing, swimming, that now Daddy is going to work? Olive wouldn't remember anything other than having Daddy right there at her finger tips but River sure does remember.
"On a plane?" River asks instantly. He hasn't forgotten.
"No buddy, not on a plane... I'll be home every afternoon, and every weekend and it's not forever." Reece reassures.
There are stinking work socks to wash, orange shirts and blue pants, and work boots covered in concrete dust. There's the early morning alarm we have not heard in a long time, and poor Reece getting up in the cold and dark and putting on his uniform to go to work. Some sleepless nights as Olive goes through her phase of wanting to 'come into the big bed', which simply can't happen for the sake of both our sanity. Reece is back to his old ways, getting all grumpy dealing with slow and inefficient workers and unnecessary hold ups due to silly avoidable stuff ups. He will come back in the afternoon and air all his frustrations, and I can hardly believe they are true. But with a couple of cold beers, a good dinner and some time to settle down we both know that the money will help us be together, and on the road longer, which is the ultimate reward.
The weekends! Sydney is absolutely beautiful and I'd be lying if I said during our time here so far I haven't fallen in love. When you stay for an extended period, you really get to know a place, the only problem is that we could never afford to stay, but how good is it to dream.
"We would live in the big white modern house overlooking Lane Cove. Pop and we are in the heart of the city or Manly Beach. We are surrounded by large trees and nature. Or we could set up in a town house right in the heart of Newtown. Pop off to a funky bar. Pop, arts, culture and music. Everything right at our door step. Or we could buy a big fancy house up in the hills and drive around in a new Rolls-Royce like the rest of them. Pop Pop Pop easy as that "
Gosh I make myself laugh!! Then I remember how none of those places or things will make me happy and how much I miss my family and friends. We could never stay.
Free to explore in Sydney is Bondi Beach where the waves are crossing paths and white foam sprays up unpredictably over yellow messy sand. An overrated beach for sure and not really suitable for young kids, but River sure did enjoy getting onto his body board. We take a drive though Dunbar Heads and Vaucluse where the homes remind you of Hollywood. We visit Double Bay and on our drive though towards the city there's Ferraris' overtaking us to the right and Rolls Royce to the left, with a Lamborghini up your rear. Too many tourists that don't know all the road rules and a bucket load of money make driving in Sydney very interesting. We spent Australia Day in the Sydney Hills at Bella Vista where they have a huge showgrounds full with free entertainment and activities for the kids. We take a day trip over the Hawkesbury River and explore the National Park. This would be a 4WDers heaven! Just around the bend is Galston George which is quite a tough 10km track to tackle. We don't do it all but we see enough of how beautiful this area is, and really only 45 minutes from the city.
On the 'we are tourists' list a visit to Taronga Zoo was a must and what a beautiful location overlooking the harbour with the Opera House in the distance. We spent an entire day at the Powerhouse
Museum which is an absolute must do for children.
A good Sydney train ride with the kids is an adventure and we hop off at Milsons Point to visit the iconic Luna Park and meet our friends Sian and Carrick who've recently moved to Sydney. A familiar face and a pub lunch is what we needed. On another train trip we visit The Sydney Aquarium, which is overpriced but having a two for one deal and undercutting the kids ages each by a year gets us in cheap. Definably worth a visit as the kids loved the underground tunnels and now River knows what a Dugong looks like.
We meet up with Reece's cousin John and his fiancée Amie, way south of Sydney almost near Wollongong. Again so good to see some familiar faces. Our friends Fiona and Andrew also live is Sydney and are recently engaged so we were able to attend their celebrations as well as have a nice lunch out together on a sunny day at Darling Harbour. Even my cousin Ben from Cairns came down for a boozy weekend visit and then crashed on our caravan couch after a nudie run around the caravan park.
We are really enjoying ourselves here!!!
Reece is working, and I am home schooling River and doing a small amount of architectural drafting for myself too.... But we are still travelling. I have noticed that we are careful to say the words 'come back to the van' or 'see you back there' rather than use the word 'home'. Our van IS home... and we are comfortable and happy and together - it feels like home. But Sydney, although absolutely beautiful and fun to explore, is not our home. Perth is our home and we are confirming that this is just part of the adventure. (Okay parents)
Next stop. The Blue Mountains.