Like sands through the hourglass, so was my trip to Sydney ... it seems a long way back now so I'd better get some record of it down, before the aging brain cells lose total track of it all ...
Being at Wellington Airport at 4:30am doesn't get easier with time - you'd have thought it might have by my third annual autumnal jaunt across the ditch, but no. With a bottle of Absolut Raspberri, another of apple sours and a carton of fags in tow, I touched down in Sydney to a massive downpour, grabbed some cash and a bag of Krispy Kreme, then caught the train into the city. A quick muggy stroll later, I was in leafy Darlinghurst at Jo's almost palatial residence ... no better base for the coming week, and she's a total lamb for putting me up.
Iain and Northy were still in kip mode when I arrived, so I settled in and started acclimatising. After lunch we hit the road mid-afternoon and went in search of some sun along the South Coast ... unfortunately, the sun had other ideas! We ended up in Huskisson (or 'Husky' as every shop façade informed us), found some motel-type digs, then took a quick promenade ... on the way to the Husky RSL! Ahh, the joys of cheap beer, non-stop keno and facing the wall at 7pm for the obligatory moment's silence. Further beers and a slap-up Thai meal rounded off the evening nicely.
Thursday dawned and we took off down the road to beautiful Hyam's Beach ... the cloud cover was still plentiful, but the really white sand and almost total lack of other punters made up for it. It was still bright enough to get a touch burnt (bugger) but the visiting pod of dolphins more than made up for it, with a small breakway party swimming right down the shoreline scant metres in front of us. Wonderful stuff! We took off back to Sydney later in the afternoon and had the now traditional annual fill of Wagamama goodness, before checking in at some of Oxford Street's public houses ... they weren't as packed as I thought they'd be, but that'd be the Cher concert's fault I guess.
Friday was shopping day - managed to grab myself a new polo from Glue (my favourite store), Season 4 of Futurama for less than two-thirds of what it costs here (WTF?) and a new pair of jocks (hey, it's Mardi Gras after all). Caught up with Luke in the early evening too - great catching up again (watch out veterinarians!) and meeting Monika his betrothed too. A great Italian meal in Darlinghurst followed, then to Jo's friends' place (with an amazing view of the huge thunderstorm roiling off the coast), a bit more bar-hopping for good measure, then before we knew it, it was Saturday ...
Lunch with my cousin Debbie and her beau Michael at Yoshinoya was the first order of business, followed by dropping Debbie's birthday present back off at her place, and for a good geez at her iPod mini (a retail plan was forming ...). The parade itself was set to kick off at 7pm, and after a few hassles trying to find an alcohol vendor who wasn't charging sell-your-kidney prices, we grabbed some more affordable beer and bubbles and went to Debbie's friend Renée's place: one up and one along from Debbie's, with a big balcony and perfect view down to the corner of Oxford and Crown. No jostling with the great unwashed for us!
The parade itself was good fun, with the usual suspects (dykes on bikes, marching boys (and girls), etc) putting in their regular appearances and the crowd lapping it all up. A quick post-parade freshen up at Jo's and we were off to the after-party, joining the thousands of other revellers at Fox Studios for a good old fashioned knees-up (and no rain this year, hurrah!). I piked comparatively early (4am?) but it was a great time nonetheless.
Sunday rolled around and, surprise surprise, none of us were at church. After lazing the day away, we rocked up in various states of repair to The Shift for their 'Indulgence' night. A touch of leather anyone? Anyway, I managed to go most of the distance this time (5:30am!) which is always the sign of a good party. Oh, and ask Iain why we started calling him Stimpy from that night on ;)
Monday was spent in recovery mode again - a late lunch in the city with the boys (takeaways and people watching in Hide Park) before a little more boozing that evening ... the 'walking wounded' were still going strong at most places! How some people do it I'll never know (oh wait, I can probably guess).
After a last lunch with Jo and Iain on Tuesday, we dashed round to the Apple shop and scored me a 6GB silver iPod mini - w00t! 'Tis truly a pretty shiny thing. Jo whizzed me over to the airport after that (where I was forced to queue for an hour just to check in, Qantas bastards - five flights to process and about five staff on the desk, you do the math) and before I knew it, it was midnight and I was back in Noozleland. Phew! Cheers Sydney, and its lovely inhabitants, for yet another great trip ... oh, and the photographic evidence is here.
‹ 31.3.05 / 0 comment(s) ›