March 5th, 2015 - Sydney, Australia - Day 201

I cannot believe we have been on the road for over 200 days.  This trip has been way more than expected and the fact that we still have 80 days or so left is at the same time exciting and scary.  Stacie and I are talking about home and what we want life to be like more and more and this morning was no different.  

We woke up around 4:30 in the morning because we had gained two hours by traveling to Sydney, so our internal clocks thought it was 6:30.  We made some coffee, did a little planning and then walked down the street about 100 feet to the Cafe on Johnston.  Our AirBnB host recommended it as the best coffee in town, and he was right.  When we walked in we were greeted by a woman we came to find out is the owner - Suzanne.  She was so warm and welcoming and made us feel right at home.  Her passion for her business was infectious, and in a couple of minutes talking to her you could tell she was living her dream and loving life.  It is so fun and inspiring to meet people like this who have jumped off the cliff and found their parachute did in fact open.

We ordered two black coffees and a muffin to split and had a nice long conversation about home and the changes we want to make when we get back.  Then Peter showed up and ordered a nice big plate of French Toast, which was amazing.  We wrapped up, paid and headed back home to find Lea digging into a bowl of cereal.  

We finished up a few things and then got ready for the day.  We planned on doing a hike our host had recommended from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach.  It takes you along the cliffs between 6 different beaches and is about 4 miles long.  We loaded up onto the bus and were off.  The bus ride was about 45 minutes long to get out to Coogee Beach, but it was worth it.  The little town and the beach were perfect.  It is incredible to have a beach like this right in a major city.  The people in the area (and really everywhere in Australia) are the most friendly I have ever met.  Everyone goes out of their way to help you and they are all really interested in your story.  It is an amazing place. 

By the time we made it to the beach we were all starving, so we split up and all got what we wanted from a line of takeaway restaurants right next to the beach.  Stacie and Lea got smoothies, I got Indian and Peter got some Turkish food.  As a side note - Peter has gone from a picky eater to probably the most adventurous eater we have.  He is up for trying almost anything and usually finds that he likes it.  We took our food to a shaded picnic table at the beach. and had a nice picnic.  

The view from our lunch spot

Once we were done with lunch we started our walk to Bondi beach.  The wind had really kicked up and made the walk a little less pleasant than we would have liked, but it was still very pretty.  

A beach this pretty in the city?

We walked up the coast from beach to beach enjoying the views out to sea.  The views inland were not nearly as nice.  This area must have developed in the 60's and 70's because the architecture is blocky and kind of ugly.  Most of the homes and apartment buildings have not been renovated so we found it better to look out to the ocean rather than at the houses.  

Sydney or Hawaii?

We finished the walk at the world famous Bondi beach.  

Bondi Beach

By that point we were all hot and a little tired, but Peter was in need of some new shoes so we headed to a mall to find a Vans shop.  Peter has worn the same pair of Vans every day since we left.  For a $40 pair of shoes, they held up amazingly well.  We found a mall pretty easily and Peter found his new shoes easily.  We had a few other errands to run so we wandered around for a couple hours.  The girls even found a Target - they were in heaven!

Once we were done at the mall we headed back to the house, took a quick shower and walked a couple hundred yards down the street to Made In Italy for a pizza.  By the time we were done with dinner we were all wiped, so we wrapped up the day.  Sydney is another big, but the people and the beaches make it a pretty special place.  

Peter's POV 

Today was our first of five days in Sydney. I woke up to my sister asleep and no one else in the house. I walked out the door and down the street to Cafe on Johnston, my parents were sitting looking at a laptop. I ordered a french toast and it was delicious. After getting breakfast we got some work done and relaxed for a little bit. We decided to do a walk from Cooge Beach to Bondi Beach, it took about 30 minutes on the bus to get down to Cooge Beach. When we got there we were amazed, the beach was so cool. The water was clear and the sand was white, we got some lunch and ate it in the shade right before starting the walk. 

 Walking along the coast 

Walking along the coast 

The walk we very cool but very windy, you are walking on the coast the whole time so you are very exposed to the wind. When we finished the walk we figured that we would go shopping for some new clothes and shoes that we needed. We hopped on a bus that was headed toward the city, about half way through the drive we saw a mall that was right next to a bus stop. We hopped off and walked into the mall to see what stores they had. The mall was big and they had Vans which was the store we were trying to get to, they even had a Target. 

 Cooge Beach 

Cooge Beach 

 Bondi Beach 

Bondi Beach 

I actually don't know how long we shopped for but we got out around 5 and we all exhausted and we still had to find our way home. The Sydney transportation system does not include a lot of underground trains like New York or London, so it is mostly buses. We didn't end up getting home until about 6, we we tired, hungry and sweaty so we decided to go out for dinner. We walked to a Italian restaurant a block away, and got a couple pizzas and some delicious gelato. Great first day in Sydney.