Pans and injuries

In the time that I’ve been away, I’ve managed to: scrap the knees and shin on the same leg twice, cracked half a toenail, somehow contract an infection of a nail cuticle (probably caused by hang nail) that made the finger swell, got a gash across my hand from the toilet door (!), grew numerous blisters and ankle bruises from walking too much, suffered a mild heatstroke and a sunburn on the face in the Australian sun. Also got my hiking shoes ripped good, tore some other parts of my clothes. The maladies of travel, as small as they are, remind me that I’m still partly enjoying myself and still away from where I usually live.

I leave Sydney today, wryly looking at the scars gained during these 17 days and think, inadvertently, about all the people that I’ve met over differing circumstances, the most unusual meeting was over a non-stick teflon pan while frying breakfast one morning. An elderly lady – formerly from Australia now living in Kiwiland – was frying pancakes (albeit rather badly), I tried to cook them too. It worked out somehow as we formed a mutual understanding of sharing leftover bacon fat.

I moaned over the loss of the red rental car and the freedom to visit everything at a whim. Forced to rely on only the feet and my oft-complained-about walking speed, I covered the city centre over and over again, trying to convince myself that Aussie fashion wasn’t as bad as it seemed, ending up buying chocolates and household cleaning products instead to bring back.

IMG_1331

IMG_1327

And I went whale-watching again, seeing in less spectacular fashion, humpback whales’ blowholes and not much more from a distance of 100m. Squashed together with a strange (and sometimes stupid) group of people, the boat’s left propeller got caught in a fishing trap, rendering it nearly useless; we limped along the coast drearily and essentially stopped whale-watching at that point, saved from boredom by jumping dolphins who saved the day once more. Although I say goodbye today, the lack of regret and longing that accompany the end of every trip is unusually absent; my only gripe being the long flight back. Sydney, like London, felt intimidating the more I read about it in the travel guides, until you actually step foot and realise that – with some help from the very genial people in the visitor information booths – it’s sort of manageable.

Suddenly, there was too much to see: a potential day trip to the Blue mountains, a day down Bondi among (fake?) tanners, or to go to the Manly shore to do ‘manly’ things like swim with sharks in Ocean world, go for a performance at the Opera house instead of just walking around it.

Cheerios Oceania, I’ll definitely miss you.

Sydney the great

Ah, Sydney, the consummate city, to which I was introduced not via its famed beaches and tacky surfing stereotypes but via the bad traffic and even bad-der drivers. “I don’t have to give you any way, you’re in my lane,” the old lady driving the van vented defiantly at another van as she wove her steady way […]

Continue Reading

Ode to the pink jacket

I was determined to keep the last 2 days in Perth a relaxing one after the collective and prolonged excitement of Margaret River. Things as usual, do not always go according to plan. Returning the car on a Sunday morning meant waking up as early as possible, before rushing (as always) last minute shopping and […]

Continue Reading

The gourmet trail

“Is my face getting rounder? Do I look heavier?” TC won the crown of longsuffering as he constantly endured my increasingly psychotic questions that popped up involuntarily a few times a day and particularly after each meal. Such questions weren’t totally unfounded actually; I think it’s fair to say that I ate myself out of my pants and […]

Continue Reading

Sea-longing, Sea change

We could not get enough of the sea. After a long day going up and down the stretch, I was ready to crash and spend some quality time with the laptop and Dirk’s internet connection. But my disobedient, traitorous mind and mouth asked aloud, “What about spending sunset at Prevelly park before going straight to […]

Continue Reading

W(h)inery and sour grapes

Does this make any sense, anyone? Colour: Deep red with garnet hues Full-bodied yet refined, the plush palate offers ripe, jubey fruits such as blackcurrants, plums and mulberries framed by subtle cedar/spicy oak characters. Smooth and silky, firm and fine-grained; a structured wine whose slightly closed and brooding core of blackberries, cassis and plums is tightly interwoven […]

Continue Reading

Tree Hugger

We certainly didn’t think that we would be spending any time in trees. Yet we found ourselves heading to Pemberton bright and early for a 2-hr drive after a few people preached the notion of an exhilarating treetop climb there, stopping to change over quite hilariously in a disease risk area. Picturesque Pemberton is yet […]

Continue Reading

Beachy day

Being near the sea and surf is like being constantly intoxicated. Drunk on and mesmerised by the wonderful scenery from the previous day, the next day began with a customary visit to Prevelly Beach despite our mental fatigue and sluggishness from all that driving the day before. Dirk had warned us that there was lots […]

Continue Reading

Cape to Cape

A Joey cantering in the backyard of the place we stayed in was a bizarre start to the day, but not an unwelcome one. In contrast to my excitement, Dirk and Pam, our hosts for the 4 days we were there, were nonchalant about their bush surroundings and immediately began a treatise of the wildlife […]

Continue Reading