Sydney, the capital-in-all-but-name of Australia is a marvellous little sprawl that sits to the north of Botany Bay. It also appreciates the importance of people liking to stand in front of things and take a photo. Okay, so the Sydney Opera House is a Danish contraption with the interior design features of a nuclear fallout shelter, but at least you can take a picture of you and yours standing outside the damn thing (and the magnificent Harbour Bridge) and people will instantly know where you are. Melbourne, for all its liveability, has no such boast. One word for you, Benjamin: Landmarks!
Mand and I got to Australia’s Mega-City One in good time on the overnight backpacker bus, neither of us sleeping very well. My girlfriend puts up with a lot from me and my stupid idiotic adventures, but on this Sunday morning she was less than happy to see me disappear out of her life again for another few months while I tick off another 8 or 9 countries off the list. She was even less happy about me dragging her ass all the way to Sydney (to Melbournians that’s like the far side of the moon), but like I said in ‘The Melbourne Identity’, I do not intend on quitting this close to the finish line.
We met up with the irrepressible Alex Zelenjak of getting-me-the-hell-out-of-PNG fame and headed down to the port. The wrong port, mind you, but we weren’t the only ones to make that mistake. I checked in without any problems (note to the good people of Sydney: if you want a free parking space in the city centre, when there’s a cruise ship in you may park in the respective carpark gratis) and we went to grab some lunch.
Lunch was a tricky affair: Mandy grumpy and tired, me just tired and Alex possibly wondering what the hell he was doing there. But after some chicken wings and tasty wedges I hugged my girlfriend goodbye for the fifth time since this adventure began, shook Alex’s hand and embarked upon the good ship P&O Pacific Pearl. I barely had time to throw my bag on my bed before we were all summoned off to the Marquee Theatre for a safety drill: we want no repeats of the Titanic on this ship. After that I grabbed a quick shower before racing up to the top deck to film us sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge (with just inches to spare!), past the Opera House and out into the deep blue sea.
New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji HERE I COME!!!!!!!!