Day 4 in Sydney took us to the famous Manly Beach. As you know, Srin and I are hardly "tourist" types so we rented bikes and took the path less travelled. We weaved through turns and up hills (of course, I walked my bike up the mountains we had to climb), traversing through the National Park to find ourselves at the North Head. The frustration from my lack of uphill biking skills and deprivation of lunch was justified when we ventured upon this view.
Along the way, we made a pit stop at the cove and frolicked in the cold (yes, that's right. Cold.) salty water of the Pacific Ocean.
Lucky for me, even I have downhill biking skills, and the ride back to Manly was shorter than a bug's life. Given this sight of infinite crowding, Srin and I knew right away our decision to stray from the famous beach was indeed the thing to do.
As we strolled to the Wharf to catch the ferry back to Sydney, it seemed God was in the mood for a laugh. Ay Bhagwan!
It must have been my good fortune to have been near a surplus of stores and shops so the Sydney-Siders didn't have to wait behind me as I dragged my foot around, fearing fungus-invasions without the protection of my cheap Old Navy footwear. All in all, the Manly excursion was well worth the $20 AUD metro fair (which, with the constantly falling USD, was more than $20. Per person of course.)
Day 5 turned out to be calming, laughter-filled, and food-centered. We spent New Year's Eve with Rohini and Prashant, joining them on brunch/lunch with some friends. It felt very local indeed as we walked about in Pyrmont, a quaint suburb near Canterbury where we were staying. All on the day's itinerary was laundry and packing so relaxation found its way into our day. We joined the grocery shopping errand, making us feel more local than before. As such, we decided to take advantage of having a kitchen and thank our hosts by making Taco Salads a la my Texas roots. They were real and spectacular, just like our nightly home-cooked dinners from Rohini. We may be a bit spoiled now.
Once out of food coma, we made our way to celebrate the coming of the new year. As it turns out, we learned Sydney puts on two New Year's shows: the so-called Family version at 9PM (so the kids can maintain their early bed time) and the traditional midnight spectacle. Rohini seemed surprised that the States would never do two shows. Where we came from, you either stayed up until midnight or you missed it. Guess children's bedtimes aren't a US celebration priority! We felt even more local as we refused to arrive at the Sydney Harbor at 3PM to stake a spot (so touristy huh?) so we joined them at an off the beaten path location just off of the Harbor. We reveled in the greens and reds and golds, lighting up the sky as 1-1-11 commenced.
And with that, we say goodbye to Sydney and hello to the Great Ocean Road. See you soon as we report what it is like to drive on the other side of the road!
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