26th February, Sidney CBD, Australia
Yesterday we arrived in Sydney to pouring rain. It reminded me of our arrival in Brisbane, which was much the same thing - torrential downpours. It would be nice, after driving through 2-horse towns and miles of plains and wooded areas to see these big cities shimmering in the distance (be careful how you say that last part!), but so far we've been greeted with the sights of the larger cities against grey skies.
We stayed at a place north of Sydney yesterday - in Dural Village, near Pennant Hills. The camp site was nice but transport into the city looked like it might be a bit tricky. The nearest train station was not walking distance, for sure. Besides, I was feeling a bit under the weather and didn't feel like moving anywhere much. We stayed at the site all day listening to the rain hammering on the roof and, for my part, marking with masking tape all the spots in the van where the rain found a way inside - something to fix when it is dry again!
Today we changed campsite. There was nothing inherently wrong with the last one (aside from the distance) but we need to try out each and every one we find to see which is best. In all honesty, Sydney is not that well set up for travellers with their own vehicles: what with land prices being so high, there are no sites in the centre or overlooking any of the beaches - or at least to my knowledge - and so we have to pick from what's available. This means a long journey back and forth every day by bus and train. The irony is that having our own van has, until now, given us freedom to do what we want to but in Sydney it is very much an obstacle. If only we could park in the centre somewhere without getting ticketed/towed away!
The weather improved enough for us to head into the city from our new base in Rockdale, near the airport. A 20-minute walk up and down a hill got us to the train station and we were on our way. We made straight for the centre, getting off at Circular Quay, then hopped straight on to a ferry just to have a look a round, and saw a rainbow arcing over the harbour bridge, perfectly matching the bridge's curves:
In the evening, I took Ethel out for a spin, the aim to get a bit nearer to the city to see the night lights, but Sydney is a much bigger, more sprawling city than Brisbane (where we last did this) and all I managed to do was get lost in the southern suburbs. We'll have to tray again some other time.