Saturday, December 10, 2005

Northern Beaches

On Saturday it was off to the Northern Beaches. This area is where we stayed on our very first trip to Australia so it always has a special kind of attraction, plus the beaches are less crowded and have less of a city feel and more of a ‘surfing dude’ type feel to them…..very relaxed way of life, filled with beautiful people.
After a quick visit to a recommended bait and tackle shop in Narrabeen (where Dean and dad armed themselves with frozen prawns and sand worms – for fishing!), our first stop was Avalon for a spot of lunch and a quick look around the town. After feeling some what refuelled, we headed out to Palm Beach with the full intention of doing bugger all and hopefully a spot of fishing to satisfy dad’s hunter tendencies!
Palm Beach was a bit too windy and with a lot of surfers and swimmers would prove to be a bit too problematic for fishing. We decided to drive back down the coast 5 minutes to Whale Beach, which is actually our favourite beach up north. This managed to put big ticks on everyone’s list, lovely beach, great for swimming, rocks to fish and not crowded at all…..perfect!

This was the first opportunity for dad to try his new fishing rod too, but didn’t have too much success – I think he needed a different rod or different bait or different line – I know there was some excuse!!?? The water had been tested though (literally!) and dad gained some useful knowledge chatting to the locals who seemed armed to the teeth with rods and tackle. They also appeared to be having some success catching Atlantic salmon.
We took these photos, intending to use them as Christmas cards this year. But because we were so busy enjoying ourselves, we didn't actually get round to printing them - sorry everyone. But here are the images anyway!

After a lovely relaxing afternoon, we headed back to Avalon for an end of day coffee. It turned out to be a fish and chips trip from a highly recommended ‘chippy’. Yum!!
As a side note…..we just want to add that mum and dad are a jinx when it comes to being served in restaurants!! On this occasion ordering coffee and cake was an hour experience which resulted in luke warm coffee 30 minutes later. To add to this, cake arrived at least 10 minutes after coffee was finished. The start of what was to be the Linda and Chris cafe curse!!
As an extra note, the curse has been lifted now that mum and dad are back in the UK!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Relaxing first week

The next week was a lot of pottering for mum and dad while Dean worked his last week before his hols and I finished my job off for the Australian Registrar’s Committee. Mum and dad couldn’t help themselves though – as usual they found something to do in the house (well the garden actually). We didn’t think they’d find anything, as our gardens are minute compared to what we had in Bromley, but low and behold, they cleared all the dead leaves from the front and weeded in between the pebbles in the back courtyard! Thank you so much!
They also found time to visit a few of the closer beaches like Coogee, Bondi, Tamarama (or Taramara, as mum keeps calling it!)! They were just itching to get to a beach!

But they also went into the city one day, dragged there by me! They walked through Hyde Park and went to see the bats and all the exotic plants in the Botanic Gardens.

I took them to see the Christmas tree in the Queen Victoria Building and all the lovely shops there.

In the evening, after Dean got back from work, we went to our local bar, the Different Drummer where we sampled their modern tapas and wine – delicious!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Middle Harbour Cruise

We decided to go on one of the longer ferry journeys around the harbour – the Middle Harbour Cruise – which takes 3 hours! It’s a fantastic way to see the harbour and all the amazing houses on the water’s edge and a great introduction for visitors. You also forget about the sun due to the constant breeze blowing through the boat, so Dean and I ended up with red faces!!