Monday, December 2, 2013

Brisbane to Sydney - The Most Dangerous Leg

We are happy to inform you that we have survived the most challenging leg of our journey to date - the road trip from Brisbane to Sydney. Not having driven in 2 years, combined with driving on the left side of the road made for a very exciting road trip. The most common problem is that the turn signal and windshield wipers were reversed, which I never fully got the hang of.

There is not much else to be said about our trip down the coast except that it was stunning! We both really loved the vibe of the small surf towns we stopped at on our way down the coast. The scenery was always spectacular, reminding us a lot of the drive down Highway 1 in California. Trying to avoid the tourist traps we stopped at some less popular towns, such as Lennox Head and Port Macquarie. It is a shame we only had three weeks in Australia, we could have easily spent 3 weeks in each stop getting to know the towns and surf breaks!
Lennox Head Cliff Walk
One of many surf breaks at Port Macquarie
Words to live by - One of Anne-Marie and Katrina's favourite quote
Port Macquarie light house
Once we got close to Sydney we met up with our good friends on Lolo and Hydroquest to celebrate our successful completion of the crossing and say farewell. We spent one night aboard Lolo as they were preparing to put Lolo on the market in Pittwater. It was great to see them all again, but sad to say goodbye. The next night we stayed on Hydroquest in Manly. We ate a nice meal aboard Hydroquest and watched a movie on their cozy settee. How nice it was to spend a night at anchor again. The next morning we went on a short but exciting sail with them from Manly over to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, where they had a mooring booked for a few nights. The weather didn't quite cooperate but it was great to be underway again.
Sailing in the rain
I wonder what was so interesting...
Annie takes the helm
Passing in front of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge
The next stop on our road trip was Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. We enjoyed several amazing hikes around the cliff edge overlooking the Blue Mountains. I would describe it as a cross between the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. The Blue Mountains name seemed a bit deceiving since it was more a valley than a mountain from our perspective, but none the less it was beautiful!
Overlooking a small part of the valley
Much greener than the Grand Canyon
Nice trails 

Anne-Marie looking cool 
Bridal Veil Falls - very Yosemite like
Leura Cascades
Our last stop was Sydney downtown before flying home the next day. Downtown Sydney definitely challenged our left side of the road driving skills, especially since we always seemed to drive around at lunch hour when there was tons of pedestrian traffic. Luckily we made it in and out of hotel parking garage unscathed, and had a great time exploring the downtown.
What a great way to end our journey!
It was quite a nostalgic flight home, as our flight path took us right over Noumea New Caledonia, we waved farewell to Starship. Our flight had a short stop over in San Francisco, and as we flew in we could see our old stomping grounds out the window. We flew right over top of Half Moon Bay, and could see the harbor that we left from with Kyle Lefaive almost exactly two years ago. It's interesting to think back on those early days, how much we have learned and experienced since that cold January day, that we shoved off into the unknown. It took us nearly two years to sail over the horizon, only 13 hours to come back, but the memories will last a lifetime.

For some more pictures of our Australia adventure, checkout our picasa album here:

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