Soaking Up Sydney

Australia, City Travel, Fitness & Workouts, Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Tours & Attractions — By on June 3, 2007 at 7:37 pm

When the weather gods deliver a day as brilliant as the one we recently had in Sydney–the last major city on our RTW route–it would be foolish not to spring out of bed and make the most of it.

Well, the Lost Girls don’t exactly “spring,” but we did manage to zip out the door by 10:00 am to grab a long black at Speedos CafĂ© in Bondi Beach. The place was packed to the rafters with sun-worships clad in sundresses, board shorts and bikinis, and we were slightly scandalized to see less spandex covering up the guy’s bottoms than the women’s. We were also shocked to note that the lithe and gloriously toned chicks wandering down the street were housing huge portions of French fries (or “chips” or “wedges” depending on where you’re from), yet they all looked like finalists from Australia’s Next Top Model. Mental note to the LGs: Sign up for surfing lessons immediately and go running daily to neutralize calories from beer, cocktails and wine consumed nightly!

After breakfast, it was time to hit the beach.

Maybe it was our ultra-pale skin, loud American accents or unabashed gawking, but we somehow managed to attract the attention of two massive lifeguards who were naked save four inches of navy fabric stretched across their important parts. Distracted by eight-pack abs and shoulders as wide as a Texas linebacker, I totally forget what their first words were. I recovered quickly enough to ask about “Backpacker’s Rip”….something that I’d heard about while watching my first episode of Bondi Rescue. They pointed in the direction of a group of surfers paddling against the current and told us that on a busy day, they might have up to 100 “saves.” No surprise to learn that the vast majority of people pulled from the water are tourists! I did find it intriguing, though, that rescuers are revered as highly in Australia as our own US fire fighters. In Sydney alone there are four Life Saving clubs, all founded in the early 1900s, dedicated to tremendous efforts of the men and women who jump in the water to save the flailing masses.

With the noontime sun beating down overhead (and no sunscreen in our bags), we decided to jump in our borrowed World Nomads Ambassador Van and head into the city. I’d first become aware of Sydney’s iconic sites during my first job with NBC Sports in August 2000. My first assignment with the department had been to help assist with the Sydney Summer Olympics (rearranging the order of advertiser’s spots) and I probably watched 99.9 percent of the broadcast-including those incredible shots filmed of the Harbor Bridge, the Opera House and Circular Quay.

So, when I jumped out of the van and saw those images in living color for the first time, I got a teeny bit emotional. It suddenly hit me how far the girls and I had come since starting our journey last summer, and that we’d actually managed to reach our final destination in one piece!

We spent the rest of the day checking out area at The Rocks, one of Sydney’s oldest and most historic districts, and polished off the downtown experience with a glass of champagne at the Opera Bar. Sure, a single flute set us back as much as our whole day’s budget in Laos, but a priceless purchase nonetheless!

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  • Anonymous says:

    Welcome to OZ. have been following your diariessince kenya. A great read hope you enjoy your stay here.

  • Steven says:

    Australia is definately on my list. Your photos are great but I’m not sure I’ll want to be doing much swimming. All the best! Stevie

  • nina says:

    Oh Sydney, how I’ve missed you! Glad to see you made it to Sydney. Looking forward to more Australia posts!

    Btw, have you headed up to Manly? It’s gorgeous up there.

  • Dellie says:

    How beautiful and home-like Sydney looks. Congratulations on coming SO far. Stay safe on the remainder of your heavenly journey. We are all smiling with you and for you…..We saw you on CNN this weekend…how great was that! (-:

  • aishu_here says:

    It was great to see one of you ( Holly) talking on the video.It feels nice when you can associate a voice to the photos and the postings..

    Hope to see the rest of you too action on videos 🙂