Sunday, January 22, 2006

Down Under Again

From Kuala Lumpur we flew to Sydney, which is starting to feel like a home away from home for me. The sun shone, the people smiled, and the only two man-made structures of any interest in the whole of Australasia still shone like beacons in the harbour. Flies still buzzed around our heads and there still weren´t any decent restaurants. Yes, this was definitely Sydney.

I revisited two mediocre old friends for the third time - the Central YHA backbackers hostel and the Blue Mountains. Whilst there is no excuse for revisiting the dreadful and overpriced Central YHA, last time I felt the Blue Mountains deserved a second chance after my first visit had been plagued by catestrophic torrential rain. The second time back, they failed to blow me away. Third time unlucky, as they were still rubbish. Fortunately I hadn´t been to Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon or Zion national park at the time, or I would have been less impressed. Nevertheless, the Blue Mountains area is huge and I´ve seen something new each time, including a couple of pretty waterfalls on this visit.

We relaxed for ten minutes on Manly beach, which was long enough for me to get horribly sunburned (although Sonia was fine). We drank wines in the Hunter Valley (although Sonia was more interested in the chocolate) and I spent ages trying to find a PC that worked in an internet cafe. It turned out that the only places in central Sydney with computers made this millenium are in chinatown, where the rooms are filled with local gamers of asian descent rather than the usual motley crew of foreign backpackers. All the menus were in chinese, but if you could guess the right character for ¨publish blog¨ instead of ¨delete all¨, it all worked quite decently.


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