February 1 - February 9

Arriving in Sydney meant the end of the road trip. We left Sydney on October 18 2002 and arrived back on February 1 2003, that's 107 days to cover 14,880 kilometres but in actual fact we covered a lot more than that because we took so many detours that weren't on the main routes.

Richard, Jo and Trefor, Sydney

The Purple Party in Newtown

A friend of Tref's, Lexi, was celebrating her 21st birthday (how old does that make us feel?) and Tref managed to get us invited along to her birthday party. Just one catch - you can only come if you have something purple on - it's a purple party. Not having dyed my hair since that Halloween Party Tref and I had (with Jalpa and Matt in Markham House, 1995?) it was fun to plaster our hair with bright purple gunk! but I think Richard's purple eyebrows are a bit scary.

Fab decorations and everyone had made an effort to wear something purple against a threat of non admittance. We met a lot of fun people that I know we wouldn't recognise again in the daylight unless they were wearing purple. At 5.30am we somehow managed to leave the party and get back to our hotel but later we all suffered from hangovers. Tref had to go on a backstage tour of the Opera House at 11am and then met his boss in the afternoon but we couldn't manage to do anything.

Tref, Toby, Ian and Richard, Sydney

Meeting up with friends

After a couple of nights in downtown Sydney at the Pacific International Inn we went to stay with some friends Ian and Lyn. They were kind enough to let us stay with them in Erskinville for a few days which was great, thanks guys. It was fab to catch up with them and Oscar (aged four) was as good as gold keeping us entertained. Thanks to Oscar for introducing me to the X Men characters (and my first X Men video!). We also managed to catch up with Toby one drunken night in various pubs in Sydney. They all seem to have taken to life in Sydney and with lots of great beaches within half an hours drive of the city centre and the lovely weather it's not surprising.

Richard boogie boarding, Bondi Beach, Sydney

Things to do in Sydney - boogie boarding, jet boating and exploring the harbour

Ian and Oscar are into surfing so we nicked Ian's boogie board one day and headed down to Bondi Beach to join the hundreds of surfers and boogie boarders down there, we had a good laugh trying boogie boarding although we spent more time underwater than on the board. All too soon it was time to say goodbye to Tref who was off to explore more of Australia starting with a flight to Perth and working his way back to Sydney via a train trip across the Nullabor Plain, Adelaide, the Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef and Brisbane (where we caught up with him again).

But Richard and I had a few more days in Sydney and even made it to the Sydney Opera House for a performance, no chance of dragging Richard along to an Opera but one of the comedians we'd seen on TV, Wil Anderson, was doing some stand up comedy in the Playhouse theatre there so we had a good night there. It was a chance to stroll around the beautiful harbour at night and drink coffee at a cafe outside the Opera House, overlooking the Harbour Bridge. Sydney Harbour must be one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney skyline, view from motel

A couple of days later we said goodbye to Ian, Lyn and Oscar and went to stay in a motel in Glebe another nice area of Sydney. The Rooftop Motel lived up to it's name with a barbeque and very cold swimming pool on the roof which we made use of. It had this great view of Sydney and the Harbour Bridge. Unfortunately the weather wasn't fantastic for the last couple of days but we still managed to go on the Oz jet boat around the Sydney Harbour (the 360° spins were awesome). Next we drove back up the Pacific Coast to Brisbane.

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