I’d love to be able to start this blog post – “after months of planning we were finally there”… but Mark and I aren’t like that. It seems that we are both incredibly meticulous and organised about everything apart from travelling. At one point, in June, I think, all we had booked for our adventures in Australia were the flights there, and City2Surf: which wasn’t even in the city we were flying into. But it all came together, and we had the most wonderful time.
We arrived in Melbourne insanely early on Wednesday morning and spent the whole day in a fug of tiredness and confusion. It’s a super cool city, it’s quite similar to home, as it’s full of narrow lanes, cafes that spill out onto the streets and a laid back vibe to rival Brighton. The architecture is pretty special – a mixture of incredible colonial buildings and skyscrapers. The river Yarra is just a short walk from the CBD, and is a real hub of activity. We went for a couple of Saturday morning runs along it – as did much of Melbourne! – and it was full of rowers and canoeists.
We then flew to Sydney, for a week with Mark’s oldest friend Rich and his girlfriend Hye. We did the City2Surf with them on our first day there, which was a great introduction to the city. The route starts in the centre of Sydney, and snakes its way around Sydney’s many stunning bays into Bondi Beach. The race itself I’ll write a full report on soon, but it was one on my most favourite races ever. It felt like the whole of Sydney was running – it really was very special.
Sydney was great, but both Mark and I found it too big and crazy to want to call home. We had such a great week though: I managed to catch up with a couple of my favourite old friends, we had out for a night in the Blue Mountains where we hiked and explored through some of the most awesome scenery ever, we went to some wicked cafes and restaurants and went to watch roller derby – which you all need to youtube now. Those women are the toughest!
One of the best days we there was when we ran from Watson’s Bay to Coggee. A beautiful day, some beautiful views and with no Garmin or knowing really how far we were going, it was really liberating and fun. Except for when I fell over a kerb. That wasn’t that fun!
For our final week down under we flew back to Melbourne, picked up our
go kart hire care, and headed to a national park in Victoria called Wilson’s Prom. Mark had managed to find a house in a place called Sandy Point, a town with just a tiny shop and the longest, emptiest beach I’ve ever seen. It was just perfect. We didn’t see a single other person as we wandered round the “town” – apart from a very cheery runner.
From Sandy Point we drove to the national park, and had a great two days hiking and exploring. One day we walked to a beach called Sealer’s Cove, through an almost jungle like environment for 10K to reach a beach with no one else on it. Best. Thing. Ever. We had a nap and headed back, always on the koala hunt. We did see lots of wombats, kangaroos and emus though, and even a baby wombat, which is just about the cutest thing in the whole world.
Our last couple of days were spent in Melbourne, and I loved the city even more second time around – probably helped by the fact it was quite a lot warmer than at the start of the holiday! I was pleased to see that winter in Australia seems to last for about 2 minutes.
Before we went away there was lots of talk from friends of “you two will love it so much, you’ll end up staying”…. And we did love it. Australia is beautiful, fun, vibrant, peaceful, sporty, friendly and exciting. Everything I want to be! I could totally see us having a stint there, in a couple of years’ time maybe. After all, fitness is where it’s at and there are plenty of universities that need students to be recruited…