Week Two – Camera, Sydney and Sandy Bay

11 Feb

The main event for me this week was a trip to Sydney to see Alan and collecting my new camera from duty free on the way.  Monday got lost on administration and preparing for a 4am wake up on Tuesday.  Booking a cheap flight departing at 7am seemed like a good idea at the time!  I managed to get to the airport in plenty of time and collected the package from the duty free collection point before settling down at a table to open it all.  Wow!  I knew exactly what I was getting, even the most obscure details but getting it in my hot little hands was very nice indeed.  First photo – the spirits shelf in the airport café.  Very original!

Alan’s timing at the airport to pick me up was impeccable.  He was standing there when I emerged from Customs and we got back to the machine to pay for the parking but there was no charge – still within the grace period.  That doesn’t happen often.  From the airport we went to Centennial Park where Miranda was waiting to meet us (well, met me really; she already knows Alan!) and then to The Gap for a walk followed by lunch.

Cliff-top walk in Gap Park on the peninsula opposite Watsons Bay in Sydney.

Cliff-top walk in Gap Park on the peninsula opposite Watsons Bay in Sydney.

The view across the top of Watsons Bay and back to the CBD.

The view across the top of Watsons Bay and back to the CBD.

The view from our lunch table at 'Doyles By The Sea' on Watsons Bay.  Very nice and rather pricey!

The view from our lunch table at ‘Doyles By The Sea’ on Watsons Bay. Very nice and rather pricey!

It was after 11pm local time when I had to throw in the towel.  These visits to Sydney are always so packed with catching up on what has happened in the last year or so, solving all the problems of the world, exploring places on foot and enjoying each other’s company.  I love it.

The following photos were taken on a walk from Lavender Bay in North Sydney to the far end of George Street near Rawson Place, about 12km in total.

On a walk around Lavender Bay to cross the bridge.

On a walk around Lavender Bay to cross the bridge.

The iconic Luna Park.

The iconic Luna Park.

The Sydney Opera House viewed from the top of the Harbour Bridge.

The Sydney Opera House viewed from the top of the Harbour Bridge.

The beautiful Queen Victoria Buildings in the Sydney CBD.

The beautiful Queen Victoria Buildings in the Sydney CBD.

Free gift with purchase!  I bought two 1TB external HDDs and got this gift.  Alan and I laughed our way up the street afterwards.

Free gift with purchase! I bought two 1TB external HDDs and got this gift. Alan and I laughed our way up the street afterwards.

When the café waitress was not watching this Rainbow Lorikeet stole a sugar pack from the service desk and proceeded to eat it.

When the café waitress was not watching this Rainbow Lorikeet stole a sugar pack from the service desk and proceeded to eat it.

On Thursday we started from Clovelly and walked to Bondi Beach and back, 11km.  Each day the weather is getting hotter – only 24˚C on Tuesday but 28˚C on Thursday.

Friday was just a short walk ending up along North Steyne Beach and into the shopping precinct for a coffee.  On the way…

On a walk around the coast near Manly Beach a couple of walkers had stopped and were peering off the path.  Not more than 3m from the footpath was this Eastern Water Dragon.  I got close enough with a 300mm zoom lens that in one shot I can see my own reflection in the pupil of its eye!

On a walk around the coast near Manly Beach a couple of walkers had stopped and were peering off the path. Not more than 3m from the footpath was this Eastern Water Dragon. I got close enough with a 300mm zoom lens that in one shot I can see my own reflection in the pupil of its eye!

Just loving the new camera!  Lots to learn though.

Alan dropped me at the airport just after 3pm for my 5:30pm flight back to Auckland.  Got home about 11:45pm.

While I was away, Heidi and Greg and family had arrived from Canberra where they are on assignment.  Greg works for the US Army and Heidi is the daughter of Leanne’s school exchange family way back in the day, Rick and Linda of Portland, Oregon.  Anyway, I got up reasonably early so I could catch up on their news (I hadn’t seen them since 1997 or so) before they had to leave for a trip to the Waitomo Caves.  They had a busy schedule of exciting activities over a two week NZ holiday.

Next it was off to pick up Belinda and Sara (daughter) for the drive up north to Sandy Bay.  James was already there with Penny and we were joining them for Saturday night.

This beautiful De Soto was spotted in a café car park on the drive up north to Sandy Bay.  There were many classic cars on the road so I guess there was a show on somewhere.

This beautiful De Soto was spotted in a café car park on the drive up north to Sandy Bay. There were many classic cars on the road so I guess there was a show on somewhere.

James and Belinda’s property near Sandy Bay is a very special place.  James is on a mission to build an elegant yet practical house on it (almost complete) and to protect large parts of the property from cattle, goat, pig, opossum and other predator pests so the native flora and fauna can re-establish.

The view NNE out to sea from the deck at James and Belinda's property near Sandy Bay.

The view NNE out to sea from the deck at James and Belinda’s property near Sandy Bay.

A 180˚ panorama from the deck.  The top railings are actually meant to be straight across the front, if you see what I mean.

A 180˚ panorama from the deck. The top railings are actually meant to be straight across the front, if you see what I mean.

After a bit of cross-country up hill and down dale it was time for a rest in the afternoon sun.

After a bit of cross-country up hill and down dale it was time for a rest in the afternoon sun.

Sunset from the deck at the end of a very nice day.

Sunset from the deck at the end of a very nice day.

James and I spent most of Sunday relocating the solar power control system and storage cells from their temporary home of 4 years in the hallway to the designated space in the laundry.  It took a while but we got there with no lost time injuries to report!

Leanne and I went via Sandy Bay beach to take some photos and then through Matapouri, Tutukaka and Ngunguru.

A small stream entering the northern end of Sandy Bay, about 10 minutes from the gate of James and Belinda's place.

A small stream entering the northern end of Sandy Bay, about 10 minutes from the gate of James and Belinda’s place.

We got to our bach at 9:15pm after picking up fish and chips from the Red Beach Takeaways right on their 9pm closing time -we phoned the order in as we passed Puhoi. We enjoyed dinner with a glass of wine then gladly went to bed.  It has been a busy few days.

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2 Responses to “Week Two – Camera, Sydney and Sandy Bay”

  1. james beetham March 6, 2013 at 06:16 #

    wow you guys certainly had some fun thanks for nice words about sandy bay
    james up there again last weekend to try and get walls finish so we can get sign off
    all well here
    luv hugs Bindy

    • bikernz March 6, 2013 at 06:47 #

      Good luck with the sign-off. It’s very easy to write nice things about Sandy Bay – it is a wonderful place. Look forward to visiting again on our return.

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