2004-08 (AUGUST, 2004)

More Hiking - Sydney, Australia

Andy & I caught a train to Cowan, about an hour's train ride from Sydney and walked 11km from there to Hawkesbury River Station. The first half of the hike was glorious with great views of the Hawkesbury River and surrounds. The second half of the walk was a less interesting stroll along a ridgeline fire trail with views over the F3 freeway. A hike more for the exercise than fine surroundings, but good none the less.

David Comes Down To Play - Sydney, Australia

Mr Curtis came down to Sydney this weekend. He arrived just after 20:00 on Friday evening and we settled in for a catch-up natter with a tasting selection from the Leffe range of beers (my favourite). We batted on until just before midnight before retiring for the evening.

The household was up-and-about at a respectable hour on Saturday morning. With First Breakfast under our belts we took a spin over to Reverse Garbage and The Bower for a spot of eco-friendly shopping. Dave & I drooled over all the spare parts and junk and tried to dream up projects that would necessitate a purchase. I acquired some plywood to help me complete my Canoe Crate project, Dave purchased some garden supply stuff and Andy picked up a teapot and some glasses. I think we shall be returning here before long. Next up was a sojourn into Marrickville for a delightful Second Breakfast in the sunshine. Hunger sated, Andy then led us into the Marrickville Metro Mall (my idea of hell on Earth) to buy art supplies. Our final destination before returning home was our local wood shop (more Canoe Crate supplies). Home again, we deferred a trip to the movies in favour of sitting out in the sun (winter is well and truly over here in Sydney) and reading and chatting. At 18:00 we all bundled off down to the Welcome Tavern for dinner. (Un)fortunately they're restaurant was fully booked, so Dave and I had to drink beer and talk shite instead (Andy didn't stay for this alternate diversion). At 23:00 the final of the Tri-Nations Rugby Tournament rudely interrupted our evening so we were out of the pub earlier than expected. We returned home to watch 'Fight Club' on DVD instead.

Our curtailed pub mission meant that we were significantly more sprightly that expected come Sunday morning. Andy went off to the gym whilst Dave and I sat around eating croissants and danishes in our sun-flooded back garden. At 11:00 we all climbed into the car for a field trip to the Royal National Park where Dave used to work. We stopped just inside the borders of the park so that Dave could check out the state of the mountain biking track management program that he had been instrumental in getting set up. We spent a very pleasant half-hour-or-so wandering in the bush. Next up was Audley, on the Hacking River, where we stopped for lunch. This was a great spot and one I shall return to with my canoe in the not-too-distant future. From Audley we continued south and east to the coast. We spent another hour or two exploring the stunningly beautiful Wattamolla lagoon. Continuing on, we stopped for coffee and cake at Stanwell. We returned home as the sun was setting, grabbed a takeaway from a local Thai restaurant and then settled back with 'Love Actually' on DVD (Andy's choice, but the boys enjoyed it too).

Dave headed home on Monday morning - a splendid weekend all round.