Sydney part 6

Saturday 23 October 2010, 10.30 pm
Another incredibly full day. Our first expedition was to Kings Cross, so we could corrupt mini-Wombles 🙂 Unfortunately, at 9 am there’s very little corruption to be had, so we had to settle for a “differently gendered” person in a short leopard-print skirt and knobbly knees.
After a quick look around it was time to meet the others at QVB for the release walk. We stocked up on picnic food then walked for miles through Hyde Park, past the barracks and State Library (where I got to revisit Trim the cat), down to Circular Quay and the Opera House, then back up to the Botanic Gardens where we settled down for a picnic and poetry readings in the shade of a tree occupied by dozens of fruit bats (seriously cool animals!) A highlight of the picnic was Newk high-tailing it across the park in pursuit of a Noddy train so he could release Divorce Express on it 🙂

Our leader on the release walk continued the tradition of wearing a distinctive hat

They have funny looking pigeons here!

A huge cruise ship was in harbour

Bats!
After a relaxing lunch, a few of us set off for Mrs Macquaries Chair at the other end of the gardens. A lovely walk along the waterfront (during which we counted 6 separate wedding parties – it’s obviously a popular spot for photos!), but the sky was beginning to get ominously dark. About half way back across the park, thunder and lightning were rapidly followed by rain, which quickly became a downpour. We made it out of the park just as the rain reached it’s heaviest, and took shelter in a porch, where we performed experiments on passersby (people *will* accept chocolate from strangers, but not books) and gave Wombles’ Wreck This Journal bookring a good start by leaving it out in the rain. Eventually the rain eased enough that we could walk to the nearest station and catch trains to our respective accommodations, plans to visit the markets at The Rocks abandoned.

Bargainqueen and mini-Wombles on Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

The storm approaches

I decided to make use of the time to search out the book exchange shelf at the YHA (disappointingly small) and register all the books within (I always carry a stock of pre-nums for just such an eventuality), then contributed a few more pages to the journal-wrecking, before Bargainqueen came and found me because it was time to meet Wombles and mini-Wombles and go to dinner.
We’d originally planned to take the train to the restaurant where we were meeting the others, but Bargainqueen’s iphone told her it was only 2.9 km away, and that we’d just have time to walk down there. As the rain had stopped, we thought this was an excellent idea. Of course, the phone forgot to mention that the 2.9 km was all uphill (but of course, it’s Sydney – we’ve already established that *everything* is uphill!). Still, we made it in 39 minutes, only 2 minutes more than the phone’s estimate.
Dinner was at a pub that specialised in exotic (well native, really) pizzas. I ended up eating the Australian coat of arms – kangaroo on one side of the pizza and emu on the other. Imagine doing the equivalent in New Zealand (well, maybe not with our coat of arms, considering it has people on it…) – kiwi pizza, anyone?
Once again, a great night, with lots of laughter. Skyring spread out the map of the USA on the table to tempt me (yeah, like that’s hard) and gave me a couple of guidebooks with instructions to start planning. I think I’m going to America…
A few of us talked about walking across the Harbour Bridge in the dark, but the rain started again, so we might try again tomorrow night.
Amusing moment tonight – Bargainqueen and I were discussing conventions we’d been to, and realised that this is the first one we’ve both been at, which means we’ve never actually met before this weekend. Yet we’d both been under the impression that we’d known each other for ages. The power of bookcrossing strikes again!

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