Sydney Bimble 1

Sydney Bimble
 
 
 
 
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I have no idea what Bear disturbed this morning, but I heard some cross words and went to investigate. The back of the toilet looked like someone had shaken the tobacco contents out of a rolled cigarette. Cover put back to rights it was time to go on our first bimble, well actually the first stop was just across the road for a hearty breakfast.
 
 
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The first thing that greeted us on this bright, sunny morrow was Chris in a very bright getup. I like the first picture as it looks like he is wearing a swanky tour guide microphone system, ready to be swung down in front of his mouth when in position in front of a group of enthusiastic listeners. Sue and I ‘followed our leaders’. Now you know, dear readers, how I so wanted to get a decent close up of an Australasian magpie, well wouldn’t you know it, there was one outside Jack’s scruffing about.
 
 
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The first time in my life I have been handed a silk tea bag, didn’t stop random leaves swimming about in my pot but it was a very novel experience. Jack’s opens for breakfast from six until two and is clearly THE place to come for the breaking of the fast. The fire alarm was making quite a racket but a nice fireman came to stop the thing just as our food order arrived, nothing as you all know would have stopped Bear getting stuck into his wonderful spread. I had to use all my powers of discipline and desist the full team of beefy firemen just outside the door....... We decided that the only thing that could possibly outshine our tour guides tee shirt was indeed the illuminated cake display. He went to pay “from the kitty” which has already become a bone of contention. Chris reckons that the fifty dollars Bear handed over as requested, in no way recompense for the seven hundred and thirty seven dollars he has “forked out” redecorating our room, fuel to drive in from home, the thirty four dollars each way in a taxi to meet us at the airport, “where you were eighteen minutes late and those figures don’t include tax etc........” Mmmm, so pleased that business falls into the remit of being a blue job. But I did say that we should be able to offset the four hundred and thirty dollars it cost to fly here along with the fifty eight dollars on the bus into Auckland and the sixteen dollars each way from the city to the airport and what about the journey on Beez to get to New Zealand in the first place, take a breath............No comment came the stern replay.........
 
 
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After breakfast, we crossed the road a waited a few minutes for the bus. Ten minutes later we were walking in front of Custom House a rather impressive and attractive building.
 
 
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First stop was to find out about the ferry to Watsons Bay, Sue had put in a request to eat late lunch at the very famous Doyle’s Fish Restaurant. Sounds like a wonderful plan, so many yachties have told us that we really must not miss out on visiting that particular eatery. Next to us was the Carnival Princess, haven’t seen her in quite a while. The ferry terminal complete with comprehensive information board and map.
 
 
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I watched with amusement as Bear, Chris and Sue did their collective best to select the ferry we would need. Of course as soon as I had been caught watching, I knew what the outcome would be. Don’t worry dear reader, you’ll be very used to this action by the time we bade farewell to our hosts. I still have their wedding picture from thirty eight years ago where Chris is adopting the exact same and usual pose......
 
 
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Being a Saturday there was a vibrant feel to the city. A man was blowing his didgeridoo, there were street performers and bimbling in the sunshine was a real joy. I stopped to admire a jacaranda in bloom, admired the Sydney Harbour Bridge it looks so much smaller than I imagined, and was just looking at the flowers around a central ‘bit of green’ when a chap caught my eye...........
 
 
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........not at all what I expected to see scruffing around in the city. A chap feeding the ‘usual suspects’ sidled further away when he saw the size of the Ibis’ beak, unperturbed said bimbled off.
 
 
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He did have a rather handsome tail and quite a haughty, proud and chic demeanour.
 
 
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We then walked past Sydney’s oldest pub, the Fortune of War, established in 1828.  The English, Scottish and Australian Chartered Bank and the Police Station.
 
 
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We walked by lots of opal shops and jewelers. Pity about the dreadful light and reflections bouncing off this two hundred and fifty thousand dollar pair of customised Uggs. The Chinese speaking casual staff request in the window made us smile.Then down a side street to mooch about a bit in toward the market.
 
 
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The very valuable balconies above us were beautifully maintained, reminded us of a neatly kept Panama City. We always found ‘the quiet shirt’ of our leader in the crowd. We did think that if Chris waggled an umbrella above his head pretty soon he would be like a gaily coloured pied piper with gangs of enthusiast Japanese tourists jostling along behind him snapping everything he pointed out. The market sold everything from honey, kangaroo front foot back scratchers, cakes, sweets, clocks, the aerosol artist was brilliant and I wanted to buy all the shoes on the small persons footwear stall.
 
 
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The Settlers Monument. Governor Phillip 1788-1792, was given the power to grant land in small parcels to ex-convicts. His instructions also suggested that “every reasonable encouragement” be given to soldiers and other free persons wanting to settle. In 1789 James Ruse was given a free pardon, supplied with seed, livestock, farm implements, convict labour and a few acres at Rose Hill and thus became Australia’s first settler.
Australia’s first eleven free immigrants landed in Sydney in 1793 in response to repeated requests for experienced farmers mechanics and convict supervisors. 63,000 convicts and 14,000 free immigrants arrived in Australia between 1788 and 1830. Land grants were abolished in 1831. Thereafter Crown land was sold at fixed prices with the income going to England to subsidise schemes of free or inexpensive immigration.
Between 1830 and 1850, 83,000 convicts and 173,000 free settlers arrived bringing Australia’s population to 400,000. At this time there were only seven women for each ten men with most people living outside the towns and engaged in some form of primary production. The 1850-60 Gold Rush period swelled the population to 1,145,000, established a decentralised pattern of inland towns and signalled the beginning of the immigration of the diverse range of nationalities that make up today’s Australia.
 
 
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Out of the market we were in the warehouse district, some of the original buildings are now luxury flats and we walked by a pub that could still be boasting original tiles, but hard to tell without asking.
 
 
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The old wharves had some very lovely buildings dating back to the mid 1800’s.
 
 
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We headed back toward the ferry dock and opposite the parking space of the Carnival Princess we saw an odd business. Don’t ask we didn’t.
 
 
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Bear posed with William Bligh – 1754 to 1817.
 
 
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En route to ferry we stopped to admire the size of the ‘string’ used by our cruise ship friend. The skyline. Quite amazing was the chalk artist we walked past. Just before we boarded the ferry I had to sneak another picture.
 
 
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ALL IN ALL INCREDIBLE TO BE HERE
                     VIBRANT BUT SOMEHOW SMALLER THAN I IMAGINED