Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Nov 2013 - Round the World - Australia

Our view from the balcony at North Curl Curl, yes really, 2 curls...
We fly down to Heathrow from Manchester for our Virgin flight to Hong Kong on an A340 on Saturday night. We arrive in Sydney on Monday morning after 2 painless flights; LHR to HK we watch loads of films then after a short stopover, HK to SYD flight, when we sleep. Pick up the car and drive up to North Curl Curl where we have rented a coast side house for a couple of weeks. Not tired at all really, a nice hot shower,quick skype back home to Jacks mum and dad & we're good to go. Off down to Manly ( a 25 min walk from here, or 10 mins by bus) to catch the Manly Fast Ferry across Sydney Harbour to Circular Quay Wharf/Quay and explore the city.





Despite having the car we found it much cheaper and much more fun to use the week long transport passes which cover the buses, trains (for a distance that would cover the whole of the UK) and of course the famous ferry's.


One exception was a drive to the Blue Mountains - though we should have taken the train on reflection as it stops in the town near the tourist park. A great experience though - the endless horizon of mountains, desert and forests are just jaw dropping.


One of our favourite trips was to  take the train north to Woy Woy. Spectacular scenery all the way north blew us away. Lakes, mountains & inlets of  pure  turquoise water, train stops for a rowing boat to a tiny island; its a whole different world.




We had found Fisherman's Wharf on the internet previously, so made our way from the railway station across town to find it on the water's edge opposite Pelican Island, hence plenty of big beaks looking for fish, like me!



Jack soaking up the sun, looking over to Pelican Island, Woy Woy.


One of our favourite restaurants "ever" the Lobster, Crab and Oysters are to die for. Cooked simply but to perfection.


The house we rented was the top floor of a lovely detached property in the town of North Curl Curl - A short bus ride from Manley - which we used daily with the school kids to reach the ferry into Sidney.


The best way to reach Bundeena Wharf is by taking the little ferry from Cronulla. Its a small hamlet with some nice restaurants (with good wine) and some glorious trails leading to hidden coves and beaches.







Jack hiking down the trail with a rucksack of essentials. Water and a Bikini.



The sun may be warm but the waters a little cooler. And Jacks such a wimp!





Good Food - Good Wine- Good Company ;) 


Back to the train station on the little ferry with the School Kids - What a life










WIP unfinished

Monday, 11 November 2013

Nov 2013 - Round the World - California

Laguna Beach Bungalow Jackie Collison

Finally we have crossed the Pacific and arrive in Los Angeles. After picking up the car we have a quite long drive that will take us to the Bungalow we have booked for the next few days.

Laguna Beach Bungalow Jackie Collison

We have opted to stay in North Laguna - just a few miles further down the road from the town of Laguna beach where we have stayed before. The bungalow is within walking distance of the shore.


This is a place to live - quiet with glorious beaches right on your doorstep. 



Jack quickly finds a property for our retirement.


And also quickly finds the pacific in November is quite cold.





Next morning we drive to San Juan Capistrano - the place has a lovely Spanish/Mexican Mission feel to it - with beautiful buildings and a fantastic mission style railway station. We enjoy a superb breakfast almost  right on the platform  before its time to bpard the train for a trip down to San Diego.


Amtraks aptly called "Pacific Surfliner" practically runs the entire route south from here right on the edge of the shore. 








When ever we are in California we always try to make it to Newport Beach to the Crab Cooker.  A local institution specialising in Seafood. Lobster - Crab - Shrimp all severed simply in a basket with some coleslaw and fries. Its heaven.